Minhas Aventuras

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds there are many more hills to climb"
Nelson Mandela

segunda-feira, 29 de abril de 2013

BolderBOULDER 10k Countdown - and the whole story behind it

This is a pretty long story, so I will try to summarize it.

10 years ago, August 17th 2003 I arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming (US) for my one year exchange program. A young couple with 3 kids was expecting me.

John and Lori were different than I had drawn in my mind although I didn't know what it was. I was positively surprised. They were a young couple, full of energy, very welcoming and nice to me, warm and open to what I had to bring into their lives.

I was 17. Pretty lost but found enough to keep moving to the right direction, which led me there. I'm glad my parents let me do this program, I new I wanted to go away since I was like 13.

I also new I wanted to be an athlete by then, and tried to take all the chances I had during that senior year. Didn't do much, though (comparing to my potential and will). I couldn't keep up with the Cross-Country team, I wasn't used with the altitude, weather and the way they trained. Unfortunately I quit.

Later that year the school let me be part of the soccer team. Most of the senior girls didn't like me and never tried to hide it. Junior girls were open and getting to know them made all the effort worth it. I stick with soccer. That was when I understood the meaning of training hard, being tough and never giving up. Believe me, it was hard. Not the training itself, but everything put together.

As host parents, John+Lori did what parents do: set limits, support, care, let go, forgive and love. They complemented my parents job, making me a better person. 10 years have passed and I still learn lessons from experiences I had in that year.

John+Lori supported me as much as they could in sports and in everything I wanted to do (that made sense). As days went by, we got to know each other better and my life story started being part of theirs and vice - versa. My family became their relatives too. Now I have an American family and a life in the States.

You have no idea how scary it was to leave the house when the exchange program was over. I remember calling Lori from a pay phone in Dallas Airport before getting in the plane for the long 9h flight to São Paulo. I was crying and anguished, didn't want to go home. Wish I could do what my friends there were doing: choose a school around the country and go live my life. She was tough, I know she was heart broken too, but as a mother, she held strong.

We got to see each other almost every year of these 10 that passed by. They've come to Brazil a couple of times, I've taken my mom and brother to Cheyenne once. And we've done a few "halfway" meetings as well (Cancun, Buenos Aires and Iguaçu Falls). Oh yeah, and for the U.S. immigration's team surprise face, I've gone back to visit Wyoming probably a few more times then anyone could ever imagine... Ha!

John+Lori were happy with their life. John's had his good athletic days in the past (he ran Boston's Marathon!). Lor played softball. Their focus on these past 8-10 years was work, raising the kids, enjoy deserved vacation, voluntary eye surgeries around the globe and politics. They were busy enough and practicing sports wasn't part of their routine.

Anyway, here comes the bet part.. I didn't believe I could really make a difference in someone elses life before, and they made me change my mind.

Last December I received an e-mail from John telling me his recent achievements: first of all he and Lor lost 60 pounds only with exercise and diet. Second: he had ran 2 miles in less then 20 minutes, which is good enough to qualify for BolderBoulder 10k. OH MY GOD!

He said I encouraged him to believe he could do it and that is was important for him to set this goal.
Two year's ago we were in Cancun, he was telling me about how he started to walk on the treadmill everyday and that he though he could run someday. I said yes, it was only a matter of him wanting/willing to do it and we mentioned BolderBoulder.

That day I bought him a yellow and green (Brazilian) dry-fit T-shirt so he could wear on his walk/runs. On the December e-mail, he said he will wear it for the race.
Of course I had a tear or two on my face when I read that. Next day I was sharing this with everyone I met.

Better than this, is that he wants to share that moment with me and is actually flying me to the States to be there so we can run together. And Lori will be waiting for her husband and Brazilian daughter on BolderBoulder's finish line, May 27th for us to celebrate.... life, i guess. 
I'm so glad. Thank you.

We're counting the days... 4 weeks from now!

Fall '03 - WY University Football game
Christmas '03!
Me and the kids, 1st time they came to Brazil Jan '05
Cancun 2011

Um comentário:

  1. Vivi, Parabens pelo texto e muita boa sorte com a corrida. Bjs, Arthur