It amazes me how this day and age, social media can completely change your life. And it all started with a simple tweet.
I vividly recall that day like it was yesterday. Another morning waking from my slumber to the drowning sound of my iPhone alarm. Waking up and dreading the reality of the daily grind. I hit snooze, refusing to succumb to the fact that instead of spending this day outdoors, I would be held hostage inside a room with no windows, striving hard to make a difference in the lives of my young students. If only I could have an outdoor classroom.
As I refused to get out of bed just yet, I randomly logged onto Twitter. Now, I will admit, I am just as intrigued and addicted to Facebook as the next person, however, I very rarely utilized Twitter. I was scrolling through my feed and noticed a retweet from a fellow athlete regarding “someone” who was looking for a female ultra runner to pace her at Badwater 135 in July. Who knew that this “someone” and I would instantly create such an incredible and positive connection.
I took notice that the original tweet was from a few days previous and that she lived in Southern California. Knowing the history behind Badwater and how eager individuals are to be associated with the race in any capacity, I dismissed it, figuring she must have already found someone. I mean, it WAS Badwater afterall!
For those of you unfamiliar with Badwater 135, it could be considered the ultra runner’s equivalent of the Boston Marathon. The race begins at 282 feet below sea level, traverses 135 miles through Death Valley, over 3 mountain ranges and finishes at Mt. Whitney portal, 8,000 ft above sea level. It is known as the world’s toughest foot race and is the “challenge of champions” due to the strict requirements the runners are forced to meet prior to even applying for one of the coveted 100 spots in the race. It is a place in the middle of nowhere where ultra running legends thrive and dreams come true!
I went about my AM routine, walking the dog in the rain, showering and as I stared blankly into the mirror brushing my teeth, something told me to reply to her tweet expressing my interest. From that point forward, it was all I could think about…waiting to hear back from her and knowing that with the time difference, it could be a while before that happened. By the time I did hear back from her, I had already found her on Facebook and done a Google search on this “someone”. Based upon the simple fact that she would be the 2nd youngest female to ever attempt Badwater at 24 years of age (being trumped only 1 year by a fellow competitor registered for the 2012 race) I knew this girl was born to be an inspiration and I was determined to help her achieve her dreams!
And so it begins. The story of how two girls from opposite coasts of the country were brought together for an amazing journey through the desert, only to realize, the unique energy they spark within one another didn’t have to end at the finish line.