This past weekend was a great one for me and several of the Rising Strength Blue Ridge Relay team members Jessica Brown, Beth Murray and Christi Comes Out Bird. Jessica and Beth hosted a fantastic pool party in honor of Rising Strength and raised almost $600 for our team! Huge thanks to Jess & Beth and everyone that came out to celebrate with us! Thank you Austin Brown, Ryan Murray and Sarah Deblaey for such a great weekend!
I met Jessica and Beth at a trail race in NC only two weeks after the attack. At that point, I was still feeling in shock about what had happened, but was happy to get away from the area where the attack occurred and to meet new people who enjoyed running as much as I do.
After the race Jessica and I spent some time together and spoke about the attack. Jessica shared a close family member’s story of surviving an attack and attempted murder. I instantly felt very connected to Jessica and was stunned to hear that someone so close to her had endured such a horrific experience. Jessica oozes positivity and joy for life and you would never guess that Jessica was so closely tied to something so heartbreaking. Talking to Jessica about my experience that day really helped me start the healing process and understand that I was not alone in my experience of violence against women.
I am beyond grateful to have met Jessica and Beth that day and for the friendship that I have with them. In addition to being great runners, Jessica and Beth also love to bike, do yoga, paddleboard and windsurf. These athletic girls are also proud army wives and nurses! Jess and Beth introduced me to Christi Comes Out Bird this past spring at a hot yoga class in Southern Pines. After hearing about our Blue Ridge Relay team, Christi jumped on board right away and has been very supportive of our team’s efforts! Christi, thank you for coming out to the party this weekend and bringing your brother and sister in-law!
I am so excited for the Blue Ridge Relay and to introduce the rest of our team to these awesome ladies!