Here, There and Everywhere

Crossing the Stage to Alumna Territory

by Steph | May 13, 2012

Hello everyone!

I guess you can say this is truly a bittersweet blog seeing as it is my first as an alum and last ever as a student. There was a lot of hype leading up to yesterday’s graduation ceremony and for good reason. This was such a momentous occasion and I’m so glad many of my friends and family were there to witness it.


I don’t have much else left to say other than I am feeling extremely accomplished. I walked across that stage with a well earned GPA that granted me Cum Laude, I received the university’s Humanitarian award and I gained a degree all in one afternoon!

Thank you to everyone who had believed in me from the start! I also wanted to thank the non- believers, it’s because of all of you that I continue to do what I do and want to be what I want to be. You push me to create serious change in this world and for that I am grateful.

This has been an experience I will never forget!

Love you all :D

Sincerely yours,
Stephanie M. Hammerman- Class of 2012.

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Categories: Uncategorized

The Final Page of the First Chapter: A Captivating Farewell

by Steph | May 7, 2012


Monday, September 8, 2008 was the first day I stepped onto this campus and began my undergraduate career. As I sit here tonight writing my farewell to you loyal readers it’s hard to believe so much time has passed since then. I came to this campus fearing the unknown. Would I make friends? Would people accept me for who I was? Would I begin to appreciate myself and believe that I had true value and a purpose? I didn’t know it then, but in these four years all of my questions and doubts have been answered. I will have memories of different involvement, leadership positions, mentors and friendships to hold onto for a lifetime.

Crossing that stage on Saturday is going to mean more to me and my family than most people would ever begin to imagine. When I was brought into this world I weighed less than 2 lbs. Doctors knew I would have a long road a head of me, but many of them doubted that I could or ever would amount to anything great, even having the audacity to tell my family that I probably would never speak, read or write. When I sat down to write my college essay I remember thinking about those very words and what I would say or do if I ever got the chance to meet the people who doubted my success. At that time I don’t know what I would have done; I may have laughed or even gotten angry, but now I can confidently say that I would simply use my actions to educate their curiosities. During my time here I have been able to excel in the classroom, travel the world, and have my voice be heard all because I chose to get involved and make something of these four years.

Whether we were hitting the books in the classroom or hitting the dance floor in the club my friends are the ones who have made this experience exactly what it has been. I can remember Freshman year, even before school had started, I met Omar Herrera. At the time I didn’t realize it, but he would soon become someone who would change my life for the better. We became inseparable, always there to share stories about our day or support each other as we put on big events. Omar decided at the end of our sophomore year that he was going to do what was best for him and transfer to a school back home. When I heard this news I was certainly, not by any means, okay, but I knew it was going to benefit his future. I was scared that I was going to lose him and because he wasn’t around me everyday that he would soon forget about me and all of the success we were able to accomplish together, but to this day he hasn’t. We may not talk as much as we like to, but he’s there for me just as much as he was when he was here and that’s how I know this place has done wonders for me. I was introduced to people, who no matter where we go or what we do we will always be there for each other.

Over the years people have come and gone, but you soon learn who your true friends are. They are the people who are excited to see you succeed and those who will be right by your side to catch you when you fall. I have had my fair share of fall outs, but I have to say I am one lucky girl because I have a group of friends that I know I can count on no matter the time of day. With traditions like the disney trip, founders day, and of course the end of the year Gala it’s hard to pick just one favorite memory. These people know who they are and I am so honored to have shared these last four years with all of you.

Throughout this whole experience there have been so many people, new and old that have taken an interest in my personal growth process. If it wasn’t for my Resident Director freshman year I probably wouldn’t have realize my potential to create change within a community and wanting to be heading into the field of student affairs. It’s crazy how an interaction with a few people can change your life forever. I have been lucky to have various mentors here on campus and so to you I say a sincere thank you!

It’s because of all these amazing people that I began to see myself in a new light. I finally began to see my self worth and that I had value and purpose in this world. I began to push my limits and believe that I could be seen as a true athlete. I came here four years ago focused on one goal, to gain a degree. I am proud to say that this weekend I will be leaving having gained much more than that. I have put forth many hours of hard work and dedication on this campus and it is exciting to know that it has all paid off.

To the Knights of the future: As you head off to college be aware of your dreams, aspirations and goals. It’s going to seem like an overwhelming time, but I hope you take a good hard look at yourself and know that you are capable of so much! Never be afraid to think big. If a small idea can make a big difference in the world around you imagine the difference a BIG idea can make. This campus is going to become your home whether you believe it or not so treat it with respect and allow the people around you in. Get involved in something because as soon as you do you will be creating opportunities for yourself you otherwise never knew existed. We left our foot prints in the ground for a reason, in hopes that you will follow. The next four years are going to be what you make of them so, do as they say and make these the best four years of your life!

It has been an honor and my pleasure to share to this journey with all of you. You have shown me how powerful my voice can be even through written word and for that I am forever grateful. You have kept your eyes glued and minds open as I’ve shared my world with you. As a writer I aspire to continually capture my audience with a story and I believe this opportunity over the last three years has allowed me to do so. No one is 100% sure of what tomorrow may bring, but I do know that today has been an amazing day so, for one last time I’ll say…

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!

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Taking on the challenge of CrossFit Hardcore

by Steph | May 4, 2012


This week has been awesome! I had such a nice end to my week, seeing as yesterday as of 11 a.m. I was officially done with my undergraduate career! That is such a crazy thought, but such an exciting feeling. So, now that the academics are over I get to focus on the fun stuff like taking care of my body and spending as much time as possible with my friends.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with this CrossFit phenomenon, it’s an intense way to circuit train as well as sculpt and tone your body. So when I saw this I knew that I had to at least try it and see if it was something I could adapt to be beneficial to my body. I spend a lot of time in the gym and on the bike, but sometimes you need to change it up in order to see a greater transformation. I went into CrossFit Boca Hardcore today and one of the trainer’s fittingly named Scott, welcomed me into his gym. At first, he seemed a bit doubtful and hesitant of my abilities, but that’s only because he had never worked with me before. After about 15 mins and many questions on his part, we got to work and I got a crazy sweat on :D .

Workout of the day (WOD) Looked a little something like this:
- Bicep Curls
- Bench presses
- Squats
- Mini Get-ups (getting up from a bench)
- Full Get-ups (getting up from the floor)
- Dips
- Sit-ups (throwing a ball from the floor)
- Push ups

** Each repetition was different some would be 3 sets of 10, while others would be 2 sets of 20 with very short amounts of rest in between. My heart rate stayed high, yet steady and I felt really strong. This is an exercise routine that I definitely am looking forward to doing again.

For those who don’t think something like that can be adapted you are so wrong. I would advise you to find a trainer who is willing to try anything and not afraid to push you. The best feeling is knowing that you challenged yourself and can accomplish goals no matter their size.

I’m off to bed and looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!

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Categories: Lynn, South Florida

Coming to Grips with Reality

by Steph | April 26, 2012


As the days slowly wind down, reality is beginning to set in. There are 16 days left of living on a campus that I have called home for the last four years of my life. That fact alone is a lot to take in and I am certainly having mixed emotions about what’s to come. I will officially begin the next chapter of my life on August 17th as I move into a new apartment and join a new community of people at Nova Southeastern University. I will be working toward gaining a Masters Degree in higher education and student affairs, and could not be happier. This new place will give me the opportunity to grow not only personally, but professionally as well.

Last week I began cleaning out my room and taking all the things off my walls, and it was hard to put all those memories away in a box. With each photo came a strong memory of how much I have accomplished, the relationships I’ve created, and friends I will forever remember. The next two weeks are certainly going to be bittersweet, but I guess it’s true that all good things must come to end.

I spent the afternoon with my cousin and thought of the best way to decorate my cap for the big day. As I thought of different ideas I began to realize that my friend Scotty would have been crossing the stage at his school of choice this year as well. So this is what we decided to do simple yet, meaningful. I know that I cross that stage he will be with me every step of the way :) .

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!

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Categories: Friends, Lynn

Teachable Moments, Traditions and Trey Songz

by Steph | March 18, 2012


Hey Everyone!

These lasy few weeks have been some exciting times and I’d love to share them with you all. Since I last posted I completed my 4th race. I placed 3rd in the 10K Stand Among Friends (EMB)RACE event. Even cooler, I was in the Sun Sentinel (again!). My family keeps joking that they’d like to know who my PR manager is, but I swear I didn’t even know anything about it :P

This past week was a whirlwind of emotions. As a senior I am getting to that point where I’m both hesitant, yet anxious for this four year journey to come to a close. Wednesday, we as seniors finally got to experience the well know tradition that is “Senior Salute”. Basically, we picked up our graduation tickets along with our cap and gown (it all began to really sink in). After I completed that exciting task I was off to prep myself for a speaking engagement I was asked to do at Nova Southeastern University for the exercise science majors. This was such an exciting experience because I have recently be speaking to various groups of people regarding diversity and acceptance while sharing personal experiences as well. This group of students were extremely attentive and engaged so, it made the experience all the better. We touched upon many topics such as my most challenging life encounters, my different exercise tactics, and the part that seems to grab most the attention…relationship experience (Gasp) people living with physical challenges can and do experience normal, loving relationships! I always laugh because that always seems to be on people’s mind, but they are afraid to talk about it. Once the ball of questions starts to roll there’s no telling where it may stop and that’s what I find to be the most gratifying part about speaking with a new group of people.


As the week progressed I was getting anxious because I knew I had something big happening that was going to be crossed of my “To-Do” list. Before my exciting weekend could start I attended the memorial dedication ceremony, and there’s not much I want to say about it except that it was beautifully done and those six members of our family will never be forgotten! After the ceremony I headed back to Nova to begin my first ever on-campus interview for the Grad Assistantship (GA) Program for a position within housing and residential life. Last year around this time was the first time I started to seriously think about making student affairs a career, and I must say that after this weekend I am so glad I did. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I don’t want to jinx anything, but it was an extremely positive and gratifying experience knowing that I was chosen to join a select few for this competitive and in depth interview process.

The weekend went by extremely quickly, but I was able to create wonderful bonds with some extraordinary people and that is something I will hold close to my heart no matter the results. We even got to enjoy an amazing concert by Trey Songz V.I.P. style. :D I feel honored to have been selected for such a wonderful opportunity and now we will just have to wait and see where my fate lay.

Things are beginning to find there place and for that I am thankful.

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!

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Categories: Uncategorized

The Results Are In!

by Steph | February 19, 2012


Hey Everyone, Happy Sunday!

4 AM READY TO ROCK AND ROLL!


My Sunday has been off to a fantastic start, or shall I say “Finish”. Yesterday I mentioned that I was competing in my next half-marathon and I was hoping to beat my previous time of 2:37. Well I am SO EXCITED to say that I not only beat my time, but won my division of women hand cyclist as well with a time of 1:35:34. Not bad for 4 months of serious training! If you had asked me at 4:30 this morning if I had any idea that I’d do so well I’d probably laugh, but it is such a great feeling :D . I had privilege of riding alongside one of my great friends Armando Castillo. We had such a blast together and I’m so glad I am able to hold onto this memory with him.

2.19.12-Geat memories.



I feel wonderful and I’m excited to hit spin class tomorrow bright and early. I have the 10K (Emb)RACE to look forward to next Sunday. If you’d like more information about the race or how you can support Stand Among Friends go to I know this is a short one, but I thought you’d all enjoy sharing in the excitement.

That’s All I Have For Now,
Happy Reading!

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Categories: Friends, Lynn, South Florida

Many Walk, Some Run, The Elite Choose to “Fly”

by Steph | February 18, 2012


Well Hello Weekend!

I hope you all had a great week. I can’t believe how fast time is flying these days. In less than three months I will be on my way out into the “real world” (now, that’s a scary thought). I have been thinking quite a lot about how much I have grown over the years, not only as a student leader, but as an individual in general. Over the years I have allowed myself to feel worthy of great experiences and have certainly begun to realize the importance of my own well being, mentally and physically. As many of you know I began hand cycling about a year ago and I’m absolutely loving the sport. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I looked into the sport of indoor spinning and after hearing many versions of the answer “No” I finally found a studio that welcomed me without question. Some may be wondering why anyone would say no in the first place, but that’s life. The weight of acceptance holds more worth than any amount of rejection. So for all of you readers who have never heard of them before I’d like to introduce you to FlyWheel Sports! They have various locations, most well-known for being based in New York, but have great success right down here in SoFlo!


Those who know me well know that I am not the type of person who backs down from a challenge. I knew “Spinning” was going to be difficult and I wasn’t going to be able to do it exactly like all the other riders would, but I was sure as hell going to try it. I went in, talked to the staff, told them what I was setting out to do and they opened the doors for me and said “Let’s go!” Five mins, that’s all it took for me to fall in love with this kick ass workout. Shortly after, I decided it would be in my best interest for both my mental and physical well-being to make a habit of this. So, the next week I became a member, and now take the class at least four times a week. I found an instructor who isn’t afraid. He isn’t afraid to work with me, push me, or afraid to believe in me. Taking on a challenge such as this gives me the opportunity to continually educate people whether it’s the people who work in the studio or fellow riders that I come in contact with. This kind of interaction opens the doorway for greater communication and the dissolving of stereotypes. It may take me an extra two mins to get set up on my bike, but once that music starts blasting and the blood starts pumping “I can” quickly becomes “We Do”. This studio has given me the opportunity to continue to do something I love without fail, and this weekend I hope to see tremendous improvement as I hit the streets of Fort Lauderdale for my 2nd ride of 13.1 miles.


For those who don’t think that spinning is necessarily their thing you can also try out their awesome “FlyBarre” Program (NO, they didn’t pay me to write this) :P I’m just giving credit where credit is due. This class is more of a sculpt & tone, full-body workout, and the music is always bang’n… just say’n ;) . We are almost three months into the new year so, if you’re still thinking of ways to kick start your resolution this may be the answer. They have a 6 week “FlyBarre Challenge” you should totally check out. For more information you can go to the: Flywheelsports webpage.

As I said earlier, I have loved this experience because I not only get to better myself physically, but I am able to find ways to continually educate individuals who haven’t necessarily interacted much with someone like myself. In all honesty, the comments and the praise of “how amazing it is…” can sometimes get to be a bit frustrating, only because I don’t view myself as anyone’s inspiration to get up in the morning. I am just doing this because I love to do it. Lately, everyone has been obsessed with these “$%!T people say” video’s and I happen to come across one that I personally think is spot on!

Although this is extremely comical you should also understand how silly some of these stereotypes sound. The sad part is I have heard almost every single one of these quotes. If you are curious about something you see I would rather you ask me than automatically assume a fallacy.

Do you think you’re up for the challenge?

Have a great weekend!

That’s All I Have For Now,
Happy Reading!

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Categories: Friends, South Florida

Life is a Beautiful Classroom

by Steph | February 7, 2012


Hey Everyone,

WOW it’s been quite a while since i’ve allowed you into my world! Seeing as this is my last semester, I am going to try my hardest to get better at keeping you in the loop. I love to write, and it’s sad that sometimes I lose track of how good it makes me feel. So, I hope this week this blog will pull you back in as I enjoy the last stops on this emotional journey. It’s going to be a bit of a long one, but totally worth your while. ;)

This past weekend was a bittersweet experience for me. Since freshman year I have been a part of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) on our campus, and this past year I was elected to sit on the Florida Association of Residence Halls (FARH) State Board of Directors (SBD), serving as the Associate Director of Administration (ADA). (I know, I know…too many acronyms) It’s always difficult to try to fully explain all of the different clubs and organizations I am a part of, and it’s not always easy explaining what the field of housing and residence life is, and or does on campus, but in my case if I could describe it in one word it would be “Foundation”. It was the beginning of Freshman year, I quickly realized this is where my heart belongs, working with students and making a difference in someone’s life. This weekend was the proof I needed to validate that fact. This year had been a tough one, and sometimes it’s the small reminders that take you back to reality and allow you recognize why certain decisions were made.

Being elected as the ADA by my peers was a great honor and privilege, and although it has been a challenging year I was able to learn so much about myself as a leader, a team player, and what it means to be a support system for others. At this conference I was awarded three different honors, and it just made me realize that I truly do make a difference. Among the three, was an award entitled the “Friend of Felippe” (Felippe being our mascot), but the significance of this award is that another member of the state board chose to give one to me. So, as I went up to present my 3 “Friend of Felippe” awards I did something a tad different, I dedicated my awards to three of the mentors and advisors that got me to this exact point. These three mentors not only believed in me, but trusted that I would do great things within the organization. Over the years with different styles of leadership and guidance they were instrumental in my personal growth process. In true Steph Fashion I didn’t write the average speech. On the contrary, I wrote a creative piece and I thought I would share it with you, and hopefully it resonates with you as well.
 
Life is a Beautiful Classroom
Thank you for being the greatest teacher.

Lets take a moment and look at our life’s journey as one big classroom
Sitting in the same seats day after day
Surrounded by the same people hour after hour
We would learn enough to get by if it stayed this way forever
Same seats, same people, same likes and dislikes
But are we truly learning what it means to live?

Now imagine a teacher walking into that classroom shaking up everything
Everything you once thought was perfect, just as is
Confusion, anger, a sense of betrayal
Listening as the teacher tells you to take those feelings and do something with them
Fight those feelings, not with violence, but with passion

The next morning you wake and head out the door for class
As you walk though the classroom you have the urge to try something new
This sudden urge to find your passion and do something about your feelings
Today you made a conscious choice
Different seats, different people, different likes and dislikes
Finding someone who has that same passion
Connecting with those whom believe in your cause

Finding confidence you never thought you possessed
Feeling worth you never thought you deserved
Living yesterday through the comfort of one perspective
Living today as part of a diverse world
All because you walked into my life and shook everything up.


This weekend I was surrounded by friends, advisors and executive board members who have that same exact passion I do for making a difference in this world. If you were there in the opening ceremony room you would have been floored by the amount of energy that was exuded by the students who filled the room. I have been through a lot with the organization, but the one thing that has been constant has been the promise for change. I have changed, I have grown, and I am a better version of who I once was because I found a group of people who believe in my successes. I put my heart and soul into things I am passionate about, but it’s because of the people I am surrounded by that make all the difference. I have met some of my best friends, and most profound mentors through this four year experience and with them I have created memories I will forever look back on. In the next few months the newest door to my life’s journey is going to open, and I’m not sure what opportunities or obstacles I will have to face, but I do know that no matter what happens my “Friends of Felippe” will always be there.

Is there someone in your life that has had significant affect on the person you have become?

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!

Categories: Friends, Lynn, RHA

Life’s Greatest Gift: The Simple Memories

by Steph | December 12, 2011


Hey Everyone!

Tonight I have something deep and personal I wanted to share with you all. Grieving the loss of a loved one is never easy, and unfortunately there are times in life where certain things have no true explanation, and some have to leave this world without the chance to say one last goodbye. I unfortunately had to experience this harsh reality at a young age. Tomorrow is the 6th year anniversary of one of my best friend’s death. I was 16 when I learned that Scott Pollock had passed away and tonight I want to dedicate this post to him.

Scotty:

As I sit here and watch the clock hit midnight it seems like it was only yesterday. I feel like I am taken back 6 years. I was at my computer waiting for you to respond to a message I had left knowing we had just had a wonderful conversation, but little did I know that the night before would be the last time you would ever be able to answer me back. Growing up together I never really realized how important it would be to have someone like you in my life. We went through a lot together, and I cannot tell you how happy the year 2005 made me. We had become closer than ever and I knew I would have a friend in you forever. It was with you that I was able to look past all the BS in life and just enjoy the time I spent with you. You would kick my ass on the court, and in almost every video game we played, but it didn’t matter because I was with you just enjoying the time I had with you. Over the last 6 years I have never lost sight of where you are. Sometimes, I need to watch highlights of your games just to hear the excitement in your voice, and see the passion you put out on the court, but you are never forgotten.

In 6 years you have witnessed first true love, harsh breakups, some struggles, and large amounts of success, I know you are there every step of the way. Some may never understand, but your presence means the world to me. As I crossed that finish line last weekend you were with me the whole time and that is an experience I will forever hold onto. There are days that are certainly harder than others, where I wish I could call you or text you, but I am doing as you would have wanted… I am living. You taught me so much during our time together and you have been with me ever since the evening of your passing. We had a bond that many will never understand and I hope I am making you proud. Life is all about what you put into it, and I’m certainly working hard to make as great an impact as you have made onto this world. I love you with every fiber in my being, and love knowing that I never truly have to say a final goodbye because you will always have a solid space in my heart. Please continue to do what you do. I need you as my angel forever and always. I want to thank-you for my second chance! I know you are resting peacefully. 12-13-05 I love you and will never forget!

As the holiday season is about to be in full swing please remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Without them your world would be a completely different place. My hope is that you all have a friend or loved one that makes that special difference in your life. I am a lucky girl for the time I had with him and I will always have our memories. Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day as I will miss him deeply, but know that somehow he is going to force a smile right back on my face. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, happiness, and tons of fun. I know that’s how Scott would have envisioned his holiday season.

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!

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Categories: Family, Friends

From Visions to Victory

by Steph | December 6, 2011


Hello Everyone!

I know it’s seems like I’ve been gone forever, but writing isn’t something I joke around about. When I write it has meaning, and I try to tell captivating stories. Lately, I haven’t felt the need to write because I didn’t feel like anything was really worthy of sharing. With the first semester coming to a close it’s always the same stuff, stressed about classes, finals, and what’s to come next. That was until this past weekend when two different visions turned into two unforgettable victories.

About a year ago, I went to volunteer at my first Stand Among Friends Emb(race) event, and there I was introduced to Achilles International. Here was an organization that allowed people living with a disability the opportunity to be true competitive athletes. That day I sat in my first hand cycle, and knew that this was something I wanted to work on. The group of athletes were so welcoming, and fun, and from that day on I knew I would some day become an accomplished athlete like all of them were. After that morning it was like I was bitten by the race bug. All I could think about was the next time I would hop back in the hand cycle. It was by the end of that week that I got the phone call from Chris Holcomb, our Regional director asking me to meet him at the local park for a nice trial ride. After riding for about an hour that fire was still there, I loved the feeling of being in control of something, but still having to work hard to perfect it. After the trial was over he said to me “Steph your going to do the Palm Beaches Marathon in December.” I laughed at him and said, “A marathon?, that’s 26.2 miles I don’t know about that!”, but he had all the confidence in world that I would train with him and do this race. So, I got it in my head and agreed to go on this competitive journey. With many months of cross training, bike adjustments, bike replacements, hard work and dedication Dec 4, 2011 was upon us and this is my story:On a roll to the finish.

I come from one of the most amazing families one could ask for. When something big is happening in someone’s life you can bet the whole Hammerman family knows about it and they are ready more than ever to cheer you on. Well, this was absolutely no different, I had my own personal 20 person cheer squad. Many may not know that I am one of 16 grandchildren. We are all around the same age and grew up more like siblings than cousins, so the energy in the room whether three of us are together or all of us are together is the exact same; fun and exciting.

Friday evening the weekend of fun and craziness began. Family started arriving and I had to get ready for Lynn’s 24th Annual KOR Holiday Gala. Gala is always a fun tradition, but this year was extra special. Not only was it my fourth and final Gala, but I had a hand along with two of my best friends in planning this event. This year the location was our spectacular, new Wold Performing Arts Center. In the past students had to pay for admission to Gala, drinks at the bar, and transportation to and from the event, but this year all of that was changed. The event was extremely welcoming, seeing that everything was FREE! Students were dressed to the nine and ready to have a blast. We had an amazing student student DJ and the room looked absolutely gorgeous. When planning an event you always have fears that something is not going to go as planned, but I must say the night to me, seemed perfect. The place was packed with students wanting to have a great time, and that’s exactly what we did. Feeling beautiful and dancing the night away was exactly what I needed to start this weekend off right. On behalf of KOR, Kara, Jen and myself we hope whomever attended had a night they will forever remember.

Knowing that Friday was a success gave the opportunity to now focus on the big challenge ahead. I was going face to face with a 26.2 mile route and I was ready to go.

Saturday evening my family decided to host a beautiful pasta dinner for all the Achilles athletes, and this was the first time they were going to see me in this kind of element. It was really nice to share this experience with all of them because they could now see that this was something I truly wanted to do. It may sound strange to some but, normally a room full of people with disabilities makes me a bit uncomfortable, but as you walked or rolled into the room the disability was left at the door. This was now a room full of competitive athletes ready to do what we had come there to do. The room was full of positive energy and at that moment the nerves went out the window and I was so glad that I had made the choice to do this.

It’s now sunday morning, 2 A.M., and I am wide awake. My alarm was supposed to go off at 3:30, but I guess I was filled with too much excitement. I opened my computer, blasted my music, (my neighbors must have loved me ;) ), and got myself ready for the morning. After a small personal dance party and some breakfast it was 4:45 a.m. and it was time to head out. That morning I was racing with about 35 other athletes, some were hand cyclist, some were ambulatory amputees, some were wheelchair racers, while one was even on a skateboard! It was 6 A.M and we were about to join 3,5oo able bodied runners. My heart was pumping, my nerves were rock’n and before I knew it, off I went. It was 6:35 A.M, and there was no turning back now. As I said before my family is amazing, not everyone was there, but I was thinking about them all as I was racing, I didn’t want to let them down. They had even created shirts in support of me and the quote on the back is what kept me going the whole time.
With their wild and crazy attitudes, and Scotty’s spirit all around me I knew I could do this. Even as I faced the strongest head winds up the Lantana Bridge at mile 17, I told myself that Scotty was always up for a challenge so, this was my time to show him I was too. Mile 17/18 was probably the most special for me.
Yes, I was extremely tired, but I had made it more than half way and on this turn around as I sped down hill a sea of green shirts were there cheering on the sidelines. My uncle Ira and I have an extremely special relationship, his heart is one of the biggest out there, and when I told him I was doing this race he was one of the first to 100% support my decision from the get-go. He is an avid runner and an accomplished marathoner as well, so for the last 10 miles he joined me! We had a blast, he kept me motivated as we had little competitions to see who could get to certain mile markers first, and he kept me focused on the prize. By the 15th mile I’m pretty sure EVERYONE knew who I was, which family I came from, the team I represented, and what I was on a mission to do. During the last 5 miles I was joined by a police officer named Sean. He was someone who took an interest in me as I finished the race and I don’t think he will ever know how much he did for me. It’s amazing how simple words or positive sounds can keep you going. He would rev the engine to his motorcycle, tell me some great things, and I would get faster. As I got closer to the finish line I saw those lime green shirts, my screaming fans, and I was so ready to make them proud. I crossed that finish line with a time of 4:34:11 and I cannot express in words how it felt. I had worked so hard for so long and at that moment, it was all worth it.

Dec 2-4, 2011 is a weekend I will forever remember. Thank you! to my friends, family, Chris Holcomb, Achilles, and all of the supporters who expressed belief in me. Without you, this weekend would not have been what it was. This journey is certainly not over, this is just the beginning, but I am so glad to have shared this first experience with all of you!

That’s all I have for now,
Happy Reading!