Dawn joined us in Costa Rica last November and we saw a huge transformation in her. She pushed herself, was up for everything and even released herself in intimate moments where she once would have been uncomfortable. Here is her story.
Here is just a small piece of what Run Like a Girl means to me.
Costa Rica. I went there looking for a week of adventure with my best friend. I left realizing many things about my life that I never expected. My heart had been very closed and I had become very cold to many of the things in my life. I was going through a painful divorce from a man that I loved very much, but could not stay with any longer. The many things that had happened in my marriage had made me numb and cold and tough. It was the only way I knew to protect myself from the hurt I constantly felt. I was hard and angry. I had learned how to cover this hardness and anger with sarcasm and jokes and thought I was coping very well with everything.
Then I went to Costa Rica. This place is somewhat magical to me and will forever hold a very special
place in my soul. The first few days before the retreat were epic and amazing in more ways than my words will ever be able to describe. I saw so many beautiful things and met so many wonderful people. Mother nature began to open my cold heart and empty soul and fill it with beauty and joy and feeling. I felt like a kid again, alive, totally embracing and immersing myself in everything I was doing. Living only in the moment and saying yes to every opportunity that was presented.
It was the most amazing feeling of freedom and joy and happiness. Then we met the group for the Run Like a Girl retreat. I am not much of a “friends” kind of person and sometimes have a hard time in large groups of girls. I put on my protective hard cover and keep everyone at a distance. It was a few days into the retreat, after a day of adventure and hard work, when we sat down to sing a song. The “hold hands and sing kumbaya” thing was never really something I did, but I embraced this opportunity with the same enthusiasm as all of the other adventures I had taken. We sang a very simple song that brought this hard, cold woman to a hot mess of tears. And I tell you what, it is exactly what I needed. I had been holding onto so much hurt and resentment from things that had happened in the past. For some reason, they all came rushing out. My girlfriend held me like a baby, hugging me and it was one of the most amazing moments I have had in my life. It was just like all the bad stuff came out and instead of pushing it all back inside, I just let it all go. I let the mountains and the rain and the other women and my girlfriend just take it all away. This was the life changing moment I had unknowingly needed and it was totally unexpected. I felt a sense of peace again a sense of balance that I had not felt for a very long time, if ever.
At the time, I didn’t realize how big of a moment that was, but as the days go by and I reflect on the trip as a whole, this is the moment that sticks out the most. The moment I let go of my baggage and my soul was opened back up to the love and joy of the world. Pure Vida will forever have more meaning to me than any other words I have ever heard. Thank you Costa Rica and thank you Run Like a Girl for allowing me to heal my soul and embrace life again.
I want to be part of this community so that I can help other people have these kinds of experiences and uplift other women to be the best they can be.