A real champion!
I’ve always been standing still in time seemingly chasing a fantasy that filled my mind. I have the desire, the passion and the work ethic of a champion but I do not have the ability. I may never be a champion but this past week my friend, Lisa Bliss, gave me an opportunity to observe a champion at work. I watched her stay within herself and run her own race at a very consistent pace and then explode with less than 15 miles left to win. She methodically wore down each of her competitors and then out of know where she laid the hammer down. She was in 4th place as we approached the 120 mile mark but then motored past two ladies within 5 minutes before catching up to the leader at the 122 mile mark in Lone Pine. Once in Lone Pine there was no stopping her. She stayed focused and worked hard to increase what was a 1 mile lead at the bottom of the mountain to a mile and a half over the 13 mile climb up. She never once lost her concentration and never considered the race over until she crossed the finish line which she did in 34:33. She was gracious enough to allow me and the rest of her crew to feel as though we were a part of her victory but in reality Lisa worked hard, overcame a lot of challenges and fought her way to victory while realizing a dream of her own.
The night before I left I paid a visit to Lisa to let her know just how proud I was of the effort she put forth. I told her with tears in my eyes that though we may never see one another again she left me with something I can not ever forget. She left me feeling as though I made a contribution toward her victory. She is a true champion, a humble champion, and a gracious champion. Though I spoke of her outstanding performance the only thing she took from my words is that we may never again see one another. I could hear concern in her voice and saw a tear in her eye which told me just how much of a heart Lisa has. Every one of her friends means so much more to her than a victory. Lisa is my friend and someone who will remain in my heart until the day I die.
My last duty as a crew person was to help her through the airport to make sure she found her way safely through without having to struggle. She fought me tooth and nail every time I made an attempt to carry her bags because she said the clock had stopped and my term as helper/crew was over. I told her that the clock never stops for my friends and that no matter what I would be there for her at any time she needed me. She’s the sister I never had and someone I would protect until the bitter end.
When things settle down a bit I plan to write a story documenting my experiences as a member of Lisa’s crew. It will certainly be long as I watched her run the gamut of emotions and defeat challenges she never before incurred while ultimately finding new life to win. The crew themselves also ran the gamut of emotions as 5 individuals who never before met spent over 34 hours working together as a team to help Lisa to victory. Lisa will be given the first opportunity to read my story and I will only post it publicly is she gives me permission to do so.