April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. All month, I have been participating in different activities in honor of the month and to help spread awareness & education. Each year, I also strive to do something new and challenging as a way of establishing my personal and professional growth. Most people that know me tend to associate me with being a survivor of domestic violence. And, while that is what I started my journey speaking about and my primary focus, I am also a survivor of sexual assault. I participated in a 5k race against sexual assault, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve have.
The race was hosted by the Memphis and Shelby County Domestic and Sexual Violence Council. There were 111 individuals who signed up, with 87 people who actually ran. Of the racers, I was #44 overall (which is actually my current age) and my race tag was #45 which is what I will be on my birthday this year. I’m quite proud of myself for pushing through the pain and for not being discouraged with seeing so many others run past me. There’s some great significance in my last sentence. I pushed through the physical and emotional pain of a toxic relationship to get to this point of holistic peace in my life. I’ve learned to run my own race, recognizing that everyone’s journey and experiences are different. Therefore, the way that one responds to how they address it will be different.
The most important two points I want to make in this short blog is one, to challenge yourselves to do something new and two, operate within your comfort zone. I was not in the best physical shape to run this race, but I showed up, competed and finished. I did it in 42 minutes. I learned a lot about my mental and physical self. I established a foundation for myself and will continue to exercise my mind, body and spirit. I will continue to grow stronger and continue to endure. This is the overall attitude that I have as I continue my journey as a speaker, trainer, author, radio show host, wife, mother and survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault.