Where to begin? Having just returned from an amazing trip to Gig Harbor, WA for the Race for a Soldier 1/2 Marathon, it’s hard to put into words what this past week/weekend meant to me! Not only was I reunited with the wonderful Hanger Clinic staff and fellow IDEO buddies, but I was fortunate enough to meet new patients and their families as well as be a part of the Race for the Soldier event with the military community.
When I think back to the person I was two years ago, I see a girl who had flown half-way across the country to the Hanger Clinic having been through 4 surgeries and countless therapies, not yet willing to take “the pain management” route so many doctors and specialists handed to her. To her, this would mean giving up & that was simply not an option. Never thinking that a soccer injury would change her life forever, but not yet knowing the depths of her determination and the extent of her will, she prayed the IDEO would help her. She never let herself think about how hard these times had been or what she would do if it didn’t work out because she knew if she did, the weight would be too heavy to carry. Fast forward two years from the day she hobbled into the clinic to receive the IDEO, she returns to run a half-marathon. How does this happen? 3 words: Faith, Hope, and Love. Sounds cliché but honestly, it’s true and I’ll tell you why.
Faith: I always knew this was not how God was going to let my story end. Never lose your faith or your smile. Life may not turn out how you want it to, but if you stay positive and keep your faith, God will see you through and maybe give you an IDEO (•‿•)
Hope: He who has hope, has everything. Never, ever lose your hope. No matter how many people tell you to stop believing.
Love: Without the love of family, friends, coworkers, I would be not be where I am today. However, it is Ryan Blanck’s passion to make a difference in the world and his love of helping people with the IDEO that has been most life-changing.
I am SO thankful for how the IDEO has changed my life. It’s truly incredible, which is why I think I felt so emotional about this whole experience! I can’t tell you how many people told me I would never run again and then to have that given back to me and run a half-marathon — it’s the best gift I’ve ever been given. There will never be enough “thank you’s” that I can give to Ryan Blanck for what he has done for my life.
|Me & the amazing Ryan Blanck|
Lastly, I just want to say I was deeply moved by seeing all the patients who received their IDEOs while I was there last week. It’s truly remarkable to see how much the IDEO program has grown since I was last there. From young to old, I loved talking with everyone and hearing their stories and passing on my “IDEO wisdom.” If I could just hangout there all day, everyday I would! So much fun.
|Hanger Clinic team @ Race for a Soldier|
So with all that said, let’s talk about outfits 🙂
As you may know, I am a firm believer that fall and winter are the absolute best times of the year for IDEOnista outfits! Long oversized sweaters and dresses with tights / leggings / skinny jeans are a perfect look for work, parties, or just hanging out! There are so many options! Check out a few outfits below! One of my favorite finds this year is a boot sock that feels like a regular sock at the bottom and at the top has a cute little design. See first picture to the left. I’ve wrapped the material over the top of the knee clasp – so cute! These are made by Nine West — check ’em out here: Boot cuff – Nine West. The reason these are so great is because the only fabric part of the sock is at the cuff so it doesn’t bother your skin or take up too much room in the IDEO! (& they come in several colors!).
Friends, as you go on your way this week, remember that though it can be difficult to look back at the hard times that you’ve been through, it is in these moments that you see who you are and who you have become. Without struggle, there is no strength. #nevergiveup