Life Lesson: Fan Girls Don’t Turn Their Backs

I am a fan girl.
I could try to tell you I can play it cool when in the presence of someone I admire and respect but so far that hasn’t proven to be true. I suppose there is still time but I’m not betting on it.
I have shared before that I have a girl crush on Sally McRae, an accomplished professional ultrarunner.
I stumbled upon Sally a few years ago on Instagram with her handle @Yellowrunner and I am not even sure when I learned her actual name.
But before long she made an impression; much like a meteor might.

There are countless and unending reasons that draw me to Sally as my quasi-guru, role model and athletic inspiration. To randomly list a few:

She is happy, gracious and seems to seriously dig in and enjoy life.
She has struggled and known true heartbreak and loss, yet still exudes joyousness.
She loves the trail partially because it’s difficult.
She works at her craft relentlessly and trains like a beast. (And if that’s not enough watch this.)

She’s always posting motivational and inspiring images and prose about her training and it helps me to push hard, too.

May 2016 Facebook: Yesterday someone asked if I was an MMA Fighter. Two weeks ago someone wondered why I don’t lose more weight if I run so much. And another curious mind asked why I’m not a triathlete since I’m “built more like a triathlete.” And to that I kindly say, “This is how I was created. I am Sally McRae. This is what Sally McRae “looks like”. I don’t need to “look like a runner”…I need to look the way I was created to look because it is then I can DO exactly what I was created to do.”

But in the midst of my struggles the last couple of months with my forced running hiatus, I found myself shirking my fan girl duties.
I am embarrassed to say I started avoiding her posts because watching her enthusiasm and elation while running only amplified my sadness about not running.
Then I saw a Facebook post from Sally about the recent passing of her aunt. I was reminded that I don’t just like her for her running but for the humanity she shares with her followers. Just like that, I was back in fan girl mode.

This turned out to be fortuitous for me.
Sally is running in Australia this weekend and has posted some amazing photos and video on her Instagram story.

Instagram story is not a feature I ever use other than to watch what others post so I don’t really know how it works. For some reason, while looking at a photo I noticed in the corner it said “message.”

So I commented. Even though it said message, I was thinking I was simply commenting like you do on Facebook or regular Instagram posts.
I didn’t think anything of it until Wednesday night I logged into Instagram and saw I had a direct message.


When I went to the page, I saw a message waiting for me from @Yellowrunner!!
Squeeeeeeeee!!!!!
What?!?!?!?!
She was replying to my comment about a beautiful Australian skyline.

I could barely take it. I announced to my husband that I could die now that Sally McRae had messaged me personally. Then, before God could take me up on my offer, I texted Lowi, too.
Just when I needed a boost the most, I got it and from the most perfect source.

My recovery is going to be slow and tedious but Sally McRae sent me a heart emoji so I can do anything now.
I am not going to shy away from this challenge even though it’s going to require me to work like never before. I am going to accept it full-on  because it’s offering me the chance to grow in ways I cannot even imagine.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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