We recently participated in the YWCA 2 Minute 5K. This was our third time to register and second time to actually do it 🙂
It was not easy to do. It was a lot of walking at one time for me, as my longest stretches of walking these days involve chasing an active 2 1/2 year old. It was cold and windy and it didn’t take long for my feet (unaccustomed to serious walking) to start hurting.
As we were walking the 5K I found some similarities between participating in it and my experience of recovering from rape that seemed worth sharing…
“This is hard” I heard myself whine at one point. We were walking kind of fast into some pretty strong wind and I just didn’t find it enjoyable. Well, recovering from rape has been hard too.
“I don’t wanna keep going, but turning around won’t help because the car is up there at the finish line” It’s true I wanted the walking in the wind to be finished, to not have to deal with it. I wanted to sit down somewhere nice and warm instead of walk a few more cold windy miles. Redefining my life following the assault hasn’t always been easy. There have been times that I didn’t want to keep dealing with the new reality, but since I can’t turn back time and undo the event I keep going forward.
Other participants were cheering for us. The fast ones who ran and were passing us on their way to the finish line before we even made it half way spoke encouraging words. Volunteers were there to give out water, smiles, and “you can do it’s”. A crowd was at the finish line with medals and cheers. My recovery journey has included lots of people in lots of places who have walked alongside me and cheered me on. Each time I’ve needed a boost, it’s been there just waiting for me to seek it out.
It felt good to cross the finish line. Even though we came in last with a time of one hour and seven minutes, I felt a sense of joy and accomplishment as I crossed the line and received my medal. (this moment was a bit sweeter knowing that we’d beaten our previous time by about 5 minutes) Each time I’ve overcome a hurdle that was a result of the assault I’ve felt a sense of accomplishment and joy. I’ve had moments of victory over challenges that are a direct result of being raped. Those moments of victory feel good.
Walking the whole 5K wasn’t easy, but it was possible, I did it. And, I’m here to tell you that recovering from rape isn’t easy, but it’s possible, I’ve done it!
I’m thankful for each person that has assisted me along the way and I’m hopeful that I can provide that same encouragement for someone who comes along after me and finds themselves in need.