Coincidence or Message

24 days left until the start of the 2017 New York City Marathon, my goal race for the year and my bucket list race for life.  I’ve shared the training highs, aha moments and struggles.  Anyone who has trained for a marathon knows that #thestruggleisreal, especially when doing so as a mere mortal.  I am a mother, wife, sister, friend, Principal and the list goes on an on.  I am not a professional runner, nor was I blessed with a body that can run like a gazelle, gracefully prancing through the woods.  Nope, I was blessed with a body that can run like a turtle, sometimes running through peanut butter, but this body can run indeed and for that I am thankful. Seriously, anyone who has run 26.2 miles, or any distance, knows the distance is the same no matter how fast or slow you run.

For me, it’s never really been about winning the race.  It’s always been more about doing it and finishing it.  For me it’s always been about the journey, the learning and the personal growth that comes along with both.  As an educator, I am working with my staff on teaching growth mindset principles to students.  Every day, we seek to cultivate and motivate our students to use their grit, determination and tenacity to power through struggles.  We know, and the research shows, that these traits will carry our students far in life.  We also know that we are always role models for our students and as such, must always practice what we preach.  How could I ever then, in good conscience, expect my students to struggle through to overcome their challenges if I quit and give up when faced with my own?

As I’ve hit this last obstacle, I’ve envisioned myself in what we loving call the Learning Pit at my school.  I’m down in that darn pit once again, but I am not going to stay there for long.  I am working hard and working my way out, everyday a little closer to my goals.  I do have moments where I realize that staying down would be far easier for me, but I also know the sheer joy of success when I reach the other side.  This week, I’ve had my moments.  A severely claustrophobic person heading into an MRI is not a pretty sight people.  In fact, you know you’re exceptionally challenged when the technician says to you upon entering – “Oh, I remember you.”  Yes, the struggle is real!  I admit to pushing the panic button once in the stand up MRI, clutching it the whole time and wanting to push it over and over again.  I admit this week to staying in bed for one day and skipping my scheduled workout.  It was the day after the MRI and I just “needed a moment” to regroup.  I admit to texting my coach Jessica and telling her I think we may need to break up.  But, as always happens on this crazy journey the signs to keep going kept coming at me a mile a minute.  These signs led me to once again question, “Are these signs a coincidence?, A sign? or God telling me – get up girl you got this and I got you.”

This week my local paper published a short article on my journey written by a man who interviewed me a few weeks ago.  Funny that it showed up in my life on Monday – Monday, Monday, you all know the day.

“Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin´ all of the time”

My running Instagram friend’s book finally arrived. I also got the audible version – something I’ve never done.  Listening to her beautiful voice as I walk, run or lay around has been so motivational this week.  Thank you Mirna Valerio for sharing your story with us all.  You are incredible!

As I was watching the news this morning, I saw an interview with a veteran who had lost both legs during his tour of duty.  He is now on a journey to run 31 marathons in 31 days on prosthetic legs!  I mean come on now, that is just totally amazing.  I listened to him say how he just accepted his loss pretty quickly and moved on to turn it into something good.  Well, this young man touched my heart and fostered some motivation to reengage with my climb out of this darn learning pit.

Finally, as always, I have to thank my coach.  Many coaches when receiving a break up text which included – “We’ll begin again in January and rebuild.” – would have responded OK, see you then, be well.  But mine, nope not her.  She was not letting me off the hook, rather she decided to throw a rope into the pitt and implore me to take hold of it.  She gave me the Moonstruck speech – you know the one – “Snap out of it” followed by a slap.  She reminded me that to just choose to heal, without strengthening or working to cure the dysfunction would just leave me back on the other side of this darn learning pit.

Back to the beginning of this journey is definitely not what I have in mind either.  I’ve put too much work into this struggle to just go home.  So, I am taking the weekend to regroup, alter my plans and get my butt outside to RUN.  My long run is Sunday and I’m shooting for – AS MANY AS I CAN, AS SLOW AS I MUST AND WITHOUT ANY TIME, HEART RATE OR PACE GOALS PLANNED.  WOOHOO

I feel my hand gripping that rope, I see my feet climbing the other side of the pit’s wall. Thanks to the signs sent my way this week, the message has been received loud and clear.  Onward!

Special thanks to my dear friend and coach Jessica Leggio for never giving up on me.  This is what good teachers do, they teach, push and love us.

Feeling like giving up?  Need some messages yourself?  Check out these links for some inspiration and keep climbing!

A Beautiful Work In Progress You will laugh with her, you will cry and most importantly you will leave motivated. Highly recommend the audible version through Amazon.

31 Marathons in 31 Days
Amazing story of overcoming obstacles

Last, but not least, meet my beautiful coach Jessica Leggio. Call her to set up a consultation and you will leave motivated to overcome your challenge. Mention my blog, or name – Laura Hess Kump – and get a free in person consultation!

Social Connections

What’s a runner to do when they are feeling down and out? Reach out and connect to other runners. The running community is made up of people from all walks of life.  We come in all different cultures, sizes, shapes, genders, religions and colors.  In this world of divisiveness, the running community is one of strong solidarity. When I was told last week I needed to get a MRI to rule out a femoral stress fracture I nearly lost it. I have worked so long and hard to run the New York City Marathon on November 5th. There was no way I could wrap my head around the thought of yet another injury delaying this goal. I decided then and there that no matter what I AM finishing this marathon.

Last Saturday, I put a post on my NYCM training page, comprised of hundreds of runners from all over the world, asking – “Are there any other injured souls out there interested in possibly walking the course and stopping for a beer in every borough?”  It was meant as a joke and a way to turn a negative situation into something positive.  I never anticipated the response to this post.  As I went through the day, I was totally distracted by the hundreds of responses that started pouring in immediately. Nancy Nowack was one of the first to respond and she truly has been a lightening rod in keeping this movement going.  And, as it turns out, we share the same running coach.  Coincidence we connected?  I think not!

What started as a simple joke post, ended up being a lifeline for many who thought they were down and out.  One runner responded from the Netherlands that this is his 39th NYC Marathon run and he planned to walk the entire course because he is currently unable to run.  Another, a runner said she plans to walk the course on crutches, something she has done at several other marathons.  My friend Helen, tore her meniscus and thought she was out of the marathon for a second year.  She now plans to walk the course.  Nancy decided to organize a separate Facebook group for anyone injured looking to still do the course that day.  It already has over 100 runners. Some of the comments I read this morning made my heart lift – “This group gave me renewed hope.”, “I can’t express what this group has done for my head, my anxiety has lessened.”  They even want to start a gratitude thread for Nancy!  YAY – way to lift each other up.

As for me, I still hope to run this race.  My coach Jessica is supporting my functional strength work and nutrition.   My MRI is scheduled for Thursday and the doctor promised me he’d read it and get back to me STAT with my results.  I know that even if it is a stress fracture, I’m pushing through that day to the finish line.  After that I’ll rest and recover.  I’ve come too far to give up and one more long run won’t kill me.  Most of my training is completed and I’m confident I can finish.  I never planned to win the darn race anyway, so who cares if it takes me a little bit longer to get it done.  Now, I also have the additional benefit of knowing there are so many other people in similar situations to mine who will be out there on the course that day.  What this experience has reminded me of, is that whenever you feel down and out reach out and make a human connection to others.  Don’t waste time on self pity, get yourself out there and find others who are in the same boat.  Together we can lift each other up and get this job done.  Together we are stronger than we are alone.

Are you injured, thinking you are down and out?  This post may be your lifeline to get back in the game.  Here’s how –

  1. Get an evaluation by a Functional Movement Specialist – Contact Jessica Leggio at    IMG_3210

Mention my blog and receive a free consultation visit to assess what could be preventing you from running.  This work is life changing and my only regret is that I didn’t find Jessica sooner.

2. Connect to our group of injured runners on Facebook at –

You’ll find many others walking similar paths and hopefully we will see you at the starting and finish line on 11/5/2017.

Drop me a line to get connected.  We are in this together!














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