Currently residing in Kansas City Misssouri Erica's situation seems pretty textbook: alcoholic father begets child of an alcoholic who becomes an alcoholic. As she says, "because alcohol was a constant in my house I thought I’d be able to recognize in my self when it was time to reign it in."
In 2009 she made a decision to face her deamons. "I went to see a counselor because I couldn’t stop having thoughts of harming myself. I had a small child and I knew I had come to a fork in the road. I was either going to keep living and take care of my child or I was going to commit suicide and be done with the life I was dealt".
The counselor asked me how much I drank. I was honest with her and at the end of her assessment told me that I needed to stop drinking if I was to begin to work on the other issues I was facing. It was like the heavens parted at that one suggestion. I had never thought that drinking was perpetuating what was going on with me even though I’d watched it occurring with my father most days of my growing up.
Erica cleaned out the cupboards on a Sunday and reported to rehab on a Monday to begin her journey.
A year after getting sober her mother became sick and then later was diagnosed with a heart condition. This diagnoses helped her to decide decided to take better care of herself and learn to run. "I was never an athlete in school nor the person who participated in anything except partying, but in my mid-thirties I decided I wanted to finally be a runner."
Erica began with the Couch25k app and a membership to the Y. Within a few months she decided to run a half marathon. As she said, "I didn’t know what I was getting in to but once I finished that race with tears streaming down my face I was hooked".
"Since then I’ve run many 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons. That first race is one that I’ve done multiple times. I call it “my race” and it’s very special to me since it was my first." "I have run one marathon and attempted a second. Running has taught me that I can continue to overcome when the going gets rough through my own strength and that I can survive my own disappointments without drowning away in a bottle. The running life is not always easy but that’s what makes the accomplishment even greater."
One of Erica's goals is to become an ultra runner without losing the enjoyment running brings. Erica keeps grounded by telling herself that pain is temporary and the only person she has to beat is the person she was yesterday!