From the second we open our eyes to start our day, we have a choice.
A choice to get caught up in the stresses and negativity of life,
Or to be positive and make someone smile.
I don’t always make the right choice personally.
But today, I chose to smile and inspire.
And sing. And dance. And laugh. And play.
Because I am a Storm Chaser and this is what I was born for.
What do you choose to do today?...
When I first saw the Insane Inflatable Race in 2015, I signed up immediately. I knew it would be the perfect adventure for Chasing Stormi to tackle. I ended up having the summer flu that day, and missed the entire race.
It showed up on Facebook for the second time in 2016. I signed up again. In January, I fell down a flight of stairs, ended up in a boot, and had no option of getting in shape for the race. I began to think this race was cursed for me. I was frustrated. However, the boot finally came off, and I had a month to do what I could to prepare to be “insane.”
I went to 9Round Lenexa for help. Their whole workout concept had me hooked after my first free workout. Not only was I getting my butt kicked thoroughly, but I was having the time of my life doing it! I highly recommend you check them out.
My friend, James, and my favorite 13 year old, Breonna, were determined to keep me on track. They signed up for team Chasing Stormi so we could all be “insane” together. Breonna also went to 9Round with me. Mama Bear made us team shirts. I focused on not getting hurt before the race. James talked smack to make us all laugh.
Race day came. We were dressed and ready to tackle this storm! We got our numbers, I layered up in sunscreen, and my shoes were good to go. James and Breonna teased who would finish first. My main goal was to finish without passing out before I reached the finish line. We noticed that the obstacles were spread out and not one large obstacle. This turned out to be a good thing.
The horn blew, and we were off! Breonna took the lead. I was impressed at my ability to quickly climb the top of the first inflatable mountain. I knew I had 9Round to thank! James, being the awesome person he is, slowed down to keep me company at my slower pace. “No man left behind!” he said. “Oh I am not getting left anywhere,” I responded. I was finishing this thing no matter what!
Despite his entertainment of hiding to jump out and scare me, and pushing whatever obstacle he could in my path to slow me down, we still managed to catch up to Breonna all the same. She, too, slowed down so we could finish together. We may have been slower than some, but we were having the best time being “insane.”
The obstacles are no joke. They were spaced out so you could walk and collect your energy in between. I am pretty sure that my previous dancer grace had taken a vacation that day. However, I did not skip a single obstacle, no matter how many times I fell down, or how long it took me to complete it. James and Breonna cheered me on the whole way. James ran around to take pictures of me finishing, showing others of my accomplishment. Breonna cheered us both on all of the way to the very end. I was proud of my team. I was proud of myself. Just more proof that being “insane” is not a bad thing. This is a good thing since I earned that label very early in life….Ha!
Today, my fire gained fuel. I sat, with great pride and love, in the living room of the original Storm Chaser. I starred, in awe, at the beautiful face that held ornery eyes that would never age. Meet Nana. A woman that has greatly shaped me into the Storm Chaser I am today. She is the original.
A personal storm came out of nowhere when I was least expecting it. Right after graduation, I received a letter that would shatter the world as I knew it. A letter that stated I owed Park University over $1,000, and I was not allowed to get my grads or return to school until the balance was paid in full. I fell to the floor and cried. I was currently unemployed, and $1,000 plus dollars refused to fall from the sky all summer despite how hard I tried.
I have tried everything all summer long. Friends and family are trying to help, however, every time the money starts to collect “life happens.” My chest would ache where my heart seemed to no longer be located. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up! And now, I am at a standstill until life finally decides to give me a break.
Why $1,000 plus dollars? This is the really awesome part. When financial aid got split between two schools, I spent all semester talking to both Park and JCCC to make sure that everything was going like it should since I had never split between schools before. I was assured it was. The bill is for taking an extra class. My Park advisor enrolled me in an extra class that was not covered by financial aid, because she saw the amount going towards JCCC thinking it was still available for use. Now I am stuck with a very heavy bill.
Time is against me. Since May 25th, the storm came and swallowed my heart and soul whole. I haven’t felt this terrible since I was told I would never dance again. Something that had been a major part of my identity for the majority of my life was ripped away from me. Suddenly, I had become lost beyond words. All because of a single turn and a knee cap that wanted to go its own way. It was happening again. I was lost. Until two days ago.
The shell is different, but this sassy Storm Chaser arrived on Friday for the first time since I graduated. “Hello old friend,” I said smiling in the mirror. I am not sure why she is back right now when there are no answers or solutions in sight just yet, but I welcome her all the same. My shoes are still laced. I am still chasing the same storm. However, now I have heart and soul again and it feels so much better. I may or may not be able to return this Fall, but the fire has returned to fight the storm a lot better. We will see what the future holds. But today, this sassy Storm Chaser is here to rule, and hopefully is here to stay.
She laced up.
She faced the storm head on.
She conquered her struggles.
She stopped to enjoy the rain, then began to chase once more.
For she is a Storm Chaser, unstoppable and beautiful.
She is amazing beyond words, because she is You.
The storm is here.
The rain plummets the ground, and the sky erupts with light and sound. Life has you feeling like you're ready to drown.
Do you go hide under the covers until it is all done? Or do you grab your shoes, lace them up, and get ready to run?...
You are many things Storm Chaser….
You are NOT the following….
Stop focusing on what you are NOT, and focus on what you are meant to be. The positive force that comes to remove all negativity. A Storm Chaser. The best thing anyone could possibly want to be! Are your shoes laced up?....Because it is time to run once more. Let’s do this!
When you take medications that you can't live without, and it causes you to forever gain weight, it's a miracle if you can lose any weight at all. Although I am terrible and cheat more than I should, I have managed to lose 20 lbs. Good days or bad days, my laces are tied. I WILL keep chasing this storm to healthiness no matter how slow I run. For I am a Storm Chaser, and that's how we roll!
There are many things to celebrate tomorrow. It is the celebration of our great nation, and the freedom that we earned. It is a time to spend with family and friends, while enjoying the act of blowing things up. It is also a great day to celebrate YOUR freedom and independence. So go on girl! Go celebrate YOU!
Storms come in various degrees. Some storms are exciting. Some storms are annoying more than anything else. Other storms bring you to your knees. How are you supposed to get off your knees?
I realize this is easier said than done. Personally, I’m still repeating Step 5 at the moment. I know things are not easy right now. My own brain is protesting against me, making my body weak and unsteady to move. However, I am a Storm Chaser.
If life were meant to be easy, then I would never be satisfied. Boredom is not my style. Some days I am only able to get my shoes on with nothing more. Other days I am able to stand, and even breathe. Lately, I feel like I have not been able to get a foot slid before me in order to redo my laces.
There’s nothing wrong with being weak. There is nothing wrong with admitting it either. There also is nothing wrong with asking for help. However, no storm ever defines you. It only strengthens you, even if it doesn’t feel like in in the moment.
You are not only an amazing human being, but you are not alone. We are meant to struggle, because we are strong enough to handle it while helping others. So here goes….sliding one foot in front to tie my shoe laces again….
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!