Laura Nieto is (in no particular order!) a mother, a full-time team leader of a global corporation, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a marathon runner. She lives a full dynamic life and she counts her blessings. In 2013 she began a journey to align herself to serve a deep desire within. She engaged in running the World Marathon Majors (WMM), which is composed of six races. She ran Chicago (2013), New York (2013), Berlin (2014), Tokyo (2015), London (2016), and on Monday April 17th, 2017, she completed the WMM when she crossed the finished line in Boston.
I am touched by her “why I run marathons” story for many reasons. What tugs at my heart the most is her connection to her father and how she speaks of how he inspired the adventurer within her. It was an adventure they would talk about embarking on together- she would run, they would travel the world. First up, the Berlin Marathon as he served there while in the Army and they agreed to go there together. Two weeks after they made their commitment, her father unexpectedly passed away.
She shares that in a marathon, miles 15-18 are challenging as that is when runners have the possibility of hitting “the wall.” I think we can all understand the feeling of emotionally hitting a wall. No matter what venture we are engaging in, focus and conditioning in all areas of our lives is of the essence. Mastery is the name of the game. While in Berlin, upon approaching mile 16, she heard Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, her father's all-time favorite artist. She experienced renewed air under her wings and ran the remaining 10 miles of the race with strength and energy. Her eyes light up as she shares this part of her adventure, “Lucia, what are the chances that I would be running in Berlin and at the very moment when I most needed a boost, a live band at a pub in Germany would be playing my Dad’s favorite artist!? "
She added, “My Mom is amazing, she is why I am who I am. However, I am an adventurer because my father encouraged me to always follow my heart. He always saw the possibility of “what if.” He would always say, “Mija if you want to do it, go for it!” "
So she did, she ran!
Let’s not underestimate the “coincidences “ in our daily life. Let’s pay more attention to the longing that wakes up our heart’s desires. Let’s say YES more often and surrender to that which takes us on a journey that will offer us opportunities for growth and transformation. Let’s not let fear and resistance paralyze us in our tracks but rather allow those feelings be the flag that waves us on to commence or continue our journey. Let’s allow that which inspires us to move us into action and run!