Monday, December 12, 2011

Running Home- The book preview

I haven't post in such a long time. Somewhere down the line things became so complicated. I like the way my life is right now but I also miss the simplicity of what running used to be for me so I am going back to the basics again.
I created Running Home A Journey To End Violence, a project that will take me from my house in Delta, BC where I live to Mazatlan Mexico where I was born. I decided it was time to write the book i been meaning to write. I wanted to go to Everest before I did that, I was so focus on making it happen. A lot of people that knew about my desire to climb have always been worry about the dangers, I have never been afraid, i know that if somebody tells me it cant be done is only because they can't picture it themselves. We all fear something, and my fears aren't mountains, I respect them, but I don't fear them. Then I realized what my fear was, standing up to my past so I couldn't delay writing anymore.

I started writing it a few months ago and I became almost paralyzed, is hard reading my journals again, I keep them because I will not deny who I am.
I am so much different than the woman of those pages, but to write the book I had to take myself back to those times, it's not easy, the only thing that helps me get through it is to know that I am not there anymore.

Here is the preview of the first pages, is a rough draft, many more corrections will be done before it will be published.
But I wanted to share it with you, the people that through this blog has held my hand when it got really hard for me. Thank you :)

I open my eyes but I can’t see. Everything is blurry. I blink several times to see if that helps and try to move. I am facedown, I can feel and taste the blood pooled beneath me. Just then all the senses come at once, the sharp pain on my head, on my face, I hear the TV on the background and I am surprise that is in English, I have been living in Japan for about 4 years now, I moved to Tokyo at age 19 on an entertainer visa and most of my circle speaks Japanese. My eyes adjust to the intense light, I recognize the place, I been here before many times. Is the apartment of a guy I just dated, an American model that went back home a few weeks prior.

I try to get up but when I move I get nauseous and dizzy so I just roll to my side and lay on a fetal position. Then I hear him and I remember, his roommate! I ran into him last night. “ Well, sleeping beauty, you are finally up” He sounds upbeat and not very concerned that I am laying on his floor bloody “ What happened? ‘ I ask. “You had a bit too much to drink and you fell and hurt yourself” Sorry I said, deeply embarrassed but also confused.

When I saw him at the club I was on my way to meet some of my girlfriends before heading home after working late. Jason, a tall, all American boy was standing by the entrance and introduced me to his new roommate. “ Watch her” he told him“ Norma the fiery Mexican likes dating my roommates” Then he handed me a drink, I didn’t want to drink last night but I didn’t want to be rude either. Just one I thought.
Sure I have blacked out before, but this time was different, all I had was one drink, and then I don’t remember anything else.

Jason strokes my head as I lay there, I close my eyes again overwhelmed by the pain now being insufferable. Then I hear the sound of a zipper being undone.

I am a liar and a coward. Sure I didn’t intended to lie but by not speaking up I might as well be lying. All I ever wanted was to not hurt anymore

I successfully created a new identity for myself and almost got away with it too, married, had kids and formed a family. Nobody that meets me have an idea of what really went on my head for many years, the shame, the fear, the rage, all they see is a good mom. But I couldn’t build a house out of sand, all of a sudden I am watching it all being washed away, the divorce and later my oldest son diagnoses left me raw.

I been so busy fighting a dragon, one mean beast call blindness that is threatening my son that I didn’t notice it at the beginning. All of a sudden people around me are calling me brave,or amazing. All I am doing for my son is what I should have done for myself a long time ago. My kids are too important to not have the amazing life that they deserve. I feel uncomfortable with being praised, maybe because most of my life I have been accustomed to being told what I had done wrong.

I am an ultra distance runner. Since 2007 I have run long distance races all over the world, even a record on all 7 continents. I started running when my oldest son Karl was diagnosed with Cone Rod Dystrophy. I don’t remember much about that day, Doctors were struggling to figure out what was happening to him. I remember the words progressive, incurable, might lead to blindness. Karl was relieved, he had been telling us that he really had trouble seeing, Doctors didn’t believe him, they didn’t see anything wrong until one fine Doctor knew what to look for.

I was devastated; I though that life was being cruel in the most despicable way. I have never doubted that there is a God; many times I have trouble accepting that terrible things happen, even under his watch.

Running became my escape. I wouldn’t say that running saved my life, only I could do that. Over the years I have understood that nobody or nothing except for my attitude can save me or complete me. I have no control on things or people. The only thing I can control is my attitude and the choices I make.I decided long ago that I didn’t want to live my life in pain or suffer anymore,I have chosen to be positive no matter what, to have faith that this is where I am suppose to be.

Running is what I did to take the edge off when I felt the pain was becoming unbearable. It wasn't always that way, the unhealthy me used to burn herself with cigarettes when pain became too much. But not anymore. I have work so hard to build my new life and be the healthiest mother my children could have. The day after my son was diagnosed I went for a long run, I wanted to run until my skin came off but it didn’t instead I felt better when I returned home. During those long runs at 4am in the darkness I felt stronger finally. All the memories that I had worked so hard to erase came slowly at first, but once I allowed one memory to appear I couldn't stop them all from coming. I had wrongly assumed that if because I had never allowed myself to think about it they would eventually fade.I was standing at the eye of the storm.

Since the day I sat at the Doctors office with my oldest son Karl, I have fought a lot more than a terrible diagnose. Shortcuts lead to dead ends and I had encounter mine, the only way out of it was through it.

When I started running ultra races, some people asked me what I was running away from, what they didn’t know was that I was running towards something. It was time to look at evil in the eye; I was ready to confront my past.

Here is my story


Penny said...

I am so incredibly proud of you for having the courage to open yourself up and share your powerful, inspiring story Norma. You are an incredible woman!!

Much love, Respect and admiration for all that you are and all that you do!


Rudi Lopez Jr. said...

Norma thank you for your courage and sharing your story. We all have a story, someday I will share mine with you. Your courage to face your past and confront evil is admirable and will bring healing, peace, and freedom. I'm looking forward to reading your book when its finished. Your story will help others, inspire, comfort, give hope and plant seeds that will yield positive outcomes. Stay strong and stay the course! God bless you! Rudi

Norma Bastidas said...

Thank you both so much. I really appreciate the kind words.