At the end of the 2015 summer, I was having a really hard time in my personal life. My outlet on handling such stress, is to run. This peaked my interest in hopping back on the comeback train and going after some unfinished business on the track and on the roads.
Back story: I moved to DC in the fall of 2013 to focus on my career and to advocate for Native American issues such as health, education, youth, suicide prevention and education (many more too)! Up until this point, running was my main focus. I was willing to sacrifice this passion for another. I kept up with running for my first year but it was incredibly hard to keep up with the training and working long hours, all while trying to make a name for myself. This started to wear on me so I got out of competitive running and just ran when I could, no pressure, and for as long as I wanted. 2015 was my toughest year, mentally, physically, and health wise. I had so many achievements and positive things happen, all while battling a relapse with an eating disorder and with a lot of stress from personal issues. But by the fall, I got control of it and have been doing very well with conquering my eating disorder and handling this stress of trying to do everything possible, because I am trying to make a difference. I rearranged my priorities and haven’t looked back.
I am very excited and very happy with the road I am on! I am overwhelmed with the support I receive and the way things are falling into place. So now it’s October 2015 and I find myself volunteering again with Billy Mill’s organization, Running Strong for American Indian Youth for the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon. While taking pictures during the luncheon, Billy mentioned to me that I should run it the next year (meaning, this year). I laughed a little bit, thinking I am not ready for a marathon just yet. I told him “maybe Lala, maybe.” It’s race day for our Team Running Strong athletes, and I am so excited to be cheering for them. As my Tiblo (brother) and I race towards to the finish (we didn’t race, took the metro), I see so many runners crossing the line. I hear the stories of our Team Running Strong athletes and I’m thinking, “I can do this.” At the end of the day, I tell Billy, “I’ll run for Team Running Strong next year, and I’ll try to win it.” Afterwards, realizing what I said, I was like “crap,” but still didn’t deviate my thinking that I couldn’t win it, but that it was possible, and that it would be a great goal to work towards. I realized that even if I didn’t win it for him and for Indian Country, that it was more so the story and my mission to represent Team Running Strong. Our Native youth are sacred and our future and if I can be a role model by doing this, then I will do it by doing what I love, by running!
Taking this seriously, I contacted my former New Balance coach from Boston, and he reluctantly agrees to coach me again! Now we have a plan. That plan is, to get back in shape. The last few months have been good and bad, because I haven’t put my body through this in about a year with inconsistent running, health issues, and some time off from running. But now it’s December 2015, and I am contacted by staff from Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
I AM HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT I WILL BE RUNNING THE 2016 120TH BOSTON MARATHON FOR TEAM RUNNING STRONG! Not only will I be running for our Native Youth but representing my Tribe, Kul Wicasa Oyate/Lower Brule Sioux Tribe! This definitely changed the racing schedule for 2016 but you can’t say no to Billy Mills. I’ll also not only be representing Team Running Strong, but my running/athlete team I created myself, Team 1ndigenous (Stay tuned for more information on that)!
I’m one of 5 women to be racing. I can’t wait to toe the line with them as we run for Indian Country and for ourselves as we pursue our goals! I have my competitive time completion goals and working towards that now!
I will be fundraising the required amount of $5,000 for Running Strong for American Indian Youth but my bigger goal will be to raise $6,500 or more. All of the donations are tax deductible and will be going towards our Native youth. Deadline for fundraising goal is June 30, 2016.
So, I am on the road towards Boston with a pit-stop/tune up at the NYC United Airlines Half Marathon in March. I also foresee random road 5ks/10ks prior but those are the main two races, then the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2016. My fitness is there, my body remembers it but it’s also saying “whyyyyyyyyyyyy!” Now to work on the endurance part. It’ll be a fun and painful endeavor, but I feel happier and motivated to do it!
Click on the link (better to do from a computer than through the phone!) or go to Running Strong’s Donate page (better to do on computer) and click on my name (Jordan Marie Daniel) and enjoy the words and photos I provided! Help me reach my goal! Share my page! Donate (all information is provided in link on how to donate or donate right through the site!)! I’ll keep up with my running story towards Boston along the way! And thank you! I’m very excited for 2 plus hour long runs! Have a wonderful day!