This story is the third part in a four-part series about our Halfsy Hero Julia Wessel. Our series will follow Julia and three other heroes as they train for the 2018 Good Life Halfsy.
There are hundreds of miles in a half marathon. Race day only includes 13.1 of them. Julia Wessel may cross the finish line alone, but she carries with her the strength and love of the team who have taken millions of steps beside her.
Those steps have brought her closer to her sister in law, who often travels to run beside Julia. Her daughter Ashley, who registered to run the race beside Julia, is counting on her mother to finish far ahead of her.
“Ashley has been dealing with some pain, her side, and her lung. She’s still pushing and going hard, but she told me ‘Mom, don’t you dare walk! Don’t even slow down. Don’t wait for me! Finish strong, a lot of people are looking to you.’ It’s hard to think about leaving her behind, but I know that she’s strong and that she’ll listen to her body. She’s amazing. I tried my darndest to screw her up, but she turned out ok. I blame her father…”
The 26,200 or so steps of the Good Life Halfsy are never taken alone, and Julia is grateful for the people who send her love and support every day.
“They are the coolest…” she says of her tribe. “A couple of weeks ago we decided to have a ladies’ camping trip. Friends, and friends through 6 degrees of separation. There were 42 of us and not one fight. Just a great time!”
And every day that she runs, smiles, laughs, or wears novelty socks, Julia expands her team of weird, wonderful women. Each one of them ready with a push, a motivational song, or a word of encouragement to keep each other wild and strong.
You yourself might find that you’re connected to Julia. If you’re not directly a member of her tribe, you might find that she has recently become a member of yours. While her own Facebook page goes long stretches without an update from her, a glance at The Good Life Halfsy Runners page shows Julia vocal and active, using her time on social media to push, cheer, and encourage other runners.
As she marvels at the strength, love, and support she is offered by the women around her, those women marvel at her, the nucleus of so many circles. The thread that runs through these groups of loosely knit, incredible women. That she herself is a beacon to those she looks up to.
Every person who runs The Good Life has come a long way to get here. Julia knows that with the changes she’s made, and the team of incredible people she has behind her, there is no limit to how much further she can go.
Check back for more Halfsy Heroes, and to read the last installment of Julia’s story!