I met her freshman year in college, first day of dorm room load in. We were in a triple, and the third girl was a butch hockey player from central Pennsylvania that scared us both. So we became besties.Several decades later, not a lot has changed, except we would no longer be scared by a seventeen year old hockey player.
Back in the day she was Lori Z. She was everyone’s cheerleader, encourager, and sounding board. Post graduation, she lived at the beach, became an elementary teacher and counselor, got married. Then, she had her turn in the barrel, and found out just how strong she was. Her struggle had to do starting her family, and the heartbreak was real and deep. So she ran. She ran and cried. She ran and yelled at God. She ran and ran in Forest Gumpy manner to the realization that life is hard and messy and she would need to find her own joy. That she did.
Ghandhi said it better than I ever could:
Joy lies in the flight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.
She’s now a world class athlete. A triple threat triathlete. She’s traveled the globe competing for Team USA. Lori is phenomenal, and still the biggest cheerleader and encourager you’d ever want to meet. She’s also the best mom on the planet.
These days we’re separated by several states, but just as close as ever . . . cause she reached in during my time in the barrel, pulled me out, brought me to Charlotte last Mother’s Day and taught me to safely ride a road bike.