"I was running from rejection, from being orphaned…. The Indians called me mixed blood. The white world called me Indian. I was running in search of my identity. I was running to find Billy."
Seeing this movie was the first time in my life that I thought about how running could impact and change my life, rather than just being something I did. Like Forrest Gump said about his running, “I never thought it would take me anywhere.” “Running Brave,” which was written by Billy and his wife, seemed to sink in at a cellular level somehow, telling my heart and soul that running was medicine and prayer and so many things wrapped in one....
Dealing with adversity
Something good happens to you when you learn the secret: that sports has nothing to do with ribbons, tropheys, and records. It has only to do with looking in the window of your soul and liking what you see. In my track season after seeing “Running Brave,” I went undefeated in three events, then got mononucleosis.
I had earned a good enough time in the 200 meter to qualify for the State meet. After laying in bed for weeks, I went to the State meet. While I was there I got dizzy just being in the sun. Warm-ups made me feel winded. But it was too late, at 8 years old, I already loved running too much. I was miraculously able to qualify for the finals and didn't finish last—still amazes me! I remember my dad carrying me to the car after I ran because I was so weak.
I'll be forever thankful to Billie Mills and “Running Brave” for showing me the glory and transformative power of running. I feel that seed with me in every race, every run—thankful that I'm involved in something bigger than myself.