breaking records- with a little help from our (girl)friends…

Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino

i read a quote this week that reminded me adversity  can break us or it can inspire us to break records. the good  kind.  this breast cancer awareness month, records have been broken.  the record number who lost their lives to this dreadful  disease is  down and awareness of prevention  is up.  she colors my day surpassed its previous reach.   the pink crayon has now  been clicked over ll4,000 times – each time creating for a cure.   project miracle is delighted with these numbers.

and we know, ultimately it’s always just about one.  one story. one woman.  one friendship at a time.  no one breaks records alone.  not the good kind.  not even our  own personal best. can you imagine trying to reach your goal without the “that-a-girl’ support of a good friend cheering  us on the path and celebrating with us at the finish line?   all it takes is one friend.   here’s my one story.  it’s about my friend, kelly.  we have been inseparable from the start.

“i am woman hear me roar in numbers to big to ignore.”  kelly and i sang out helen reddy as loud as we could.  our legs were pumping as hard as they could to make our swings fly high above the playground.  we were in the fifth grade.  it was the last day of school before summer.  so we decided to show up in halter tops.  we were brave and wanted to break the glass ceiling of a dress code we thought was invented by the self righteous. the result: we were sent home to change.   a moment of adversity, but neither of us opted to break the dress code again.   instead, we got into student council and figured out how to change the rules.   and that’s what we’ve done.  year after year.  a kept roots in arizona.  kelly moved to hollywood.  but we  have never really been apart.  many years later, both kelly and i sadly lost friends to breast cancer.  breast cancer?   we had never heard of such a thing when we were young girls.  kelly became one of the founders of the women’s cancer research fund.  she inspired me to follow her lead and turn my grief into charitable  good.

then, about seven years ago, kelly began to  ride another new wave.  literally.  she met a volleyball player named gabby and her surfer husband, laird.  (laird was to become the subject of the current new york times bestseller, “The Wave”,)  kelly spoke about her new companions endlessly and i didn’t get tired of hearing it.  i watched as in their company, kelly became brand new and better physically than i had ever remembered her at any other time in her adult life.  she was not just living in the moment but exploding into it.  like we both did when we were nine.  this past summer, i got to meet laird again and read about him as well.  with kelly at the inspiration-helm, my own desire to not just live in the moment  but explode (in the good way) into it was ignited.  i am now breaking my own personal  record and working  daily to  get back into better physical shape than i have been in years. i feel wonderful.   next summer, i’m going to be in california at the pacific with kelly and my daughter and our very own surfboards on the waves.  the baby waves.  exploding into the moment.  as we close out this last week of breast cancer awareness month, this is my plan and my prayer. for my one story.  for all of our stories.  that we be alive, healthy and grateful together.  and breaking records.

who do you pray to be with next october?  have you told her yet?  i’d love to hear your story.

peace and blessings

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