Squawk Radio

Thursday, March 16, 2006

KAREN HAWKINS GETS "MUSHY"

This is it. My last blog for Squawk Radio. (sniff, sniff) Had I known it would be this much fun, I’ve have had my own blog . . .

But no. That would mean work. And I’m allergic.

Which is why all of my personal, real life heroes are do-ers. I admire people who overcome the odds and accomplish things I only dream about.

I make a great fan. NO ONE has mastered fandom like I have. Ask Hugh Jackman. (Oh yes, he knows my name. He had to write it on the restraining order. Bet he doesn’t know YOUR name, does he?)

Normally, I’d say I admire Hugh Jackman more than anyone else, but while I admire and lust after Hugh, he’s not my real hero. Not this week.

This week I am saving all of my fandom for Iditarod musher Rachael Scdoris, of Bend, Oregon. Not only is Rachael racing in one of the most grueling races in the world, but she’s also legally blind.

Blind. And racing in the Iditarod.

Can you imagine it? The cold? The wind? The physical effort? The incredible stamina and sheer determination this woman must possess? If it’s under fifty degrees in the morning, I won’t go outside to get my newspaper. Yet here’s this woman and she’s OUTSIDE in it. OUTSIDE in a very big way.

Every morning, my daughter and I rush to the computer to check Rachael’s standings (
http://www.gorachaelgo.com/iditarod.html) and gulp down the news. Where is she now? How is she faring? How are the dogs? What will the terrain be like today?

My daughter and I have had some wonderful, incredible conversations about Rachael. About what it must be like to be blind and be in this race. About what it must be like to be female and be in this race. About what it must be like to be in this race at all.

Rachael has made us both examine our lives and decide we need more challenges; we need to push ourselves to do more, be more, become more. Comfort is a lovely thing, but accomplishment will keep you young at heart and strong of spirit.

I humbly take off my large, floppy hat (the one that keeps my delicate skin from getting sunburned) and I bow in the general direction of Alaska.

Rachael Scdoris, you ROCK.

Because of Rachael, I’ve signed up for a race/obstacle course/trail run. I’ve never done anything like this before and I may well be the last one to cross the finish line, if I make it at all. But if Rachael can mush the Iditarod, surely I can accomplish this one trail run. I’ll let you all know how it goes. I begin training on Monday.

Is there someone whose accomplishments have inspired you? Do you share your fan-dom with your daughters/sisters/friends? If you could accomplish one thing (there are no limits) what would it be?
Teresa Medeiros, 7:21 AM
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