When you have your first setback, are you willing to keep going?
When you have a hard day — a hard month — are you willing to work through it?
When your plan falls apart, are you willing to see beyond the pain and frustration?
When your faith and limits are tested, are you willing to have patience?
When your dream feels out of reach, are you willing to show up anyway?
When the odds are stacked against you, are you willing to bet on you?
When everyone thinks you’re crazy, are you brave enough to believe in yourself?
When the path forward feels impossible, are you still willing to follow your determined heart?
Having a determined heart is about your willingness to work for the dream, not for the guarantee of success, because you wouldn’t be whole without it. You wouldn’t be you without it.
I want you to meet the woman who inspired our Determined Heart design, and who continues to be an inspiration to me, and in this specific case, my creative muse. When I tell you that our designs are inspired by real women who are doing brave things, I think it’s increasingly important to share their story so that you can connect even deeper with the design.
I have watched my dear friend Amy chase her dreams for the past seven years. She’s accomplished some incredible things during this time, and experienced some of the most amazing peaks that many of us dream of. But, it has been watching her surrender to her valleys and work from places of great pain, disappointment and heartache that have left me in complete awe.
Since 2014, in every goal she’s chased, Amy has worn her beloved red flower, and Boston was no different.
This past October, Amy crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (She crushed it: Course PR for her AND she qualified for Boston, again!)
But it was her journey to that race that is the definition of a determined heart — a woman on a mission to go after her dreams.
A woman who faced injury after injury, and who found herself in peak marathon training only to have old injuries revisit her and force her to the sidelines once again.
A woman who taught herself how to roller ski, then cross country skate ski and trained for the Birkebeiner 50K while injured from running.
A woman who listened to her body and worked with her doctors and therapists (and actually did ALL the PT exercises at home) to proactively fight off future injuries. A woman who learned to swim, bike and strength train to balance what she was asking of her body on the pavement.
A woman who gets up early on the busy days with three active daughters and makes the time for her workout.
A woman whose heart has been broken over and over again, but has remained patient and steadfast in every recovery and setback.
I think that is what I admire most about Amy, how she balances patience with grit.
So many of us push through injuries because the end goal is so consuming — we want it so badly that we push aside what is good for us and hope our bodies will hold out just long enough for us to get it.
Amy doesn’t work like that. She’s methodical and focused, and when her body has asked her stop — as heartbreaking as it has been — she’s listened. I believe it has been her willingness to sit and surrender with the setbacks and adjust and recalibrate, that has given her so many second chances to go after her dreams.
A determined heart has patience and trusts the process, and knows that when she gets another chance, it’ll all be worth it.
For Amy, the goal wasn’t just qualifying and getting back to Boston … it was requalifying AGAIN at Boston.
She did it. But make no mistake, the victory isn’t just Boston. It’s the determination to never give up when the world gave her so many opportunities to do so.
It’s the determination to continue to trust and follow her heart.
Thank you, Amy, for teaching and inspiring us! And for all the determined hearts out there, please shop this new design in hoodies, tanks, tees, sweatpants, jacket and beanies in our Holiday Collection.
Not chasing it — the dream, the finish line, the goal — stings more than keeping yourself safe and away from disappointment.