I remember it well. It was a cool, crisp March evening that I decided to start climbing my mountain. Or should I say my 5K training mountain on my treadmill. I was excited and had the mindset that this was going to be easy. I ran track in high school – sprints.

I’m sure it has to be similar.

I organized my area: treadmill, posted my Couch Potato to 5K in 12 week training sheet, calendar to mark off my progress and taped pictures of my 3 kids for motivation. My motivation was my kids but particularly my son Tyler.

We lost him to a car accident in August of 2013. I remember him always getting up by himself early each summer morning to weight lift and run. I decided if he could do it I could do it too! So with water bottle in hand and music playing I started my new journey. Some days were easier than others. I began tracking and learning more about long distance running on the internet.

There were many obstacles.

I had to play games with my head like, “just run for one more song.” Once I got there then I could focus on the next goal. Mountains, yes there were mountains especially om the days that were cold, when I was tired and I just didn’t feel like running. That is when the pictures came in to play. I would get on the treadmill and focus on my kids so much it was like nothing else mattered. It was also my therapy. I would pray, talk to God, yell at him, cry and sing as out of tune as I wanted. There were times it was so hard but I knew my goal was marked on the calendar for August 22, 2015. It was the day of my son Tyler’s memorial 1mile/5K run that I would participate in.

The difference in training for this and other things I have done was the focus. Laser focus or tunnel vision is what I would call it. I don’t think I have ever had a feeling like that. Once I got on the treadmill and later outside on the road, I knew in my head I was not letting anything get in my way. My perspective and life experiences have changed since Tyler’s accident. I can totally see my perspective now. Getting through my training was a small daily activity. Just like my perspective on grieving the loss of my son. I would take it minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day so it didn’t seem as overwhelming. Many days I looked at the mountains I had to overcome and wondered how I would ever get through it, over it or around it.

I believe God sees the mountains we have to overcome and he can part them, if he chooses.

No matter what obstacle you are facing right now God never tells us to “Get over it!” He walks beside us and encourages us every bit of the way, no matter how long the journey. Just know every mountain you encounter will make you stronger and reveal courage you never knew you had. Trust me – there will be more mountains to climb, but they will be easier because you will be stronger and equipped to climb them. God will be walking right by your side through the valleys and hills all the way to the top of the mountain where you will see the glorious view.

I believe our life is like my training. It’s a process, it’s not always easy, it is not important to be fast, but steady to climb the mountain one step at a time.

Missy Hillmer

My name is Missy Hillmer. I’m married, live in a small town named Palmer, NE and have 3 children. Jake is our oldest who is 19 years old and Gracie is 11 who lives here with us. Tyler which was 15 years on August 20, 2013 is now in Heaven. He was killed in a car accident just 3 short days after his 15th birthday. I am very honest, very real sometimes to the point of not being fun, I guess that’s because I’m a black and white kind of girl. I like to look at the positive in every situation. I really believe there are two ways to look at things. Look for the bad or the good. The “bad” does me no justice and can spiral out of control in a heartbeat. The “good” however gives me hope and it connects with my belief that God is with me through everything. I believe my faith has gotten me through life and especially since my son’s accident. I pray a lot more, watch for the signs that God gives me, listen to my inner gut feeling, as my husband calls it and really focus on living a simple life. Family means everything to me, I love to laugh and think it’s the best medicine for any problem. Music soothes my sole and being outside in the sun brings me great joy! I have learned that many times you cannot control the storm in your life but, you can learn to dance in the rain. I really mean it when I say DANCE in the RAIN! The summer before Tyler’s accident, Tyler, Gracie & I danced in the rain. This memory I will never forget! Since Tyler’s accident I am passionate about telling my story with the hope that it will help or inspire at least one person.