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Brave Talks Ep. 01: “Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable” with Lauren Holiday

5.22.20
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With the launch of my show, Brave Talks, I’m having each inspiring guest share a special note with EN readers. Their wisdom, stories, and bravery are unmatched. 

I’ve asked my friend Lauren Holiday from Brave Talks Ep. 01: “Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable,” to share her inspiration this week: 

There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.

I was pregnant with my first child. I had just won my first World Cup and I had retired a champion. I was ready to start a family and I was going to take on the world in an entirely new role. Excited was an understatement.

A few months into my pregnancy, nothing slowed me down. I was winning 5ks, speaking on stages and finally decorating my house the way I had always wanted it. Deep down something didn’t quite feel right. When I would eat I would have to tell myself to swallow. The right side of my face was slowly becoming numb and the headaches were becoming more and more frequent. My doctor suggested I see a neurologist and after three appointments with three different neurologists, the consensus was the same. They had no idea what it was but thought it was most likely MS.

One night, my headache was so intense it woke me up out of my sleep. Being an athlete, I was pretty in tune with my body and everything inside me knew that something was wrong, very wrong.

The next day I got an MRI. The tech was an older man. He was gentle and sweet. The second he rolled me out of the machine the worry on his face was overwhelming. He asked me to sit right outside his office and the doctor would be in touch shortly. It felt like an eternity but it was probably only 5 minutes before the doctor called. I will remember his words forever. He said “I have good news and bad news. The good news is you don’t have MS. The bad news is you have a VERY large brain tumor.”

I had a brain tumor. I was pregnant. I was scared. The tumor was believed to be benign but it was too large and they would have to operate. I knew one thing for certain, I wasn’t going to give up. All I could think about was doing whatever I could to make sure my daughter had the best chance at life. I had to keep her healthy. The fear, the pain, and the unknown would keep me awake at night and would repeat to myself until I believed it, “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

At 35 weeks, my daughter was born. Four weeks later, I went through brain surgery to remove a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. I wasn’t perfect, but I was alive. I made it.

I know during this pandemic it can feel like the fear, the pain and the loneliness is never going to end. The sadness of being separated from loved ones and friends for such a long time…The insane amount of job and food insecurity for so many families… The mental health challenges arising from isolation… It might feel impossible to get through another day, but I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel.

So when it all feels overwhelming hold on to this, “There may
be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.” Maybe not today,
maybe not tomorrow but I promise, it comes.

We can do hard things. We are in this together.

Love,