How a comic book character changed my life

How a comic book character changed my life

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a fondness for a certain comic book character.  My desk at work is decked out with a bobble head, a figurine, and my coffee mug and all are based on this character. I even have a tattoo based on her.


Over the years, many people have asked me- “Why Wonder Woman?”

This all started several years ago, when I started running.  I fully blame my husband for this- he started running to get healthier and was always gone! In order to spend time with him, I started running as well.

Now, this was something that I swore I’d never do- I’m a terrible athlete (I have no attention span to speak of for things which don’t hold my interest) and I complain. A lot.

So naturally, something which requires a certain amount of dedication makes total sense, right?  Well, it does if you know me.  I have a tendency to barrel through life.

I used a Couch-to-5k app on my phone to gently prod me through my training.  It was probably the best thing I could have ever done, and I remember being terrified the first time it wanted me to run one whole mile start to finish.  ACK!  But I persevered, and eventually decided to run a 5K.  An actual race. With bibs and timing and other people. Holy crow, that was scary.  Running it with my best friend was the only way to go!  And I vowed right then that I would get a Wonder Woman tattoo after I completed my first race. The first photo you saw was right after the tattoo artist had filled in the color.


There I am, after having sprinted to the finish line.  Trust me, don’t do that.  I nearly threw up in a trash can after that little stunt.  And I’m pretty sure my bestie will never forgive me for totally leaving her in the dust. That was VERY un-Wonder Woman-like.

It was hot.  It was mid-June and I had moved my body 3.1 miles.  I felt like crap, but I could only focus on one thing. I had DONE it.

The Wonder Woman persona consumed me, for one really important reason.  We all have times in our lives when it feels as though we are under attack.  In raising kids on the autism spectrum, that attack comes daily.  With her on my side, I could quite literally face anything that came my way.  With my shield and my gauntlets, and with a strength that comes from deep within, I could take on the world.

Fast-forward to my next big race, the Cooper River Bridge Run  in Charleston, South Carolina.  This is a 10k, or 6.2 miles, and you cross two bridges and finish in downtown Charleston.  I decided to register as a fundraiser, and raised money for the MUSC Children’s Hospital.  I told my friends and family that if they could get me to $2,000, I would run in costume as- you guessed it- Wonder Woman!

Within a matter of hours, the funds raised had leaped beyond $2,000.00, and I promptly hopped onto the internet to order a Wonder Woman running outfit.

Yup.  We’re nerds.  It cannot be denied.  And I wasn’t the only person dressed as Wonder Woman, either.  There are most definitely others out there who identify with the strength of a character who can take on anything that is thrown her way.

My friend even made me the proper cake for my 40th birthday, which also turned out to be a surprise party!


So, you may still be asking why.
This weekend I went with my husband, my mom, and one of my kids to see the movie.  I spent the entire two and a half hours utterly transfixed.  And really, when you’re in the second row from the front, transfixed is a guarantee.  The screen wrapped around my brain.  And I fell in love with her all over again.

There’s a scene wherein she takes gunfire from every possible direction, and she barely breaks a sweat.  Damn.  That’s incredible.

Here’s what it comes down to.  When you are trying to take on the world, and it keeps throwing you curveballs, you need an idol.  It helps to have an image of someone who cannot be defeated, who will not be defeated.

There are times when I am not sure I’ll be able to do this.  I cry at night sometimes, thinking of just how unfair this is.  But then I remember where my shield and gauntlets are, and I pick them up.  I dig in my heels and blow the hair out of my face and wipe the sweat from my brow.  And I persevere.

Just imagine what you can do… the possibilities are limitless.  And as my favorite character said, “It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.  Only love will save the world.”


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