Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month

October is Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month. Being on the Autism Spectrum growing up, I was constantly bullied in school and taken advantage of. Thanks to Coach Cheryl Bowden, Durham School of the Arts, for insisting; as well as encouraging me to join her track team in middle school, “running” saved me from the constant bullying I faced everyday. I was respected by everyone who mistreated me. My small advice for dealing with bullies – hold your head up high and perform really well in your extracurricular activities or other talents you have😎

📸: Stuart Jones

Do What You Love


The first question most people ask, “how long do you think Ericka can continue to run?” I find the question relatively silly, because, I do not have a clue as to how long, as in years left, she can continue to run. Okay, let’s get it out in the open. Ericka is 30 years old. I cannot change the year she was born. Nor do I wish to dangle this fact over her head. What I see, and what I fuel is her passion TO run. Anyone can see Ericka loves to run. It is who she is.

I appreciate our road trips because it gives Ericka and I a chance to talk. Radio off. Mobile devices put away. This is our time to get into agreement on certain things. Throughout our track journey, I’ve learned a great deal about keeping what is essential to my greater good, and eliminating waste.

We cannot change the outcome of her races once she has crossed the finish line, however, we are grateful for every race as it is a learning tool for subsequent races. Our most recent discussion led us to agree to do what we love. There we both found instant peace and joy. Isn’t that what life’s all about?

The next time we are approached on the topic of Ericka’s age, I’m simply going to respond, “Ericka will most likely stop running when her passion for the sport runs out” Periodt. https://youtu.be/p0p1fjLPjYQ