The Human Race

 Bernadette Murphy approaches the finish line at the Tahiti Mo'orea Half Marathon. (PHOTO COURTESY BERNADETTE MURPHY)

Bernadette Murphy approaches the finish line at the Tahiti Mo'orea Half Marathon. (PHOTO COURTESY BERNADETTE MURPHY)

Learning to belong after life falls apart

When Bernadette Murphy flew to an island in the South Pacific, her friends thought she was indulging in an extended tropical vacation. But the three months she spent on the Island of Mo'orea were anything but relaxing.

In the past two years, Bernadette had lost her father, left her marriage, and sent her youngest child off to college. Now, she was struggling to reassemble the shattered bits of her existence. As it turns out, fleeing to a tropical Paradise wasn't an instant cure for her problems.

But when she signed up for a half marathon, things started to change.

On this episode, Bernadette shares the story of what happened. It's a story about running a race. But more than that, it's about midlife reinvention -- about learning how to belong, after you've given up life as you knew it.

 
Having left my own family, I feel at times like an intruder with my brother’s family, as if, in giving up mine I’ve given up the right to belong to a family at all.
— Bernadette Murphy
Bernadette Murphy lives in Los Angeles. Her latest book, Harley and Me, is now out in paperback.