Devann Murphy knows you only get one life


Devann Murphy knows we get to choose how we’re going to take on every challenge. We get to choose if we give up or get up.

Devann Murphy originally shared her story with Yoocan, a global collaborative community where people with disabilities share experiences and knowledge — so that no one feels alone. Yoocan and Why We Play are a natural match and overlap in the most important thing for our community INSPIRATION. FanSided is excited to partner with Yoocan and share some of their stories on our website — exciting and fantastic sports stories from people with disabilities. Come check out more of our joint material, and keep following for collaborations!

In my world, mobility is fluid. It ebbs and flows. It can take on a different appearance each day; and that’s okay.

I’ve learned to be quite proud of these legs, as irregular as they may seem. I mean, the right one literally tried to kill me more than once and yet, here I am. Still standing. Well, most of the time. Living my best life climbing mountains, overcoming obstacles, winning races, rolling through parks, and loving every minute of it.

Movement is movement, regardless of whether you’re standing or sitting. I’ve had so many moments in my life when I’ve felt pride: winning the Boston Marathon; winning the TCS NYC Marathon three times; becoming one of, if not the first woman to win the Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon in the same year; facing my fears to film with Girls on the Run, Now Foods, Milk, and PBS; competing just days after unexpectedly losing my mom; overcoming on-course challenges and adapting to the right here and right now. Those are all moments I am extremely proud of.

But when it comes to my proudest moment, crawling to the summit of Killington Mountain for the Spartan Beast in September 2022 takes the cake. I stopped caring about how I looked or what people thought and fought for the finish — authentically and unapologetically. I suffered beyond measure that day and I loved EVERY SINGLE moment.

I knew going in I could not stop moving if I wanted to beat the time cutoff. I passed able-bodied athletes on the mountain and kept grinding for nearly 13 hours, stopping for a cumulative total of 12 minutes, only to walk away with a finishers medal. A simple piece of metal hanging from a ribbon….and a whole heap of pride. Every morning we wake up, we decide how we live our lives.

We get to choose how we’re going to take on every challenge. We get to choose if we give up or get up. And, believe it or not, there’s beauty in suffering. When we suffer, we grow. When we grow, we learn to push past our limits, overcome obstacles, and keep moving forward. Keep moving. Keep shining. Keep showing up and making yourself proud.

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Why We Play features stories about the power of sports to bring us together, overcome obstacles, make positive change and reach everyone. Read more here.