It is inspiring to learn about such powerful human beings–individuals who demonstrate the sheer resilience and willpower to overcome unfortunate circumstances to rebuild their lives, and empower those around them.
Survivors = THRIVERS
The story of Norma Bastidas is one of triumph over tragedy. She is a woman whose resilience has allowed her to overcome the unthinkable misfortunes life has thrown her way. Bastidas, 49, set the world triathlon record in 2014 covering an incredible 3,762 miles. Her epic journey began in Cancun, Mexico, and ended in Washington, D.C., and took her 64 days to complete. “That was probably one of the most painful things I’ve ever done,” she told CNN in an interview. Her story is getting wide attention now because of the release of a documentary that chronicles her remarkable feat.
Sadly, pain had been an all-too recurring theme in Bastidas’ life. She was born into a poor family in Mexico. At age 11, her father died. Her mother was left alone to raise five children, and that’s when a sinister relative took advantage of the situation. An uncle whom she helped care for because he was blind raped her. At age 19, she was offered a modeling job in Tokyo. Despite her mother’s trepidations about her teenage daughter moving halfway around the world, Bastidas saw it as a ticket out of a life of struggle and poverty. When she arrived in Tokyo, Bastidas realized she’d been tricked, and was sold to the highest bidder and forced into a life of sex slavery. Bastidas said she was drugged and raped, and even though she sought help from authorities, because she had no passport and was deemed a prostitute, no one came to her aid.