Reflection

10 years ago my life changed forever. The journey, the obstacles, the perseverance, determination, and dedication. I have been known to shed tears while on a run (away from anyone that might see) and today while simply walking on the treadmill well before anyone else was at the training studio, the tears flowed freely. Most know that tears rarely fall from my eyes but while running and training, there is a freedom I feel and a fear that the freedom might escape me.I don’t stress on what happened one July morning in 2000 while out training on the bike. I don’t talk about it because my journey to recovery and overcoming obstacles is what I keep close to my heart. I have attempted to look past the accident and toward achieving what might not have been possible.

I thought someday the bad dreams and flashbacks would fade away, but not so. The significant event was and continues to be a catalyst for self empowerment and immense perseverance. A catalyst for reflection, achievement, and never ever giving up on my dreams.

I cry and have cried myself to sleep more than a handful of nights, I am not invincible even though many had told me that I am. I of course ask “why?” but I am so grateful for what I have been able to achieve which is NOTHING compared to what I WILL achieve in the future.

Today I cried a lot. An overwhelming dose of reality, defeat, and apprehension overcame me and for the first time in years I felt without direction, I felt lost in my soul, afraid of the future, and felt to weak to climb the mountain ahead.Then I  decided I had 2 choices, live strong or crumble. I will choose to live strong. I will take the path to overcoming another HUGE obstacle, recover, and achieve so much more in life. I will be starting a race, so much more intense than ever started and will go to the starting line a competitor and a champion.

A new life lies ahead. I will train, fight obstacles, and race again for those that can’t. Racers Against Childhood Cancer

Through running I have learned to value myself and have been taught self worth and individual achievement. I have developed confidence. There was a time many years ago (years prior to the cycling accident) that I I struggled to have the strength to run a mile, a time where I had little confidence and was searching for competitiveness is a very dangerous direction. My life is not all about running but running has saved my life and educated me on living life to its fullest.

I’ll leave you all with something that keeps me going…

We are never given more than we can handle and are only given what will allow us to grow and become stronger individuals. Keep smiling and keep striding ahead, one foot in front of the other. That is what I will be doing.

Note: Many know and some do not know that it appears that I will be undergoing an invasive spine fusion surgery sometime in late January. This will mean  lengthy stay in the hospital, a couple weeks under constant care of my parents and another several weeks at home working with my amazing medical support system here in WI. This will help stabilize spinal fractures that I have been living with, training with, and fighting daily pain as a result of for years. I know my competitiveness will help me deal with the many challenges that lie ahead. I want to thank EVERYONE, Dr’s, friends, and family that have helped me and will continue to be the backbone of my support and strength. You are all simply AMAZING. I could in no way have accomplished any of this without you.

Keep smiling and living each day to the fullest,

Cristin

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