July 24, 2017

From NEVER to ALWAYS…Meet Kirsten!

Kirstens Running Journey

From day one, Kirsten, was a fighter, being born 12 weeks premature, she literally was fighting just to stay alive! That was 39 years ago and back then we didn’t have medical advancements we have now. Her first helicopter ride was the one in which to save her life, since all her doctors didn’t believe she would make it.

Kirsten has spent every day since her birth more determined than the average person. Why? Because she wants to prove people wrong and do things she was told she would NEVER be able to do! And that is exactly what she has been doing….until she was 25!

Yet again, Kirsten was fighting for her life; she was in a severe car accident, where she had to be extracted via the Jaws of Life and took her second helicopter ride to the local trauma hospital. There, she slipped into a coma and her mother was told that she might not wake up from it. But again Kirsten showed her fighter’s strength, she awoke! Kirsten’s photographic memory became sporadic recall. She has no recollection of the accident, just only knows what people have told her and what she has read. She has seen pictures of her car, but she doesn’t remember actually seeing it in person because her memories of that time during recovery/rehab are blurry. The one thing Kirsten does remember is being in a wheelchair, being told she would never walk again! And from what she remembers, this is also when she first attempted to stand up for the first time!! Pure anger and determination had her propelling medicine balls across the rehab room. Not only was Kirsten dealing with not walking, but she couldn’t even do some of the simplest things, that we take for granted on a daily basis! The one that sticks out for her was having to do basic subtraction. Before her accident she could write a computer program to do this, now she couldn’t get her mind to subtract 36 – 17!

cantRehab for Kirsten was a very lonely journey, as it feels for most who have suffered traumatic injuries. Though Kirsten admits, most of it was all in her head. She knows her own mind was and still is her biggest obstacle. She uses laughter to try and brush some things off, but to Kirsten, on the inside, NOTHING was funny about any of it. In Kirsten’s own words, “Knowing you can do something, but not being able to is a poignant mindfuck.”

She realized she needed to get out and by this she meant going for walks. And she did just that. Whenever she could find the time, she walked! You see, Kirsten at this time was also a single mom to a young son, so her walks became things she looked forward to.

Now onto yet another chapter of Kirsten’s life…marrying her husband and the birth of her second son. You see, he was sick from day one. Doctors were constantly poking and prodding him, taking drop after drop of his blood trying to figure out why he was so sick. They came to her with wanting to do blood transfusions and liver transplants. The most renowned specialist at the top-notch hospitals came up with very interesting diagnosis’ that had too many syllables for Kirsten to remember what they were.

Kirsten is not against doctors or medicine, but she would rather be as natural and holistic as possible, she has always been this way. Even through her accident and rehab, she refused pain meds. Kirsten is so thankful she didn’t listen to most of the experts, because what her son has is treatable without any meds or any procedures. Her son has Celiac Disease. This started the beginning of Kirsten learning all about food. She thought she was already one up because she didn’t drink soda and her pantry wasn’t filled with crap. The more she read and learned, the more she realized she had A LOT to learn and change. She began researching the way food is manufactured, started cooking more and buying differently. Now, they are completely gluten free, eating mostly clean and Kirsten is leaning toward vegetarian.

Now to how did walking turn into running, and where is Kirsten running?

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Well Kirsten reconnect with a friend on Facebook, who just happen to post she was running the Army Ten Miler, well the status was how the person she was running with bailed and she needed a partner in order to do it. Well, at first Kirsten told herself, “Ten miles, NO WAY!’ But then she was at the finish line…she DID IT and she became instantly addicted!!

Kirsten said what hooked her was the feeling she received from 10,000 strangers. You see, to her, it felt like a lifetime of praise came down to this…thousands of strangers cheering and clapping for JUST her as she came across that line. Kirsten knew from that point on she was signing up for everything she could, that was 2009…and she has done just that over the last 3 years! Her first goal is to run a “100 miler” (so far she has completed a “50 miler” race), another goal is to do her first triathlon this coming August and after that her next goal…yep you guessed it…is to do an IronMan!

Kirsten doesn’t talk about TBI (traumatic brain injury) and subsequent MRIs riddled with migraine scars or her sensitivity to light or even her random pain.

Kirsten is who she is and she embraces it every day!!

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About

On the outside I am full of tats and it's hard to find me NOT smiling.... But on the inside, it's ALL titanium, from 3 severe car accidents that should have taken my life (1993, 2000 & 2008)! I am a living & breathing testimony of God's great mercy here on Earth!! And I'm ready to show this world that NO ONE on this Earth can hold me back from living out what God has in store for me!!!

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