I grew up always wanting to play sports. I was the kid that wasn’t fast enough; balance and coordination were not on my side either. Always dreaming of being an athlete, I got as close as I could by assisting the coach as a statistician for Track & Field.
Growing up I knew I had CMT because my dad, his mother, and most of his siblings have it. CMT wasn’t something my family talked about. It wasn’t until I was 24 years old that I went to a Neurologist and was medically diagnosed.
I was working at a gym when I met a girl who was training for a Full Marathon. She came in every day to run on the treadmill and we would talk about her training. She encouraged me to run. That summer, I ran my first 5K with her. It was hard, but it felt amazing! For the first time in my life I was the one running and not writing the STATS.
Thirteen years later, on November 10th, 2019 I ran my 3rd Half Marathon in Fort Worth, TX. My personal goal was to run it under an average pace of 11 minute mile. Two of my dear friends who are amazing athletes ran with me to help pace. We were running at 9:30 avg pace. Once I hit mile 7, my knee began to hurt so bad. I’ve never had a pain like that before. My friend encouraged me to run through it and told me it would stop. I thought she was crazy. I was nauseated and thought for sure I had to quit. I told the girls to keep running and that I would see them at the finish line, so they went on ahead. I stopped several times, stretched, walked trying to work it out. I hit mile 9, and it became a mental game. Memories flooded my mind; how CMT has always been my stumbling block. I thought about all those with CMT who are unable to run. I thought about Chris Wodke and her story and what an amazing athlete she is. If she can do it, then maybe, just maybe I could too. I felt like “The Little Engine That Could.” I decided that day that CMT does not define me, it’s just a part of me.
I crossed the finish line at an average pace of 10:40 minutes/mile. Holy Cow, I did it!! I did it for me, I did it for my family, and I did it for all who have CMT. My friend was right, thankfully the knee pain subsided. I am on track to run my first Full Marathon in Dallas on December 15th.
EMBRACE THE JOURNEY AND KEEP MOVIN!