Recently, in light of a lot of things in my life, I have been motivated to look back at what I used to be before I started running OCR’s and races. I started looking back through pictures of me of what I used to look like, I was smiling but you could see I truly wasn’t happy.

I was living with a disease that was basically trying to kill me every day. The doctors didn’t know how to get it under control. I lived in the hospital basically and was on a first name basis with the staff. That’s when you know its bad, the staff at the hospital knows you and your story better than some family members. So needless to say, I had hit a low. In the picture I am going to show you today, you can see that I am always turned so that my right cheek isn’t visible to the picture. You see that is because I ended up with a staph infection that basically started eating away at my face from the corner of my mouth all the way up to my ear and through my hair.

I was embarassed and hated being stared at by people. Whispering and asking what is wrong with her! Shortly after this my health went downhill, I spent weeks in the hospital. Was in jeopardy of losing my job and was so exhausted not being able to recover. I went from the staph infection, to multiple bloods clots, to emergency gall bladder surgery, to having my retina detach. All of this happened in the matter of probably two years, right before I moved to Denver. My health was deteriorating. The medicines, toxic medicines, weren’t helping me.

After moving to Denver I decided that I was done living that way. I needed to get my ass off my pity party train, and start making changes for the better in my life. Up until this point I have never ever heard of obstacle course racing. Didn’t even have the slightest clue as to what it was. I was convinced, shortly after moving to Denver, to run Tough Mudder. This was probably the craziest thing I have ever done, and if you know me I am one crazy girl now…. Back then though I was a different individual, I basically was just getting by and not living my life. I was miserable. Beyond recommendations from my numerous doctors, telling me you shouldn’t do a race like this, I decided to hell with it, I am going to do it. My little brother, Alex, decided to run with me. Also a great friend Shannon. We got to the first hill climb up a ski slope none the less, and I broke down, there was no way in hell I was going to be able to finish a race like this, when I could barely walk some days or even get out of bed. What in the hell was I thinking by signing up for it and attempting this. Well, Alex motivated me and drug me up the hill, tear filled eyes and all. The next 3 hours while I was out there, was probably the most life changing experience I have ever had. I saw many people on the course that day, and so many words of encouragement from people I didn’t even know. Those words however small they may have been, helped push me further. When I reached the top of the mountain about half way through the race, my best friend Nikki and her mom were there cheering me on. Cowbells and all encouraging me and motivating me to push harder and go farther. I know she knows how much that meant to me, but without their support I don’t think I would have been able to finish. Well, my brother and Shannon too, they were the crazies running the race with me. I knew at this point that I had about half the race to go and I was beyond exhausted, the lupus was beyond pissed off and so was my entire body. Yes, I refer to the disease I have as the lupus, and it does get angry then I just talk it back into its place. I had to dig deep into part of me that I hadn’t seen in probably 8 years since being diagnosed. I wanted to finish more than words could explain. I needed to finish. I needed to prove to myself that “I may have lupus, but lupus WILL NOT have me anymore”. Yes, I failed a lot of the obstacles, I was probably the weakest one out there. Coming down the mountain and seeing Everest at the bottom of the hill, I broke down in tears. My body was done. There was no way in hell I could finish that obstacle, I had hit the point that I couldn’t even run my knees and ankles were so swollen from the days events. I skipped it, for fear of hurting myself. Tears streaming down my face, I will never forget what my little brother said to me “Big girls don’t cry, we are going to finish this! Wipe those tears off your face and lets get your ass in gear” Interesting how a little brother can light a fire under your ass and get your butt in gear! I ran from Everest, through the Electric Shock wires, and crossed the finish line. Crossing the finish line I broke down in tears, I had achieved something that many believed I would never be able to do. There are pictures of me and I look exhausted and beat, but I finished.

After completing Tough Mudder, I had this passion to get better. I wanted to be able to do all the obstacles and not fail. For me at this point failure was not an option for me because I was so tired of failing for the longest time. I started changing my life, what I ate and working out much more. I spent the next year regaining my strength that I had once had long before being diagnosed. The next year, I went a little crazy and raced 25 races. Spartan included. See Spartan pushed me to a new limit, if you failed an obstacle you didn’t just walk on by, you did burpees. And thus my new obsession with burpees and Spartan races. I loved the challenge and the need to get better so I wouldn’t have to do burpees. This year I completed my Trifecta, an acheivment that I once again broke down in tears after crossing the finish line. I would love and have my mind set now, thanks to David, to push for my double trifecta and possible a triple, why not??

I am starting cross fit to help improve my strength and capabilities. And the best part? A long the way I have met some amazing people, people who despite what they may think have played a huge role and made a huge impact on who I am today. David, Nicole, Laura, and many others. You all have played a huge role in pushing my limits, not allowing me to give up. I think thank you is in order for all you have done!

I am beyond measures happier with my life now. I have a lot of that to thank to obstacle course racing and racing in general. That is my stress relief and keep sane activities. I will work out till I am on the ground now, never thought I would be that crazy girl, but here I am! I can’t believe that I have come this far and have so much further to go.

In the pictures below, you will see how I have changed. The pictures of me not racing and the black shirt were when I was at my lowest and sickest. Then pictures of me now, Spartan racing and my first half marathon. I see a world of difference, because I know the smile on my face now is genuine.





2 Responses to "Transformation"

  • Girl we love you, keep it up. You keep me in line to get stronger so I can return to working out and running with you.

    1 J Zorn said this (July 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm) Reply

    • I definitely will and you let me know when you are ready we will run again !

      2 lupusfighter said this (July 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm) Reply

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