A look back on 2012 (Fast at Forty Blog)

posted by Fast at Forty
Monday, December 31, 2012 at 3:38pm EST

Fast at Forty was born while I was in the emergency room after crashing defending my title at the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, FL. In the midst of my anger over not being able to finish the race and being somewhat delirious from the pain, I decided that in 2010 I would start a campaign to be the first 40 year old woman to win a triathlon World Championship and it would be called “Fast at Forty”. During my recuperation from my injuries, which included shoulder surgery, I realized that this was a fantastic opportunity to inspire women in their 40’s to work through their challenges, overcome obstacles and attain new goals.

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I have written in the past that I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, like to use the New Year as a time to map out tangible goals for the following year and determining whether I accomplished the goals I set out for myself the previous year. These goals are often related, in no particular order, to sports, family, coaching and science. I need a barometer to measure whether I have moved in a positive, forward direction with various facets of my life. The end of a year marks a crossroads between reflecting on the year just gone by and the year spanning in front of me.

My perspective this year is different, though; 2012 will always be my year of gratitude and not judged on any singular accomplishment. That is because there is no achievement that can possible outweigh the kindness that others showed me at a time when I reached my lowest low. This past year took twists and turns I never could have imagined. The year began like any other but by the mid-point I had a harsh realization that my rib injury was ruling me and that I needed to take drastic measures to fix it.

Just about the time when I thought there was no solution to my injury, I fortuitously found a surgeon in Minneapolis, Dr. Dan Saltzman, who would change my life. His empathy, skill, and optimism gave me hope at a time when I had none, and when I awoke from surgery I knew that I was better. Dr. Saltzman’s handiwork began a chain of recovery that involved: physical therapy (Bob Cranny), massage (Kim McCormack), dry needling (Christine Bell), lots and lots and lots and lots of strength training (Robin Galaskewicz), patience and understand from friends and family and overwhelming support at work.

Without the unending help and devotion from these individuals I would never have been able to achieve such a high level of physical health and accordingly better mental health so rapidly. I am ending this year by sending out a hearty THANK YOU to all of those people who have played a role in helping me reach the ultimate goal of any year: good health. Because, once you are healthy you can accomplish anything.

Happy New Year.

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