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Never Give Up

    Jul 1, 2021 | by The Fellowship

    Last September 19 is a day I will never forget.  It was the day I went from being in the best shape of my life one minute to the worst shape of my life the next. While cycling with my triathlon group, I was hit from behind by a truck going 50 mph.  After I was Life-flighted to the Medical Center in downtown Houston, the doctors determined that I broke my neck, my back in two places, my leg, a rib, and my tailbone.  

    I underwent two surgeries to deal with the leg and back injuries.  An army of relatives, friends and members from my church, The Fellowship, were lifting me before the Lord!

    I spent two months in a neck brace and three months in a back brace.  I was so thankful to still have my life, but those three months were grueling.  Having to rely on my husband and kids for everything (from getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, being driven everywhere, etc.) was hard for this very independent 45-year-old.  My husband was a rock-star as he served me so well and never complained! 

    I thought when getting my back brace off in December that the hard part was over.  Boy was I wrong!  My body was no longer able to do what it had been accustomed to.  How frustrating it was -- both physically and mentally!  My prayers were bombarding heaven!

    I spent countless hours with my personal trainer on regaining balance and making my muscles work again.  My tri coach had me back in the pool and doing some walk/run intervals. These workouts were a huge challenge for me! 

    The mental and emotional battles were hard.  I learned a lot about liminality (a state of transition between one stage and the next) and honoring the space between “no longer” and “not yet.”  I was comforted knowing that God would turn this all for good.  

    In March, I got released from my neurosurgeon and could twist my body once again.  It was now time to reteach my body how to move and the beginning of learning how to not limit myself.  My brain kept telling me, “Do not do that — it will hurt — you are not capable of doing that!”  

    That was also when I got back on a bike for the first time.  My rides were slow and I was so out of shape.  But I was thankful that my body was in a position to just be able to ride again! 

    My mom was one of my biggest encouragers — she taught me how to be resilient through adversity.  Her motto while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer was to find “joy in the journey.”

    I took that to heart and readjusted my attitude.  God was right there through all of this and was taking every step of this rehab journey with me.  It was no longer a matter of “if” I am ever able to come back and enjoy doing triathlons again, but a matter of “until.”

    In April, my mom went home to be with the Lord after enduring 2.5 years of chemo. She was my hero and inspiration to not give up. 

    I wanted to honor my mom by naming my new bike after her — Shortstuff.  I also convinced my tri coach to let me sign up for a sprint distance race in mid-May.  Race day came and I was so blessed to be back doing what I loved!  And so very thankful for God’s healing power! 

    Inwardly, I was an emotional mess when I crossed the finish line and saw my husband and tri coach cheering me on.  Not only did I finish the race faster than expected, but I placed third in my age group! 

    I continue to work on rebuilding my body — it is definitely a work in progress.  I have my eyes set on my next race — a half ironman October.

    C.H.

     Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
    let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. 
    And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
    the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
    scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
    Hebrews 12:1-2

     

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