February 13 2018
Colleen Kelly Alexander discusses the accident that changed her life and how she has rebounded in spite of the trauma to her mind and body.
JAMIE ANN LEISEL
I was overweight for much of my life. For years, I tried different diets. I would lose a few pounds, gain them back and eventually quit. Finally, I joined a local Weight Watchers and started to see real results.
With the structure and support of the group, I slowly shed 39 pounds. As I became lighter, I found that I was able to start exercising. One evening I went for a walk, and on my way back home I started running. I just wanted to see how far I could go. I didn’t think I’d make it more than a block, but I ended up finishing a full two miles. I felt exhilarated. Running soon became part of my daily life.
About nine months later, I made it to my goal weight. I had dropped 40 more pounds—a total of 79!—and felt great. I reflect back on those first pounds lost and am thankful that I became t enough to get out the door. When I started running, the weight began to drop off faster than ever before.
Throughout that time, I was setting little running goals for myself. I signed up for my first 5k race with my sister-in-law, then a few weeks later I ran a 10k. There was thunder and lightning, but I spent the race visualizing how accomplished I would feel at the finish. It was incredible to discover how much strength I had.
This past fall, I ran my first half marathon. It’s official: I’m a runner! My husband and 5-year-old daughter even train with me sometimes. We’ve replaced watching television with getting outside and connecting. Running has not only changed my body—but my family as well. ■