Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Inspiration from the Crew Queen

The Crew Queen recounts a terrifically inspirational visit with none other than the Grand Doyenne of adventure racing, Danelle Ballengee:

You guys seem like the perfect target audience for me to babble on for
a bit about my weekend.

Indulge me for a moment...I had the pleasure of listening to Danielle Balangee this weekend (and hanging with Taz the wonder mutt). I was working for EAS at the Pike's Peak Ascent & Marathon, and she was there. She has won that race 4 times and was there to be the official starter and also to share her tale. I've heard it from other people and read it a million times, I've treated patients just like her and I've been to her fundraiser...but to hear her tell her story of rescue and recovery and rehab is chilling and inspiring. She was one tough chick before, but now she's even more so.
She did complete a solo 24 back in May without telling her physical therapist or her
doctor (and only 2 mos out of her wheelchair). She did not run at all, but she
finished. In fact, now she can only jog up to 30-60 min lightly due to pain and weakness. It was incredible to see her walk--the last time I saw her she was chair-bound with slippers. She said her foot pain was the most limiting factor to her activity tolerance, but she's hiking several hours per day. She was showing us how she has a strong right calf muscle (she did a bunch of toe raises) and a very weak left calf (she could only do about 2 with difficulty and loss of balance).

Anyway, she's awesome, and I was happy to be patting Taz as she announced the start of the marathon this morning. She reminded me, once again, of two things that bear reminding, both professionally and personally. 1). Strong core...get one. Train the deep muscles and use them. If you have them..relearn how to use them better and train them more. I was so excited that she talked about deep-core muscles--yes, I'm a physical therapy dork. 2). Remember that we are all lucky to play/race/live as hard as we do (it's a sick necessity and way of life for most of us) and we are
lucky to have the toys we have ( bikes, gear, skills) and the means to use them.

Good night from an exhausted and inspired crew queen/EAS junkie.

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