- Posted November 28, 2011 by
Netcong, New Jersey
This iReport is part of an assignment:
CNN Fit Nation: Triathlon Challenge
Swim, Bike, Run, Inspire
In the Spring of 2008, I was a collegiate softball player at the pinnacle of my career. During a game on April 22, a game that would become the final game of my career, I took off from first base on my way to steal second, but as I went to make that same slide I had made so many times before - I broke my leg. Though the initial injury was as normal as a broken leg can be, the next 18 months of my life would be anything but. After spending days upon days in the hospital, countless hours of antibiotic treatments, and more than 30 surgeries to try and combat my infection, I ultimately lost my battle with Osteomyelitis.
On November 4, 2009, my right leg was amputated below the knee. The first few months after my amputation proved to be the most difficult. I found myself with a choice: I could either be defeated or find a way to persevere. With the help of my family, friends, and the support of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, I chose the latter.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to work as a ball person at the 2011 US Tennis Open. Not only was this an experience of a lifetime, but my time at the Open culminated with working the women’s semi-final match: Serena Williams vs. Carolina Wozniacki. Being on center court in front of 23,000 spectators and working an internationally televised match can invoke a plethora of emotions. But to be honest, I was humbled by the outpouring of support I received from strangers after they saw me working the match. This is when I realized how my “can do” spirit and attitude can touch and inspire people.
After having the privilege of spectating at this year's Challenge Athletes Foundation's San Diego Triathlon Challenge, I couldn't help but daydream about someday crossing that finish line myself. Because I have virtually no background in swimming, cycling, or distance running, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle and a complete lifestyle change if I wanted to make this happen. As fate would have it, only one month after I left San Diego is when I first heard about CNN's Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. The more I read about the "6-Pack", the more I realized that this is my chance to make it happen. This is how I will transform myself into a triathlete.
Please, pick me for this opportunity to work with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Like I stated in my video, I am desperate to get back the HUGE part of my life that I thought had been lost forever with my amputation. For me, walking just isn't enough. I want to swim, bike, run, and most importantly, inspire. Thank you.