Monday, September 1, 2014

August Member of the Month

Meet Kathleen

I grew up identifying myself with the athletic lifestyle.  I was taller, faster and stronger than most all my peers.  Having said that; I didn't make the 8th grade basketball team, my pr mile time was a disappointing 7 minutes (set as a freshman in high school) and I'm reasonably sure I've not been able to run a full mile without walking since 2007.  Those setbacks aside, I did manage to go to college on a track scholarship for the high jump. I did reasonably well and was certainly the strongest I would ever be for the rest of my life.  In the indoor season of my sophomore year I developed a compression fracture in my L1, not a great injury for anyone but a career ender for me.  

I spent the next couple of years dealing with the repercussions of a spinal injury, and besides trying unsuccessfully to get back into running a few times, I considered my active life retired.  I married my husband Andrew in 2006 but between 2 deployments, several  6+ week military training exercises, and my going to school and back to work it never seemed like the right time for kids. In the spring of 2012 we found out we were expecting what would turn out to be Adrian in Jan 2013.  

What we got was Adrian on Black Friday of 2012.  I was home alone for the holiday while my husband visited family in Houston Tx.  I noticed on Thanksgiving Day that I hadn't felt any baby kicks that day and resolved to see how things went overnight before going to the hospital the next morning.  I spent the night convincing myself that I simply hadn't been paying attention and everything was fine but the next morning I drove myself to ft Stewart to make sure everything was ok. 

It wasn't ok.  Somewhere between Richmond Hill and Hinesville my vision totally blacked out - while I was driving- and in the hospital the nurses were unable to rouse Adrian at all.  His stats dropped suddenly and I had an emergency c- section.  It was discovered I had had a placental abruption,  robbing Adrian of nutrients and oxygen over an unknown period of time.  Adrian was born with an APGAR of 2 but the staff was able to stabilize him and he was sent to the nearest NICU that could accommodate him in Augusta GA.  

He spent the next 3 weeks in the NICU in Augusta and 3 more in the NICU in savannah.  It was a emotional roller coaster for my husband and I,  punctuated with Andrew deploying to Afghanistan less than 24 hours after Adrian was released from the hospital.

Kelli Berger and her husband, who was my husbands captain at the time, came to visit us in the NICU. I didn't know her at the time but later she reached out to me to come to a FRG meeting in February.  I had never ever involved myself in FRG in the past but something compelled me to go to this meeting, I'm so glad I did!  Kelli told me about Stroller Strong Moms and I was intrigued.  I started classes in March and it hurt so good!   I've had various setbacks since then, Adrian rehospitalized for 3 weeks, a twisted ankle, a complicated second pregnancy, and then giving birth to my beautiful daughter Scarlett, but I've hung in because I love my SSM family and I despite my frequent whining- I love SLAMing.

Now that we are done having kids, I've promised myself that I will conquer my fear of the 5k before Scarlett's first birthday - that I will stop cheating myself in my workouts by giving up too easily - and I will lose 25 lbs and be able to wear the Lulu shorts Wat Dawg got me without grossing anyone out. Don't wish me luck, wish me DO!