My story is one of turning obstacles into opportunities, a lesson I have learnt over the last year and a half. In 2013 I was ranked 1st in Canada and 10th in the world in my masters women’s CrossFit category. In 2014, I was ranked 1st in Canada and 7th in the world and at age 50, I was heading back to the CrossFit Games in Carson, California. “The Games” are a week long event to find the fittest on earth. During this week, every aspect of a person’s fitness is tested in a series of gruelling competitive events.
Just weeks before this world class event, I suffered two serious disc injuries in my cervical spine. It was very clear that I would not be competing in the Games. I was told by the attending doctor to no longer think of myself as an elite athlete and to re-think my involvement in athletics in general. In an instant, everything I worked so hard for was gone. Not only was I in pain and exhausted from lack of sleep, but I was also so disappointed. I would remind myself that there were so many people worse off than me, and that having a healthy, happy family was the most important thing, but I still needed to work through a lot of emotions.
A friend of mine brought me the book the Success Principles by Jack Canfield and it was this book that inspired me to face my injury in a more positive light. I realized even though “what was done, was done”, I still had control over how I reacted to this misfortune. I decided to create a book that would not only make a reader feel good, but was also inspirational enough to help others who are facing challenges. The CrossFit community is a very close and a very supportive environment. Every “box” (gym) has at least one great story of a member turning their life around or managing physical or mental illness with the help of the community and the programming. I began my journey a few months after my injury and used my recovery time to create Hope RX’D. After a 14 month quest in search of stories I had enough to fill a book. I hired an independent publisher and my book became available on Amazon in September 2015.
I have retired from teaching high school after 26 years and have made promotion of the book my new career. I have done some travelling to events and competitions to promote the book and give books away as donations and prizes. I have also begun to deliver motivational talks. I give more books away than I sell, but in return I have people telling me the book really helped them and many say they re-read certain stories or paragraphs when they want to brighten their day. Even the story authors themselves have communicated how therapeutic it was for them to write out their accounts knowing others could gain strength from it. This makes everything so worthwhile. What I am finding is that Hope RX’D has opened my eyes to the world around me. I have learnt so much though this process about gratitude, patience and community. I hope to someday return to the CrossFit Games. If I don’t I know it will be okay, I am finding so much fulfillment in this very unexpected journey called Hope RX’D.
For more information about Kelly and her book or to purchase Hope RX’D visit her website: www.hoperxd.com