I cannot imagine being hit and then run over by a freight truck – both front and back tires – hearing the truck accelerate away. Her body ripped apart, she died twice, had 78 pints of blood, was in a medically induced coma for a month (she had nightmares during it), and had surgery after surgery. She suffered through wound care and infections. And then? She competed in the disabled section of the Timberman half Ironman event in Hew Hampshire, even though she had to change her wound dressings between events and wear compression shorts to hold her body together so she could run.
Alexander's memoir is amazing. Her life got off to a tough start, two marriages and divorces. Then she reconnected with her high school sweet heart, the man who would see her through her trauma. An avid bicyclist, she was on her bike when a freight truck driver blew through a stop sign and changed her life forever.
What an inspiring story!. Alexander shares her experiences and her feelings. Besides the physical pain were the anxiety attacks, the fear of getting in a car, being in a coma, questioning God, knowing her life would never be normal, and finally, her feelings when she and the hit and run driver were in the same room.
My favorite part of the book was the point where she had the sudden realization that she was alive. She'd had seizures and brain surgery. She'd been run over by a freight truck. She realized there had to be a reason she was still alive. There was a way she could be a light in the world again. (127)
Her encouraging story is amazing. We all have big challenges, Alexander writes. We also have choices in how we approach those challenges. (259) She hopes that her story will encourage those whose life did not turn out the way they had planned. This book is not for the squeamish. Alexander is frank in her descriptions of her injuries and how the tragedy changed her life. This is an encouraging story from a very brave and strong woman.
You can hear her story here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Colleen Kelly Alexander is a lifelong athlete and motivational speaker. She teaches others to aim higher, be stronger, and use adversity as a catalyst to make themselves and the world better. She was the executive director of the Common Ground Youth Center in Vermont for eight years, and regional program manager for PeaceJam, where Nobel Peace Prize laureates mentor youth. She has also worked for, volunteered for, and is heavily involved with the American Red Cross. She lives in a New England coastal town with her husband and their dogs and cat. You can find out more at www.colleenkellyalexander.com. (Photo credit: Wendell Weber)
Jenna Glatzer is the author or ghost-writer of twenty-nine books, including Celine Dion's authorized biography. She and her daughter live in New York. You can find out more at www.jennaglatzer.com.
Center Street, 296 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.