Living my dream!

I have some great news I want to share but first a look back into my past.

I was a competitive gymnast from age 9 until 16 when I got injured. I loved doing gymnastics and competing on my team. I always had dreams of going to college on a gymnastics scholarship. December 5 1985 I was working hard on my casts to handstand position on the bars. A girl who was taking classes kept leaning on the cable of the bars I was on and continued to do so after I told her to stand back. Well the next thing I knew I was up in the handstand on the bar and the bars came crashing to the ground and I felt something weird in my arm. I looked down to see my badly shapen arm. I had broken it in 4 places! I spent the next several months in casts.

I decided to run track that spring on my high school team to stay in shape for gymnastics. I asked coach Thompson if it would be ok that I ran with a full arm cast on. He seemed to think it would be fine. Aside from major chafing it was no big deal. I was still going to gymnastics for conditioning and to work on any skills I could do with one arm. I had big dreams to go after and nothing was going to stop me. After my cast was off (no physical therapy in those days) my arm had lost all the muscle and I could not straighten it. I tried pursuing gymnastics again but kept getting hurt when my arm would give out on me. My coach pulled me aside one day and explained he could not let me continue for my own safety.

I ran cross-country and track my junior and senior year in high school but did not share the same passion that I had as a gymnast. I was one of the faster girls on the team but never thought about pursuing being a college runner. My dream of doing gymnastics in college was over as far as I was concerned.

Fast forward to 2004 doing my first triathlon and rediscovering my competitive athlete. I was hooked immediately. I shifted to solely running in 2010 to reach my goal of qualifying for the marathon Olympic Trials. If you have followed my blog you know I came within 117 seconds of that goal and had an amazing journey along the way. 2016 marathon Olympic Trials is in my sites but going to do a little something first this year.

I will be running cross-country for Mesa Community College (MCC) on scholarship in this fall semester.

Huge thanks to my friend Flash for leading me into this opportunity. He was coaching last year at Gateway Community College and had invited me to be on the team. My first question was “Do you know I am 41 and have a college degree already?” He said no problem. I was not able to accept the invitation since it would have conflicted with my marathon goal last year. Sadly GCC dropped the program for funding reasons and I assumed the opportunity was gone.

A couple of weeks ago I signed my Letter of Intent to run cross-country in the fall. I am super excited to be fulfilling this dream from 24 years ago. Never could I have imagined this opportunity coming my way.

After high school I attended MCC my 2nd semester in college and then moved onto ASU and even got about half my Masters completed at University of Phoenix. It was such a thrill to step on campus to sign my paperwork. It really brought back memories of who I was in my college years and who I became.

I will be taking 12 credit hours and running each day with the team. My racing distance will be 5k. This will allow me to work on my speed to further prepare me for that goal in 2016. I can’t wait to meet my teammates, I am sure they will be intrigued by me. I hope to inspire and motivate them with my story. I look forward to blogging about this experience.

I am proud to say I will be a MCC Thunderbird in the fall!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Terri
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 13:22:55

    Would love to come out and see you race!! Keep me posted when they are!


  2. Anne King
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:39:00

    Keep on going Kerrie; I’m with you, even if it’s way behind you!


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