health, happiness, and earth friendly thoughts to improve your life :)

How far can grateful take you?

on June 19, 2012


Thankful, in my experience, can take you from physically incapable of regular everyday activities, such as climbing a set of stairs, to running your first half marathon in 2:38. You see, in 1999, when I was just 13 years old, I dislocated my left knee cap for the first time playing volleyball. I did physical therapy for a while and everything seemed to be normal. Except for the fact that I kept dislocating… in some cases keeping me from being active for weeks or months at a time. No big deal right? I’m young… I’ll recover. Wrong! I went into the U.S. Navy when I was 18 years old and things went downhill from there. I’ve dislocated both of my knee caps running, climbing stairs, standing up and even walking. It got to the point in early 2008 where I was afraid of doing any physical activity. By the time I got in front of a surgeon, who seemed confident to help me, every medical professional who I spoke to told me I would never run again. Probably wouldn’t be able to hike, mountain bike, walk for extended periods.


These are my legs about two and a half years ago. I decided to go with a surgery called tibial tubercle osteotomy which in layman’s terms means they cut my tibia and restructured the way my knee cap tracks in the hopes it would stay put.

To be blunt it was (twice!) the most painful experience I’ve been through to date. For about 2 years I was in and out of physical therapy and crutches. If I wanted to go further than my apartment to my car I would need a wheelchair. I longed for the day I could be “normal” again. Below is a picture post surgery of my bruising. This is barely a visual representation of the pain I endured.


With some help from my friends, an improving mental attitude and a change in my heart towards deep gratitude for life I recovered and began doing moderate physical activity, but not without excruciating pain. I knew I was healed but didn’t understand why I still couldn’t do everything I wanted to do. In March 2010 I was introduced to the most influential part of my success, my husband. He believed in me when no one else did and encouraged me. Some friends also recommended I try some glucosamine from Nutrilite. I had already been taking glucosamine prescribed by my doctor and I didn’t notice any difference at all when taking it. After 7 days of taking the Nutrilite glucosamine I was running a mile with no knee pain and starting hip-hop dance. The best part is that my pain had significantly decreased.

If you fast forward to March 2012 I actually finished my first half marathon. The reward really wasn’t crossing the finish line, unlike I had originally imagined. The most rewarding part of my journey so far was the being in pursuit of a goal and being thankful for my progress to date. I specifically remember traveling during the week of my longest training run (12 miles). It would’ve been very easy to sit down on my dream and skip the run altogether. Instead I made no other choice but to start running as soon as I landed in Miami, FL. Coming from Orange Country, CA I’m used to breezy 70 degree days with no humididty. When the plane landed I walked into humid, hot, 87 degree weather… only for it to get hotter. While all my friends were preparing for their cruise the next day with frozen yogurt and leisurely strolls I was pushing myself and winning up the coast of Miami Beach. I finished that day feeling victorious! Let me tell you, dinner never tasted so good!


If you’re working towards what seems to be an impossible goal and maybe you even have people in your life telling you that you can’t do it, I want to encourage you that with vision, determination, gratitude, and hard work you can have anything you dream!

So thankful…


2 responses to “How far can grateful take you?

  1. Cate says:

    You are an inspiration. I love you, friend. xxo

  2. Tanya says:

    this is beautiful and so inspiring. nothing is ever impossible 😉 congratulations on the marathon! and i love your blog, this is incredible ❤

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