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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Best Advice I Ever Got

"The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have."  Vince Lombardi

I was once asked during a job interview the best advise I was ever given.  It's a great question and an easy one for me to answer.

 It was during engineering graduate school. I was taking a class in thermodynamics and we were using math to prove the basic thermodynamic laws. I spent endless hours working out the equations. I especially remember one Friday night when I was sitting in the kitchen doing my homework and my roommates were headed to the bars to have some fun.

 I remember it took hours and many pages of mathematical equations to prove the theorems.  Sometimes I never did solve the equation assigned.

Part of the course requirements was meeting with the professor to go over the homework.  My professor had some unpronounceable Iranian names so we'll just call him Professor K. 

One day when going over my assignment Professor K said to me; "Christine, you get so close to solving the problem and then you stop".   I have always remembered that feedback. If I had just worked a little harder and stuck with it a little longer I would have solved the problem.

I remembered his words as I ran my first marathon. I wanted to quite many times during that race. My thighs burned and I had blisters so bad, my feet bled all the way through my shoes.  But I was no quitter.
I finished that first marathon in 4 hours and have finished five since then. I'll finish number seven when I line up for the Boston Marathon in April.

I know no matter how tough it gets in a race, not to quit too soon.  I've carried that same attitude into my entire life whether it's a race, a project at work, or finding a treatment for the condition I share with so many others.  I know not to quite anything too soon, before that problem is solved, the project finished and the finish line crossed.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Running, triathlons, impaired athlete, paratriathlon, USAT, running and CMT

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