|Cheryl Monnat & Chris Wodke St Patrick's run 2012|
" I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go."- Laurel Bleadon Maffei
This year has started with an opportunity for a new job assignment. This is my first job change in almost 10 years. Soon I will be starting a position as Manager for Business and Process Improvement. I will be working with our power plants to develop procedures and improve their operations.
After 15 years in my division, I will have to learn a new business, faces and names. I was comfortable, knew the routine and had a great boss. Any new job carries risks. But if I let a little risk scare me, who knows what opportunities and experiences I might miss. Unless I test myself, I will never know what I am capable of doing.
As an athlete I 've learned the value of pushing myself and taking risks. Sometimes I've tried things not knowing if I would be successful.
When I was working with my first coach, he had me run an hour without music. That was something I didn't think I could do. When I did it and liked it, I though if I can run an hour without music, I can run a marathon.
A few years later when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, I felt like there was no limit to what I could do. I thought if I can run a marathon I can do anything.
Sometimes others put limits on what they think we can do. Sometimes the biggest limits we have are the ones we put on ourselves. There are many in the medical and CMT community that think we can't or shouldn't exercise. I won't let anyone place that limit on me.
Being successful at work or an an athlete is the result of a few simple things; attitude, activity and focus.
Attitude has to do with what you believe about yourself and what you tell yourself is possible. When I believed I could run the Boston Marathon I focused on that as my goal until I found a way to get in.
While looking at the Boston Marathon site one day I stumbled onto the Mobility Impaired Division. I applied and got in. The focus and activities then shifted to preparing and successfully completing the event.
When I started the process on qualifying for Boston, I was not even sure myself if I could complete a marathon with the challenges I have due to my CMT. I am glad I did not let fears and doubts hold me back. What an experience I would have missed if I had.
We have many athletes on Team CMT that have completed marathons and Ironman triathlon events. Like me they have discovered when you have a passion for what you do whether it is your job or a mission, it amazing what you can do.
So yes, I am a little nervous about the new job, but I won't let that hold me back.
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 114 members in 25 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.