Follow by Email

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I didn't Want it to End This Way

My Saturn Post Accident

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trails.- Chinese Proverb

I thought when I got back from the Boston Marathon life would be less hectic. I kept reminding myself of all the items on my “To Do” list I would tackle after I got back.  Training for a marathon can be time intensive and I was looking forward to more free time.
Shortly after I got back I got an email from the International Triathlon Union (ITU) outlining a series of required tests. The tests had to be completed by June 1st by all paratriathletes that wanted to compete in an ITU race.  Since I was leaving for Dallas on May 23rd, that meant I had to have my testing done before I left.
The tests consisted of a 100M and 400 M swim, strength test (push up, pull ups, sit ups); Cooper Test (12 minute run) 1 K bike time trail and a 1000 M and 400 M run.  My coach conducted the tests over four different nights.
So in addition to workouts, clinics, work, house hold chores, doctor appointments,  and getting new orthotics made, I had to get in this testing.  I  also had to pack for my trip to Dallas, which means taking my racing pack in for a tune-up and packing.
Monday night I felt the full force of all those commitments. I started work at 6 am. After work I drove 45 minutes to meet my coach for my swim and strength tests. Then it was off to the bike shop to pick up my bike. A quick dinner then it was off to a ski patrol meeting.  As I drove home I glanced at my car clock and saw it was 8:50, which meant I would not be home in time to get 8 hours sleep. I thought about all the prep I had to do to be ready for the next day.
It was dark and raining hard so visibility was not good. Suddenly I noticed a red sports car stopped on street right in front of me. I pressed on the breaks and was able to stop, but as soon as I stopped, I heard the sickening sound of glass breaking and crashing medal. I looked into the rearview mirror and saw the vehicle pushing my SUV. As I was pushed I thought I was going to be seriously hurt. Fortunately I did not hit anyone or anything. The car that caused the whole thing sped off. I actually thought both cars took off.
Immediately a witness was at my car door asking if I was ok.  They pried open the door so I could get out.  They dialed 911 and handed me the phone. The dispatcher said since no one was hurt they would not send a police officer.  I called my brother to come and get me. I could see my SUV was totaled and would not be drivable.
As I was exchanging information with the other driver who had stayed, a police officer on patrol stopped and did an accident report.   The other driver was lobbying hard that it was my fault. I spoke to the officer later and said I had stopped safely and the officer said after thinking things over he believed I was not at fault.  Based on the damage done to my vehicle I think the other driver was following too close and going too fast.  About that same time I noticed I was getting a headache, back and neck pain.
When the tow driver arrived he declared the car would be totaled. I knew that based on the age of the car (10 Years) and mileage (152,000) that would have happened even if the damage was not extensive.
I loved my car and was not planning on replacing it any time soon.  I can certainly afford a new one, but this one had been so great. I spent almost nothing on it except for routine maintenance. It was great in snow and always started even in the coldest weather.   It was my favorite color emerald green. Even the one time the shift cable broke, it happened right as I cruised into my work parking lot. Now that is a great car.
When I bought a new one I was hoping to give this car to a friend or relative to use. I thought I would still be able to see it and drive it occasionally.  It had been such a great car, I did not want to see it a mangled mess.  That car and I had been on a lot of adventures together; skiing, kayaking, camping and road trips to triathlons. All good times and all made possible by my reliable friend. 
I know you should not feel a personal connection to a thing, but I did. This car was like a loyal friend I could always count on.  I almost cried when I cleaned all my belongings out of it at the body shop.  It looked so sad and lost, mangled the way it was. It deserved a better ending.
So when I get back from Dallas it will be time to car shop. I am just not sure it is going to be the same. If I could buy another Saturn just like this one I would, but the company went out of business. So goodbye Saturn. I will miss you!


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a two time participant of the Boston Marathon.  She was the 2012 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division. In 2013 she qualified as a member of the Team USA Duathlon Team. And was eligible to compete in 2014 at the Age Group World Duathlon Sprint Championship in Pontevedre Spain.  She chose instead to represent the U.S. at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 150 members in 29 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

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.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT

No comments:

Post a Comment