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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Attitude- What's Your Choice?

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”- Viktor Frankl

Evey day I read an entry from a book called "The Daily Reader" by John C. Maxwell. Maxwell is an expert on leadership development and team building. One day last week he had this entry on attitude.

What is Attitude?

When you hear the word attitude, what do you think about? I think of attitude as an inward feeling expressed by outward behavior. People always project on the outside what they feel on the inside. Some people try to mask their attitude, and they can fool others for a while. But that cover-up doesn’t last long. Attitude always wiggles its way out.

Your attitude colors every aspect of your life. It is like the mind’s paintbrush. It can paint everything in bright, vibrant colors – creating a masterpiece. Or it can make everything dark and dreary. Attitude is so pervasive and important that I’ve come to think of it like this:

· It is the vanguard of your true self.

· It’s root is inward but its fruit is outward.

· It is your best friend or worst enemy.

· It is more honest and consistent about you than your words.

· It is your outward look based on your past experiences.

· It is what draws people to you or repels them.

· It is never content until it is expressed.

· It is the librarian of your past.

· It is the speaker of your present.

· It is the prophet of your future.

There is not a single part of your current life that is not affected by your attitude. Your future will definitely be influenced by the attitude you carry with you from today forward.

I recently had two experiences with attitude in the CMT community. Someone in one of the CMT Facebook groups posted a rant about how she was tired of being told to push through things and how she was tired of the "superheros" posting pictures and talking about their runs. She went on to rant some more about her CMT.

The other attitude instance was posted by one of our Team CMT members. Her daughter who has CMT and is a high school student works as a cashier at a local grocery store. Her mom posted a compliment letter that a customer wrote to the store manager. The customer chose to get into her check out line because she was smiling and because she so obviously enjoyed what she was doing.

Each of these women made a choice, one to vent and play the victim. She concentrated on how miserable her life was and she was going to spoil someone else's day if you could.

The other also has CMT, but she has chosen to smile and do the best she can in spite of her CMT. She made the day better for someone else, by smiling and enjoying the moment.

The quote at the beginning of the article is by Viktor Frankel. He was a psycologist before the war. He was rounded up with other Jews and placed in a concentration camp. He said he learned from that experience that life did not owe him anything, but that life expected something out of him. That expectation that he had a purpose in his life helped him survive the concentration camp experience. Others with him survived because they found a reason to live, even if it was to bring justice to those that had imprisoned them.

They made a choice in even the most miserable of circumstances. Almost everyone has battles and burdens. Many fight secret battle we know nothing about. I find as bad as life can get, almost always someone I know is dealing with tougher issues.

So what will your choice be? Will you cry and whine and play the victim? Or will you be like my team member's daughter? Will you smile, find the joy in life and make life better for someone else?

Will you focus only inward and feel sorry for your self or will you realize life it isn't all about you?

It's your choice. Choose carefully. You just might make a difference in someones life or in your own.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

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 163 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, 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

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