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Friday, September 9, 2016

Thoughts on Rio

"Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." - Joshua J Marine

Anyone who has read my book, knows that I set a goal of making the para-triathlon team for Rio.
Along the way I challenged myself and took risks.

I had hoped I would be able to make it through classification  to qualify and that has not happened yet. I am hoping after Rio the ITU will take a look at the system and make it more accessible for those with conditions like CMT.

Right now those that can classify in, can't make the time standard to get into qualifying races, and those like myself are deemed not impaired enough.  When I met with ITU classifiers last year in Chicago I made the case for restoring neuro conditions in its own category and to allow athletes like myself to compete.  I was told they will be looking at the entire system after Rio.

I once read somewhere that "God has you right where he wants you."  So although next week I will not be in Rio, I will be in Cozumel competing at the age group World Championship for Aquathlon.  I qualified for this race at the Aquathlon National Championship in El Reno, Oklahoma.

I will even be wearing a Team USA uniform and marching in an opening ceremony. I am not sure what God's plan for me in all of this, I just have to trust that I am right where he wants me and trust it is all part of his plan for my life.

Cozumel will be a challenge. I will have to do two swims in open water without a wet suit. In addition to the aquathlon, I will be racing as a physically challenged athlete in a sprint triathlon. The first swim will be 750 meters and the second a 1000 meters. I've practiced in the pool so I know I can do it physically. It will be a mental challenge since the wet suit is my big security blanket.

I know many of the ladies of the Team USA para-triathlon team competing next week in Rio.  I've met them and raced with them in Chicago, New York, Austin and Tempe. They are great athletes and will represent the US well. So Ally, Grace, Elizabeth, Melissa and all the others be safe and have a great race! I am so proud of all of you and proud to have met you all.  I hope you have the time of your lives!

So even though I will be in Cozumel instead of Rio, I am going to embrace both the experience and the challenge!

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 represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and will represent the US at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon.

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 198 members in 37 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland,Iran and Sweden. 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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