How many times have you been asked the question, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”

Probably at least a few. Asked in high school, you probably thought ahead to being finished university and starting your career. Asked in your 20’s you may have thought ahead to marriage and family. Asked in your 40s you would probably think ahead to retirement or maybe even grandchildren.

But imagine yourself laying in a hospital bed. Head throbbing, ears ringing, your body on fire with pain. Back broken, trouble breathing…in that very moment, where do you think you’d see yourself in 10 years?

10 years ago to this day we were in a car accident that changed my life forever and with nurses buzzing around me, urging me to breathe, pumping me full of painkillers, calming my fears and wiping my tears I never could have imagined just what the next 10 years would bring…

I’m sure I would have hoped I’d be living in less pain by now but never would have guessed that becoming an athlete would be what finally allowed me to get strong and find some relief.

I know I would have hoped I’d have found my confidence again but would have laughed if you told me it would be through learning to run, especially since I was told that it was something I’d never do again.

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I’m sure I would have hoped I’d be happy again by now but didn’t realize just how much happiness starting a family could bring, no matter what else is going on in your life.

I probably would have hoped I’d be back at work too but likely wouldn’t have guessed that my ‘work’ would become raising my family and would be far more fulfilling than any consulting career I thought I wanted.

I know for sure I would have hoped that I’d still have wonderful friends in my life. I just didn’t know that some would come and some would go but along the way I’d meet new ones and forge relationships even stronger.

And I know I would have hoped that in 10 years I would accomplish at least something that could make me feel good about how far I’d come despite all the pain and the challenges, I just never expected it would be so many half marathons, 5 full marathons, 4 ultra marathons and counting.

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I likely would have hoped that in those 10 years I’d have found some way to make a difference, I just never expected that through sharing my story I’d be able to inspire and encourage others to achieve their goals too.

I know I would have hoped that over time some of the painful memories would have faded but didn’t realize that memories like those never truly go away, you just get better at hiding them when you need to.

I would have hoped that by this time I wouldn’t be defined by this accident and my injuries but didn’t realize just how much they would end up making me who I am today.

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A huge thank you to the amazing and talented Cathy Empey who took these photographs a couple years ago to help me celebrate how far I’ve come.

10 years ago I was at my lowest, my weakest, my most uncertain and today I live a life full of friends, family, opportunities and achievements I never thought possible, especially after having been injured so badly.

The past 10 years have been full of so many challenges, physical and emotional losses and more pain than I ever thought I could possibly handle. Yet, in the same 10 years I have learned so much about who I am, what I can do, what is important and have found more joy and success than I could have ever hoped for. It it still amazing to me how it can take your weakest moments to shoes you your strongest ones.

So ‘happy 10th anniversary’ to everyone involved both on the day it happened and every day since. Thank you for being part of my journey, for supporting me, listening to me, encouraging me and for helping me make every single step from there to here.

And looking back, 10 years later it’s incredible to see how all those little steps have added up into such great big things.

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Comments

  1. jencloss    

    Amazing Nikki! You are so inspiring!

  2. Crystal    

    Welcome back Nikki! You truly are a postcard for “not giving up.” You must take every day and every moment as a gift.
    Crystal recently posted…Things I would tell you about running in AlbertaMy Profile

    1. slowfastnik    

      I do Crystal, every single one of them. :)

  3. Glenn Rideout    

    Truly inspiring, I have been a runner for 5 years now, my lifestyle and health have changed completely thanks to
    running.Your story and this blog have been great motivation to stay with it.

    Thanks and congrats on your success!

    1. slowfastnik    

      Thank you so much for saying that Glenn! It’s all of the people I’ve met along the way that have made the journey so great. :)

  4. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs    

    I have so many thoughts and words swirling through my head, but I’m having trouble making sense of them. Your story is one of the many reasons I love running. I truly believe that running can change you.
    Xo.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…The Non-Blogmopolitan QuizMy Profile

    1. slowfastnik    

      Thank you so much Angela, that means a ton. :)

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