By Katie Neuman
I’ve spent about half my life struggling to accept myself. I was born with cerebral palsy (CP). It’s a disease that affects my ability to move and maintain balance and posture. As you can imagine, that makes running or even walking a marathon difficult. But that hasn’t stopped me. I’m 30-years-old and I’ve done a 5K to an Ironman Triathlon and everything in between. Yeah, you read that right!
I don’t do it alone though. I have a massive support system in my family, especially when I was getting started, and MyTEAM Triumph is what really makes it all possible for me. They’ve been with me for every race I’ve been a part of.
I’m typically linked up with a couple of good-looking guys and together, the three of us take on these races. For most of the race, I’m in a race chair and my “Angels,” the helpers from MyTEAM Triumph, push me along the course. I always make a point to get out of that chair to cross the finish line though. I will have one Angel on one side and another on the other side and together we finish each race.
When I look at all that I’ve accomplished in my 30 years of life, I wish I could go back and tell young me that it is okay to be different. This disability I live with, it isn’t going anywhere – but it also doesn’t define who I am or what I can do.
I struggled for a long time wanting to be like everyone else; I even felt sorry for myself from time to time, but now I aim to reach some tough goals. It’s not always easy, but every challenge makes me stronger and more determined to keep reaching higher.
This year, I’m planning to sign up to do the ThedaCare Half Marathon. I’m grateful to the people of MyTEAM Triumph who donate their time and energy to help me, and others like me, because this is one of those tough goals that I need a little help to reach but am so proud to accomplish.