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Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Athlete of the Month - SPECIAL EDITION

5 years ago during a bike ride this idea came to me...

Why not make it a point to share inspirational stories of individuals who have been able to overcome their very own blood clotting incident and returned to do what they love to do...

I can't hardly believe it...

After 5 years I've managed to write about 60 individuals all with very different stories but all with the very same message of inspiration of hope that can in fact help others get through the very difficult time which to have a clotting incident.

For that very reason the Athlete of the Month June 2013 edition belongs to ALL 60 INDIVIDUALS I've been able to feature of the years!

Personally, it has been a pleasure to come across all of the stories I've been able to share and I look forward to the many more I will get to do over the next years. 

Every story can cause a tremendous impact in getting the fire going on someone facing the challenge of a clotting incident.

Over the years I was able to write and share about...

Ironman Finishers...
Marathon Finishers...
Half-Ironman Finishers...
Half-Marathon Finishers...
10K Runners...
5K Runners...
Professional Athletes (Baseball, Cycling, Tennis, Soccer, Basketball, NASCAR, etc)...
Weekend Warriors...
Weekday Warriors...

I am ETERNALLY GREATFUL for the willingness of this folks to share their stories on this forum.  Without their participation I would not have any material to share.  THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER for participating and letting me share your story.


Here is looking forward to meet many more individuals to learn about their story and what they are capable of.

Before posting this "special edition" post I asked many of those featured to provide their impressions on the blog so here I am sharing them with you...

FROM Rebekah Bradford >>> MARCH 2013
"What dedication for you to be running that blog for five years! Congrats. You are providing courage and inspiration around the world.  It was a breath of fresh air when I stumbled upon your blog looking for answers while I was trying to deny my diagnosis in the ER.  I read about another Olympic athlete who persevered through her pulmonary embolism and was successful in the London Games.  She, and the others on your blog, were my pioneers and gave me hope throughout my recovery process. I am now 8.5 months out and am starting to feel more like myself. They were not lying when they said this will be the most exhausting year of your life!  I was diagnosed with a bilateral pulmonary embolism and a portion of my lung infarct. Such devastating news and pretty upset after being misdiagnosed. Since my recovery I was able to set three World Records in my age division and placed first and second numerous time in the American Cup series. Right now I have my sights set on the Sochi Games and am confident I'll be able to achieve my goal.  I am still tired and get upset sometimes, but the main thing is to not focus on the bad. You need every ounce of energy to heal and
eventually life will get back to normal. I hope this encourages whoever is reading this and am available to answer questions directly on the fan page on Facebook or Twitter."

 FROM Dierdre Callahan >>> NOVEMBER 2008
"Hi! Goodness, I can't believe it's been 5 years. I haven't had any further issues with clotting since my original DVT in 1997. I used the shots through my pregnancy with Conor and a month after. I believe my training and fitness helped. I do remember that the first 2 years, my left leg would swell to about 2 inches bigger than my right. I used to lay on my back with my feet against the wall for 20 mins after a run or bike.
When I did my figure competitions, I actually forgot about the former discrepancy -- symmetry is a big deal in the body building world and you cannot tell that I ever had a clot."

FROM Kristine Hinterkopf >>> APRIL 2012
"Congrats on the 5 year anniversary - that's awesome!
After my clots, I would have to say I'm a stronger person both mentally and physically. Mentally, you feel like you can accomplish anything after surviving something like that. On days when I don't feel like I can finish a long run, I remind myself what I've been through and how lucky I am to be here and to still be running. Physically, it took me a while to get back to where I was prior to my clotting incident, but I worked hard and ended up getting a PR in my first race back. Can't even begin to describe how amazing that felt.
I'm feeling great. I'm currently training for a Half-Marathon in July and am hoping to PR again this year. If all goes well, I'd like to run a full marathon next year!
Your blog is so inspiring to me. After my clots, I went through a pretty rough time. Like a lot of people, I was angry and didn't understand why this happened to me. But being able to read your blog and see so many incredible stories about athletes who were able to get back to doing what they love and come back even stronger really helped me. What you're doing with your blog is truly amazing. It inspired me when I needed it most and know it has helped countless others as well."

FROM Carla McAdam Stewart >>> MAY 2013
" I think the blog is amazing and so happy you started it 5 years ago as it helped me through some hard times, once I found it is what made me feel positive about returning to normal and helped relieve my anxiety. When I was having a hard time I would always go back and read a few stories. I found it so inspiring to read about fellow clot survivors returning to the sports they love after blood clot. I couldn't wait for each month to read about the next one. Where am I now well a year and 4 months later I am feeling great, training hard and feeling like I did pre clot, with still some occasional bouts of anxiety."

FROM Becs Williams >>> JULY 2011
"It’s just over 2 years since I had my second blood clot. I’ve been on warfarin ever since and having not had a follow-up scan I can only assume the clot has now dispersed. Taking the drugs has become part of my life and in many ways it’s been beneficial; if nothing else it’s a good excuse to not drink as much as I used to! The downsides are the fear of bleeding, slight hair loss, and the bruising – much of which is unexplained, particularly on my legs.

I have gradually increased my exercise levels over the last 2 years and now feel I am getting back to where I was before my clot. I can go out on my bike without having any clot-related pain in my leg, and whilst my running still causes discomfort, I can be out for runs that last for over 2 hours and still be ok. I’m therefore largely happy with my physical progress; it has been as good as could be expected.
I struggle more with the mental side of recovery, I still find myself getting anxious and whilst I have developed ways of calming myself down, I feel this is something that will be more lasting and something I need to continue to work on. To help I have started doing yoga more regularly; I try to do it at least 4 times a week, and I feel this has made a huge difference in my recovery – both physically and mentally – and I would recommend it to anyone.

Being an ‘athlete of the month’ on the ClotBuster blog was a great boost for me and helped me realise that I wasn’t alone. Blood clots are an odd thing, often dismissed as something rather insignificant, but at the same time affecting so many peoples’ lives – it’s so good to have an online community to connect with. As well as the blog, I also keep in touch with people through groups on facebook in the UK and the US, and it’s great to have people to discuss things with and to hear how other people are coping. The blog really opens up your eyes to what people can achieve when they put their mind to it – I have gotten so much inspiration from reading other peoples’ stories, and it helps me ‘dig deep’ when things are painful! I also loved wearing my polkadots – what an honour and what a great response I had from people as I ‘raced’ by. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of my brother wearing his when he gets it.
I want to say a huge thanks to the ClotBuster – it’s been so great having you around and following my progress, keeping my spirits up and being a great support. Keep up the good work! J "

I am very lucky to have cross paths with some very impressive stories including Olympians who are at the top of their sport.  Some day one of those "Professional Athletes" will in fact respond to my requests and help this cause gain even more traction.  I don't ask for money just the acknowledgment that they are in fact blood clot survivors and that they too have a story that is worth sharing.  Brian Vickers - NASCAR driver featured on July 2010 - has gone the extra mile to place the anti clotting movement on his car allowing for the exposure we need in order reach new heights in our awareness efforts.  Someday it is my hope that we will break through!

Once more, I am honored to have this opportunity to feature all of this inspiring stories.  My hope is that they can in fact allow others to get through a difficult time and provide the spring board for them to start down their very own come back trail.

Here it is wishing for another 5 years!.

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

Friday, June 07, 2013

June Athlete of the Month

After 5 years...
After 60 "athletes" posted...
After 60 INSPIRING STORIES shared...
June's Athlete of the Month post will be a celebration of all the inspiring stories and a commitment to continue posting stories of individuals who have been able to OVERCOME their clotting episode and return to do the sport they love.
Here is hoping for another 5 years and 60 more other inspiring stories...!
Stay tuned for the next post which is currently under development...
Thanks for reading,
The Clot Buster,

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!