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What is a Survivor?


Some days I get home from work and think, “Wow, I made it.”  Then I wonder if my level 10 athletes that just finished their workout feel the same way.  Or, perhaps, they felt that way each time they got out of my homemade bar trench they used to try their new skills.  Then I wonder once more and tell myself that the things I made it through today (dealing with a limp body 21-month old while putting her into her car seat, re-anchoring bars at the gym because a screw broke in half, or spending an hour on top of a ladder flipping a mat so that my athletes can have less fear when attempting new skills) are only challenges.  They aren’t real problems.  They all have solutions.  Some less pleasant than others.  But in the end, each resolved challenge leads me to a better tomorrow.

So after dinner with my husband and maybe a comedy on DVR, I jump on Facebook to browse whatever nonsense is the hot topic for the evening.

Then I find it.

Posts from a weekend walk that I was able to participate in with a dear friend, gymnast mom, and employee that was diagnosed with Colon Cancer just one year ago.  The pictures show her 32 person team, smiles, and support.  What they don’t show was her courage.  As she got up to do her part as the pre-race speaker, she was smiling from ear to ear.  She stood up with the mic in her hand and told her story: Age 41, Stage 4 Colon Cancer, 6 rounds of Chemo, 4 Surgeries, 6 more rounds of Chemo, and REMISSION.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in the race corral other than her own.

Kris is a survivor.

And not one that is hiding under a rock trying to brace herself from future problems.  One that is out living life to the fullest extent possible.  Attending every sporting event her kids are in.  Participating in volunteer projects.  And most impressively, bringing a smile and positive attitude with her through the entire journey.

So tomorrow, when I wake up to my three (real) children, my 32 (gym) children, my husband, my job, and whatever else life has in store for me that day, allow me to find pleasure in solving challenges that I face and inspiration in the lives of others.




September 23, 2014 | Blog | 1

One Response to What is a Survivor?

  1. Kris Illum says:

    I loved your post Morgan. It was supporters like you that have helped me through it all. Thanks for being such a great friend!

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