As you get older, it becomes more difficult to stay active. Body limitations are something that coincide with old age, and stop a lot of people from being as physical as they used to be.
But Colleen Kelly Alexander has always thought that age is just a number.
At 42, she’s still an avid athlete, and loves riding her bike. At one point, she was riding her bike to her job in the cold Connecticut weather!
The day that changed her life was October 8, 2011. While riding on her bike back home from work, she was run over by a freight truck.
Alexander already knew the damage that was done almost immediately, as she could see her own bones coming out of her body.
“I thought those might be my last moments on Earth,” she said in a NY Post blog.
She screamed to get the attention of others, and once people came, paramedics were called and they were rushed to the scene.
After being taken to a hospital, Alexander claims that her husband waited in the same waiting room as those whose loved ones were expected to die — doctors weren’t thinking she would make it through the night.
The procedures done were enough to keep her alive, though she flat-lined twice in the process.
She was then put into a medically-induced coma. For the five weeks she was in it, she drifted in and out of consciousness.
“Most of my PTSD from the trauma was not from the actual act of getting run over . . . it was being locked in my body day in and day out, not knowing what was real and what was a dream,” she said.
When Alexander finally woke up, the pain in her body was immense, as numerous parts of her body had been stitched up. She could barely move an inch without pain, for months.
“I hit a point where I wasn’t sure I wanted to live anymore,” she said.
Besides the physical pain she dealt with, one can imagine going from being active every day, to being confined to a bed with no way out of it. That can take a serious mental toll on anyone.
But Alexander wouldn’t let this incident get in the way of living her life.
“I felt a responsibility to do something positive to honor these many, everyday heroes who’d saved me,” she said.
From that point on, she worked through her pain to get back into good physical shape. When starting out in early 2012, she was barely able to walk across a room on her own.
By the end of 2012, she was able to ride a bike again.
She claims that even years later, her body is still in pain from the accident, but it doesn’t stop her from continuing from where she had left off.
Since recovering, Alexander has competed in over 40 races, and is now an advocate for Red Cross.
She acknowledges that her scars are a part of her journey, one that will keep on going.
“It’s been a very long road,” she told TODAY.
Alexander is the epitome of someone that never gives up. She knows that we can’t control everything that happens in life, and it’s up to us to make the most of what we have.
Feeling pain has done little to stop her from doing what she’s always loved to do.
“I am who I am now, and I’m so grateful for this life,” she said.