I was the type of kid who walked into a room at age 4 while visiting my grandparents and said, “This is my plan!”
My dream was to go to the Olympics one day. I just needed to figure out what sport. I dabbled in everything from swimming to softball before finding my gift with running, which earned me a scholarship to California State University, Northridge. After earning a degree in Criminology, I decided to give Triathlon a try! It was at this time that I met my husband, Courtney who got me started in Mountain Biking. At the end of 2001 I turned pro in both Mountain Biking and Xterra (off-road triathlons!) My Olympic dream was taking shape!
For nearly 7 years, I dominated the Xterra scene both in the U.S. and overseas. I racked up 37 Championship wins (more than any other female or male at that time), 6 U.S. Championship Titles and 1 World Title. In 2008, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, which was wrapped around my sciatic nerve. I lost the use of most of my left leg with a condition called complete “drop foot.” I also lost the use of my hamstring and glute muscle. It looked like my plans to go to the Olympics were over, along with my pro career.
After three years and twin boys, I returned to competition as a Para cyclist. In the span of twelve months I picked up six World Titles (on the road and on the track) and set two world records in the 500TT and the 3K pursuit. Because of these great results, I was nominated and won an ESPY for Best Female Athlete With A Disability. Besides being a mom and Para cyclist, I run my own triathlon coaching business helping others reach their goals. I can also be found sharing my story as a motivational speaker around the world.
Sometimes the paths to our dreams change but we can’t stop dreaming. I’ve had my eye set on the Olympics since I was 6 years old, now it is the Paralympics in 2016. Look out Rio!