It was a beautiful fall day in Connecticut when Colleen Kelly Alexander, a lifelong athlete, rode her bike home from work. She had survived both a diagnosis of lupus and brain surgery, had a fulfilling career, and was married at last to the love of her life. Everything was good as she coasted along, meeting the eyes of a truck driver as he approached the stop sign beside her.
He didn't stop. The truck hit Colleen, running over her lower body with front and back tires and dragging her across the pavement. As she bled out in the street, nearby strangers surrounded her and the driver attempted to get away. An EMT herself, Colleen knew she had to stay awake. "I've just been reconnected with my soulmate," she told the medic. "We want to have a baby. I can't die now. Please don't let me die."
Five weeks in a coma and twenty-nine surgeries later, Colleen survived. Rather than let the trauma and PTSD control her life, she became determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain. She decided she'd run again and dedicate her race medals to the everyday heroes around us, including the medical staff and blood donors who saved her life. Since then Colleen has run fifty races and completed forty triathlons, including four half-Ironman events. Now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, Colleen shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.
About the Author
Colleen Kelly Alexander is a lifelong athlete and motivational speaker. With her indomitable spirit and amazing story of survival, Colleen teaches others how to aim higher, be stronger, and use adversity as a catalyst to make themselves and the world better. She was the executive director of the Common Ground Youth Center in Vermont for eight years, and a regional program manager for PeaceJam, where Nobel Peace Prize laureates mentor youth. She has also worked for, volunteered for, and is heavily involved with the Red Cross. She lives in a New England coastal town with her husband and their three dogs and cat.
Jenna Glatzer (www.jennaglatzer.com) is the author or ghost-writer of twenty-nine books, including Celine Dion's authorized biography and The Marilyn Monroe Treasures. She and her daughter live in New York.
Colleen is a personal inspiration of mine. Her guts, grit and determination alone are enough to embolden anyone who hears her speak. But it is Colleen's great humanity and humility in the face of her challenges that should inspire us all.—Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
"I always said running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself but life's possibilities. Colleen brought that message to life and had me thinking of my own possibilities. Colleen's message isn't about how far we can run but how much we can endure just to be part of the running community."—Bart Yasso, Retired Chief Running Officer of Runner's World
Colleen Kelly Alexander is a living embodiment of resiliency, grace, and gratitude--even in the face of some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Read this remarkable memoir. It will lift up your heart with thankfulness and inspiration, just as Colleen has inspired countless everyday heroes who strive to make this world a better place.—Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross
Gratitude in Motion is a powerful story of the triumph of one determined and inspiring soul. Colleen Kelly Alexander's vision to 'bring about more humanity and understanding' despite monumental obstacles gives hope to us all. Her story is the gift that the world needs so desperately right now.—Kate Cumbo, PhD, Director of Programs, PeaceJam Foundation