“Life was never meant to be easy!” exclaims Tressa Carter. Given her circumstance, it’s difficult to understand why she’s so upbeat about things.

On May 30th of this year, avid jogger Tressa Carter was driving to the gym for her pre-work workout. It was to be a trip that would alter her life forever. She recalls, “the edge of my right tire caught the broken pavement. I gently pulled the truck back onto the road, but the steering wheel felt like it snatched out of my hand and began to spin out of control. I remember the truck going over into the opposite lane and then it ended up flipping several times before I was ejected from truck. I ended up on my stomach with arms and legs stretched out with face up – like superwoman! The truck then flipped a couple more times in the opposite directions once I was ejected.”

She continues, “The lady that was directly behind me, came to my side immediately and stayed with me until the ambulance picked me up.” Carter smiles, “Her name is Nicole Hardy. She asked me if there was anyone I needed her to call and I told her to contact my husband Dewitt and gave her his number. There were a lot of great people who showed up at the accident to help with me and contact my boss to let her know I wouldn’t be able to make it to work that day.”

A few short days later, Carter was in the Intensive Care Unit when her doctor informed her that her infection had spread and that amputation was necessary. “I kinda knew from the beginning that this would have to be done because when I turned to look at my right leg while lying on the highway that day the calf was split open all the way down but was hoping for the best. I did prepare myself for a possible amputation.”

Surgery was scheduled for the following day and surgery went well and the healing was as good as could be expected. Carter was out of hospital and on her way home 11 days later. “My left leg had several injuries. I had broken bones in that leg and ankle and there were several deep wounds. My left knee was also traumatized really bad, so I was in a knee brace along with a boot for about 2 months. I am in therapy now, doing some strengthening to the leg, knee & ankle and have been doing a lot better getting around. I was using a walker until about a week ago and now I use the forearm crutches.”

She has been fitted with a posthetic, but hasn’t been able to use it much yet. “I got my prosthetic leg recently, but my socket is too big and I have problems keeping the leg on so I haven’t really been able to train with it yet. I go again next week and hopefully we have a good fit.”

What is so striking about Carter is her cheerfulness that shines through everything she does. She attributes this to her outlook on life and her mindset.

“I always say, you can do everything that you set your mind to do. Push yourself and never doubt yourself.”

She goes on to say, “Anyone who is having a hard time in life just always remember to be strong, don’t give up and always remember there is someone else out there that is a lot worse off than you are so be very thankful for what you do have.” Carter would like to thank her dear friend Ashley Lodge, for all her support during her accident and her recovery.

Once Carter has become accustomed to using her new leg, she plans on attacking her first Spartan Race. No excuses for her. What’s yours? Sign up today.

See you at the finish line…

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by Briana Meikle

I did my first obstacle course in August of 2012. It was an easy one as OCR’s go. I was terrified and then hooked. A year later, I have run nearly 20 races including six Spartans. I still have two Beasts left this year, Sun Peaks this month and Carolina in November, which, if I am successful, will give me Double Trifecta for 2013!

I think I fall in a category that many women do. I am not a competitive athlete. I am not overweight. I don’t have an amazing story of overcoming the odds or running elite heats or losing 100 pounds. I am an average woman of average fitness and average weight. I work sometimes 80+ hours a week so getting to CrossFit times a week is an accomplishment and usually accomplished at the expense of the laundry or the dishes. I am not a natural athlete, but I can complete all of the obstacles, most of the time. I am slow, but not slow enough to earn any applause for the perseverance to finish. I am just awesomely average.

One of the things I love about OCR’s and Spartan Races in particular, is that ANYONE can do it. My boyfriend is a competitive, military athlete. And we leave the start line together every time. And he is always waiting for me at the finish line, and has been waiting for more than an hour. What other sport can two people of such different skill levels participate in the same event?

I applaud the ladies who have made a commitment to lose weight, get fit, get healthy because that is a huge accomplishment. And I hope you hear it all the time! I am in awe of those amazingly committed and gifted athlete chicks that prance over the men’s 8ft wall like it was a mere hurdle. You inspire me and even though I know you hear it all the time, I am happy to tell you again, WOW!

But for the rest of us, the average girls… In case someone hasn’t told you lately… Good for you! You just accomplished something amazing! You were brave enough to get out of your desk, get off your treadmill and swim, jump, climb, run, slop, roll and smile your way through 5km, 14km, 22km… You attempted every obstacle and did every one of your burpees (even if they weren’t pretty and took a long time). You accepted help and lent a muddy hand. You encouraged the struggling Spartans and stepped out of the way of the fast ones.

Just by being a Spartan Chick you have made average AWESOME.

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