Kateri is a junior at Grand Valley State University, majoring in Special Education. She loves concerts, musical festivals, traveling, and drinking lots of coffee! She joined CHAARG after being “willingly dragged into it” by a friend, but it has changed her life forever. Read on for her CHAARG Journey —
I am incredibly un-athletically gifted, as my older brother once told me. By the time I had reached 8th grade, I had tried every sport under the suno. Growing up as a complete daddy’s girl [++ still am to this day], I wanted to be nothing more than a runner. My dad was a track // cross country coach my entire childhood + is still a runner. While I did find enjoyment in running + being active, it just was not something that I could do easily.
For an unknown reason, I have hyper-mobility in all my joints, ++ if that wasn’t challenging enough, everything from my hips down is not lined up quite right. This leads to frequent, chronic joint pain. To run in middle school, I had to get custom shoe orthotics, go to physical therapy, + ice my shins after every practice. I was putting in twice the work as others to complete a race, ++ I came in dead last at the largest meet on my side of the state. To do lacrosse, it required more physical therapy + having to wear KT tape on my shoulders every game to keep from getting injured. By the start of high school, I had accepted that I was one of those people who shouldn’t do sports. With that also came the idea that I wouldn’t like or be good at anything active other than the occasional walk or hike.
Fast forward to the most recent CHAARG Fall FitPlan >> I had attempted the past two FitPlans, ++ I always lost motivation halfway through. Something with this FitPlan just clicked for me. I fell in love with working out! My dad came up to visit me during the FitPlan, I proudly told him I’d run a 5K with intervals that morning. The look on his face when I told him made me incredibly proud of myself + pushed me to keep going. At one point in the FitPlan, I had even done two workouts before noon! I was looking forward to going to the rec center + reaching out for workout partners.
While mentally, I had fallen in love with working out my body wasn’t quite on the same page. There was a night of pain + anger when I had incredible shoulder pain. I was crying more out of anger toward my body than the actual pain in my shoulder. The pain was just a reminder of what I couldn’t do, that my body was so weak it couldn’t do a FitPlan without getting injured. Needing support, I turned to my fellow CHAARGies. My friend Rachel reminded me to focus on what I could do in the moment + not what I couldn’t do. While I couldn’t do what I wanted in the moment, it didn’t mean I could never do it.
This changed my thinking in an incredible way. Instead of thinking that I just because I couldn’t do something right then, didn’t mean that I was never going to be able to do it. This just meant that I was going to reach my goals differently than I had originally thought. There is always a way forward.
I am #inCHAARG because I have the power to choose how I look + react to things. I can focus on the positives in life, ++ choose if it’s something that is going to stop me from enjoying something. CHAARG has helped me by surrounding me with some incredible + empowering women. They keep me focusing on the positives + embracing life through all its ups // downs.
Don’t forget that you are always enough! Never let anyone tell you or make you think otherwise, that includes yourself.
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” // Steve Prefontaine
#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. You can continue to follow her CHAARG Journey on Instagram . We love you, Kateri, ++ are so thankful to have you a part of the CHAARG Community!