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July 21: The Art of Embracing Change

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On the Road with Joan Herrmann at the New York Open Center

Radio talk show host Joan Herrmann talks with her guest Colleen Kelly Alexander about bouncing back after life-changing adversity.

Colleen Kelly Alexander was run over by a multi-ton freightliner. When medics arrived, they found the young woman completely mangled from the stomach down: a broken pelvis and a severely de-gloved abdomen, leg, hips, vaginal area, and behind. She received over 70 blood transfusions after her body was left drained of blood her heart lacked anything to pump. Requiring full resuscitation twice, Colleen remained in a coma for over five weeks. She endured multiple surgeries and severe wound management as her broken body struggled to heal. 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 didn’t just survive, she chose to thrive. To date, Colleen has run 50 races and completed 40 triathlons, including four half-Ironman events.

Life is a complex journey with many ups and downs, as Colleen can tell us. Just when things are moving along smoothly, something happens that changes your life. And, when that occurs, you may become stuck, unable to move forward. Challenges are inevitable and will happen to everyone. When we experience difficult times it is easy to focus on the negative. The way you handle obstacles is what will determine your destiny. When knocked down, there are two choices: get up and move on, or stay in a dark hole and live with resentment and regret. The latter choice will take you nowhere, so the best option is to pick up the broken pieces and continue the journey. And, while it may not seem possible, there is always a positive path forward.

Joan and Collen will discuss:

The importance of a positive attitude in relationship to how you react to and manage adversity
Tips/strategies to move forward from any situation
Lessons learn through personal journeys
The role of an attitude of gratitude in healing


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