Shine Bright

Colette Alesi works for dynamic spine and sport therapy in north Georgia. She runs with No limits endurance team. She will set a FKT this year and has a 100k and 100 miler planned in late September. She is a devoted Catholic, a mother to a talented son who is attending college, a wife to an amazing man who lets her dream as big as she wants. She truly enjoys running in the mountains and she is a firm believer in sharing positivity and volunteering at races to help the community.

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Injury in its definition is: an instance of being injured, or damage to a person’s feelings.

We normal only think of the first one, a physical state to be in, she injured her back, or she has an injury to her leg. Not a lot of people think about the mental aspect of injury, she is injured and depressed, she is injured and angry.

Hi, my name is Colette Alesi, I’m a 39 year old ultra runner, a devoted Catholic and mother and a wife. I am currently writing this essay after having back surgery. I’m 22 hours out of surgery, I’ve walked, used the restroom by myself and even tried sitting on my own. All my injuries have lead me to this point, how to handle the ups and downs, the pain, and the emotional roller coaster.

If you have ever been injured then in your own way you can relate to this essay, and I encourage you to use your experience to help a fellow runner or friend through a difficult time. Be the light for someone else.

So here we go…

I’ve had my fair share of injuries, IT band, knee, hip, all the favorites of some one who likes to run long and hard.

I grew up an ice skater, then found trail running in my later years. It came natural. I’m small framed with strong legs. I like to feel like I’m working. I push hard on hard days and race on race day. I accomplished a lot in my little time on the trails, podium finishes and set course records, but nothing compares to the things I’ve gain from being injured and set back.

Just the word injury creates a feeling or an attachment to something for most people. A time that you were injured you remember what it felt like to be in that moment, to want to run but instead you watched all your buddies go out and run. To scroll through IG or social media and then realize that you couldn’t look at it anymore because EVERYTHING on there was about mountains, trails, and running. That moment hurt, there can be anger, sadness, and the “will I ever get better” thought.

It is a work in progress, injury makes you change perspective, it will make you try harder, work smarter and be more alert to your body’s needs.

When we are injured, we learn how to become stronger physically and mentally. We learn how to build our muscles to help prevent further injuries. Mentally we will always remember how difficult it was coming back from injury and we use that to help us push through road blocks in our every day life and our running life.

The comeback from injury is always a rewarding experience! That moment when you set yourself free from injury and you take on the day with a new perspective. Things that you thought were difficult seem like a breeze. You have trained your mind to push through and go after it. A joyful moment when you bend down to lace up your trail shoes and hit the dirt for the first time since injury, it’s a feeling you may have thought you lost, but it has been there the whole time, just waiting for you to let go!

But letting go can be scary, I’m sure we all have had those moments where we didn’t want to try again because we just didn’t want to be injured again, or we feared we were starting back too early. It is in that moment that we fight that fear response. We learn to respond with a positive heart and a “I can do this, “ attitude. That’s the comeback, the breakthrough, the moment we get a joyful opportunity to kick fear in the behind and tell it to LEAVE!

Now I’m sure I could spend another 600 or more words on this topic, especially in my current state… so instead I will request something.

To all those who have overcome injury, share your experience with another, lend a helping hand, go volunteer, help another who is struggling. Be the change that you would like to see. Shine your light!

My journey has just begun again. And when I’m back I’ll be sharing my light, telling stories, giving hugs, and tearing up the trails that I love so much!

Shine on trail sisters!

About the Author

Colette Alesi works for dynamic spine and sport therapy in north Georgia. She runs with No limits endurance team. She will set a FKT this year and has a 100k and 100 miler planned in late September. She is a devoted Catholic, a mother to a talented son who is attending college, a wife to an amazing man who lets her dream as big as she wants. She truly enjoys running in the mountains and she is a firm believer in sharing positivity and volunteering at races to help the community.

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  1. Thank you! I needed that reminder. I had a pretty extensive shoulder injury August 2020, I was never a fan of running, but love being outside with nature and any form of physical activity. I was limited in what exercise I could do, but with KT in the right spots and alot of grit, I could walk/run. So that is what I did until my surgery May 2021. Then I was unable to do anything (listening to doctors orders) and it was hard to explain how it wasn’t just the injury, the surgery, and now the time to heal. It was that all of it as a whole was affecting my whole being- what I loved, where I could clear my head, relax (we have 5 kids), see my friends at the gym, my sleep, and many many things. Long story short-I made it! I worked hard. Put the time in at PT, listened (mostly)- the day I was cleared to be able to run (I did ask, every session) I was so excited, what was meant to be 2 miles turned into 10. Now after several months of nursing foot and hip pain, and doing all the things, even a chiropractor- the hips have gotten to the point I can barely walk. It is depressing. I have an appointment this week with an ortho. I want there to be a definitive fix, I need to be on the trails, and I am sad to be having this setback. But God willing, I will get back out there. Thank you again.

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