When The Impossible Becomes Possible With Paraplegic Christine Kent

Editor’s Note: Once you have courage to look death in the face and fight through almost-unbearable pain, then you can find the strength to do the impossible. When Christine Kent’s therapist told her that one day she could do marathons, she looked at him as though he was a two-headed monster, who clearly didn’t understand her physical condition. A marathon was impossible for Christine to even think about, much less consider. However, with courage comes strength, and with strength comes endurance, and once you combine these two character traits, the impossible becomes possible. Part 5 of a 5-part series.

Christine Kent with Vice President of Achilles Mary Bryant, and a very dedicated volunteer Dan Doucette. Christine loves the ability to handcycle. It has brought her such joy--along with Achilles!

Christine Kent with Vice President of Achilles Mary Bryant, and a very dedicated volunteer Dan Doucette. Christine loves the ability to handcycle. It has brought her such joy--along with Achilles!

In 2009, I did my first marathon with Achilles of South Florida on a handcycle in West Palm Beach. Completing that marathon was the most invigorating experience I’d had since my injury. I had no pain after completing a full 26 mile marathon, and I fell in love with the sport I had once viewed as impossible. I realized I could participate in sports again, even though I was disabled. I saw just how powerful my upper body could be. I am blessed and fortunate that my injury wasn’t worse, and that my injury didn’t cause death. I was enjoying life again, thanks to Achilles for making such a difference in my life! 

Achilles made such a difference in Christine's life. She has acheived great things!

Achilles made such a difference in Christine's life. She has acheived great things!

My hand cycle friends and I help and support each other. I also really enjoy helping other athletes who are new to the sport. I want to be an inspiration to other people. I’ve learned since I was injured, that life’s not over after a spinal cord injury.  I’ve just finished my ninth full marathon which was in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Now, I’m not as highly competitive or as fast as some of the other athletes. However, I believe that when I finish a marathon, I’ve won. I’ve also discovered that I can still make a positive difference in other people’s lives by encouraging and inspiring others to try something new like I have. I encourage everyone with spinal cord injuries to try handcycling because I’ve met so many amazing people and it’s fun! I’ve also learned that you can’t let a disability prevent you from living life to the fullest.  

Christine Kent believes that life is not over after a spinal cord injury. These firefighters have fully supported Christine and go out of their way to make her life even better than it already is!

"I am so grateful to the initial Fire Rescue responders who helped to save my life, and now they’ve helped me and the Achilles Team gear up for the Ft Lauderdale A1A Marathon!", Christine declares, happily. She believes that life is not over after a spinal cord injury. These firefighters have fully supported her and go out of their way to make her life even better than it already is!

Next, I’m going to start training with a Dragon Boat team known as Puff Dragon Boat Racing Team. This team won a silver medal last year and race all over the United States. I won’t be racing, I’ll just be training with them. After marathon season is over, I’ll be entering several 10K races. Athletics has taught me that I still can participate in exciting sports.

One tool that I’ve found that really helps me train when I’m not riding my hand cycle is “Love Handles RX”. This is the first and only exercise accessory that easily attaches to wheelchairs and chairs to provide an upper-body and cardiovascular workout from a seated position. The tension is fully adjustable, and they help build upper body strength. Another product which I use to help me  have a quick recovery and keep pain free is called SoreNoMore pain relieving gel. It really does help me to be me sore no more!

Christine Kent loves a good cardiovascular workout.

Christine Kent loves a good cardiovascular workout.

I’m also an active gardener. I’m grateful for everything that I have that’s good in my life. I believe that every day is a gift and that my life is a blessing.

Christine loves to garden. Here she is pruning her favorite flowering Jatropha Trees.

Christine loves to garden. Here she is pruning her favorite flowering Jatropha Trees.

The love and support which I have received from the community has been overwhelming. Gracepoint Church has shown me so much care and love, and being a member of such a wonderful church has helped me to grow stronger in my faith. I am saved by God’s grace and mercy through faith in Jesus Christ. My 46thbirthday was amazing when I received a fully modified van as a gift from loving members of Gracepoint Church!

Christine received a fully modified van for her birthday. She is blessed with dear friends and supporters.

Christine received a fully modified van for her birthday. She is blessed with dear friends and supporters.

This really helped to change my life and give me my independence back. Now I’m free to go places and help make a difference in this world helping others too. The Kiwanis Club of Oakland Park, and the Rotary Club, have been so kind to help me with all sorts of modifications to my home too. So many people have come together to help me and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them for helping to improve the quality of my life!

I’m so grateful for the love and support of my family, friends, neighbors and everyone who have helped me through this this chapter in my life.

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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3 Responses to When The Impossible Becomes Possible With Paraplegic Christine Kent

  1. Pingback: Silver is the Achilles Heel! « This Day – One Day

  2. Christine has been one of my biggest supporters as I emergedas a 54 year old rookie with a heavier handcycle that my younger counterparts, she befriended me with a friendly smile and constant words of encouragement. Tho we have differentinjuries and circumstances, she understood as i fought thru physisical pain to compete and just have fun again.
    I have been meaning to write my story and as Christine has encouraged me to “press on” and be an example, she has been my example and one of those heroes no one aspires to be, they just are because of who they are. Thanks for being who your are Christine, Remember, God never makes mistakes and only desires our best and to love others on His behalf.You certainly do that. I pray for you often andhope you will continue doing the same for me.
    Keep shining and we’ll meet on the roads of racing again soon. Keep.sharing the reality that tho disabled, the possibilities are endless and life was meant to be lived to the max no matter who we ar or what struggles we have. It was once said, “We all have disabilities. Some of ours are more visiable than others.”
    It is the abilities we have that make us better. We just have to use them.

  3. I’ve been married to my wife for 4 yrs now and we are from st louis and she’s a paraplegic since she was 9 always a athlete till she got sick and now she trying to get back into it after being sick for so long. She’s got what it takes i know she does its just we are having such a hard time trying to find someone to help us out in buying a hand cycle . The look in her eyes when she sees them is so amazing but sad we cant afford one so please if anyone knows anything that would help us get her back out there again on the bike and see her smile and happy again please let us know thank you so much.

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