The summer of 2017 started out well for Ali Lopez, with big plans for triathlons as well as trail running and racing. But this all suddenly changed when she critically injured her left eye in an accident while at her home.
Ali went from competing in a northern Michigan triathlon to the next day facing downstate surgeries and weeks of recovery. She couldn't be upright (no walking or running) and in fact had to spend significant amounts of time laying face down as her eye healed.
Ali, a wellness chef and health coach, is a longtime contributor to MichiganRunnerGirl.com, writing columns about fueling smart and sharing delicious recipes. She opens up about her experience last summer -- "Mentally, it was tough," she shares -- and what it's now like being on the other side of this injury and getting back into running, triathlon, and cooking.
"It was hard ... but now when I am running and it's really hot or I'm running and it's really cold, or whatever, I just laugh. Because this is not hard. Yeah, this hard, but this is nothing compared to [what I went through]. I keep telling myself, you get to keep doing this. You couldn't do anything last summer, so everything that I get to do, I am just so grateful for. Even now, I just hope I finish [a race]. I hope I'm not last, but I just hope I can finish. I can be in the water, I can be on my bike, I can be on the trails, I can be running, I can be doing stuff. Because it sucks when you can't."