AS: I grew up playing sports. My senior year of high school, I was the Captain of the Varsity Field Hockey, Basketball and Lacrosse Teams. I was also on a summer swim and tennis team from the ages of 5-17.
Leading up to my accident, I was working with orphans & refugees (specifically little girls who had been sex trafficked), in conflict & disaster zones. I was running between 6-9 miles a day. I remember being proud of how quickly I could mix cement floors, scale walls & make money off of “machista” men, on the basketball court. I taught the little girls, in my care, how to play sports, as well as self-defense. Looking back, I took full advantage of my mobility. Playing sports, running and being active was the best therapy for my soul. Nature was my church. I strived to be as physically strong as possible because I knew my life depended on it. I was sexually assaulted and attacked a few times (par for the course, given where I was). Each time, though, I healed and grew even more determined to stay and continue loving the little ones in my care.