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. {To listen to this podcast episode about Ali’s journey over the past year, click on the player at the top of this post}

Ali, left, with fellow ultra runner and great friend Erika Kuhnle.

Ali, a wellness chef and health coach, is a longtime contributor to Michigan Runner Girl, 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.

 


The Michigan Runner Girl Show is made possible in part by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Traverse City Tourism also helped make this episode possible.

If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio’s work here.

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