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She Yells For Help After Every Race She Runs Even Though She Wins

She Yells For Help After Every Race She Runs Even Though She Wins

Meet Kayla Montgomery. She’s one of the fastest young distance runners in the country. Oh, yeah, she also just happens to suffer from multiple sclerosis. Instead of letting it hold her back from accomplishing her dreams of running a race, she’s used it as motivation to succeed. Kayla was motivated to thrive where others would crumble. This young girl had that same motivation we all need to beat depression, anxiety, and pain. Get inspired by her tale.

Kayla Grew Up Just Like Any Kid

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    Kayla enjoyed doing all of the things other young girls enjoy doing. She spent time hanging out with friends, playing dress up, and even competing on a travel soccer team. Then, one day, after falling in a soccer game, she noticed something was wrong.

    She was Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis

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      After the game, while at home, she began to notice a tingling sensation that started in her toes and worked it’s way up her legs. Before she knew it, Kayla could no longer feel her legs. After multiple visits to the doctor with scans and MRIs, the doctors told Kayla and her parents the news: She had multiple sclerosis, or MS.

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      Her Parents and Friends Were Devastated

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        Kayla’s parents and friends were devastated – and so was she. She spent days and weeks by herself wondering, “Why me?” It was an impossible question for anyone to answer – let alone her parents.

        Kayla Decided to Enjoy Life Anyways!

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          After the initial shock wore off, Kayla decided that she should make the best of her situation and enjoy the time she has with an able and functioning body. In addition to eating healthy and staying active, Kayla decided to compete again. With contact sports out of the question (per doctor’s orders), she decided to pursue distance running.

          One Special Coach Pushed Her to the Limit

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            That’s when she met Coach Cromwell – the man that would change the trajectory of her young life. Despite being what he would call an “average” runner when first joining the JV team, Kayla blossomed underneath Coach Cromwell’s guidance and encouragement. He would regularly tell Kayla,

            “I want you to run. I want you to run fast. And I don’t want you to hold back.”

            Even Though She Can’t Feel Her Legs

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              Kayla tried her best to run fast, despite the fact that she couldn’t even feel her legs. Since heat triggers MS symptoms it causes short-term flare ups in which symptoms become rather extreme. Every time Kayla runs, her legs go numb; however, her coach is always there to catch her at the finish line.

              Kayla Became the Best on the Team

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                Over time, Kayla built up her endurance, learned to fight through the strange sensation of not being able to feel her legs, and quickly became the fastest runner on the team. She even started training with the boy’s team.

                Then Kayla Became the Best in the State

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                  The story doesn’t stop there. Kayla wasn’t satisfied with just being the best distance runner on the team. She wanted to be the best in the state. So, in the final match of her senior year, she faced off with North Carolina’s best high school distance runners in the state meet. Despite falling on the first lap, she picked herself up and raced to a first-place finish.

                  Her Coach is Always There to Catch Her

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                    When Kayla finished, guess who was there to catch her? That’s right – Coach Cromwell. Like every race, her coach, mentor, and friend was there to pick her up and help her regain the feeling in her legs.

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                    Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis

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                      Multiple sclerosis is a very serious disease that deserves more attention and funding. Currently, an estimated 2.5 million people worldwide (400,000 people in the United States) suffer from MS.

                      Learn more by visiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.

                      More by this author

                      Anna Johansson

                      Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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                      1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

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                      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                      Example 1

                      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                      Example 2

                      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                      Example 3

                      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                      Example 4

                      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                      • Understand your own communication style
                      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                      • Communicate with precision and care
                      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                      1. Understand Your Communication Style

                      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                      3. Exercise Precision and Care

                      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                      The Bottom Line

                      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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