July 10, 2017 Healthy Living

One Tough Mud-Covered Cookie Part II

The Tough Mudder is now about two months away, and I am feeling more prepared. In addition to hitting the gym every day, I have tried to seize every opportunity I can to get in some extra exercise, be it intense or not. My children have been the best supporters I could ask for. At the end of April, my daughter and I attended the 16th Annual Sean’s Run in Chatham, NY. We got in a short sprint from the car to the starting line only to find out that the run was cancelled due to severe weather. As a show of appreciation, the organizers named all participants honorees.

Next up was the 2017 CDPHP® Workforce Team Challenge. I had run this race in years’ past. One year I even made the local paper, but not for the reason you might think. On my drive home after the race, I took a turn on a highway I drove every day, but on this particular night a

n unexpected obstacle was in my path: a Black Angus beef cow! I hit the cow at 45 mph. My wrist was sprained and my new car was totaled. This year had to be better!

I was always a sprinter rather than a long-distance runner, and I have found that this still holds true. I ran my hardest, despite the hot, hu

mid 92-degree day. As I ran, I felt like I was breathing in pure asphalt. Nevertheless, I pushed through it. The final downhill stretch is always my favorite since I get to sprint and shave a few seconds off my time. I crossed the finish line at 43:30. Out of 180 women from my company, I placed 25th. I am proud of those results!

On June 3, I again attended the American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Walk. This walk is near and dear to my heart. While this next story is hard for me to write, I hope that it will help raise awareness of the seriousness of heart disease. In 2001, my mother, aunt, two cousins, and I packed into a van and drove to Florida for my uncle’s wedding. This was my first out-of-state vacation. While there, I noticed that my mother was not her usual self. She was forgetful, her words seemed muffled, and she was retaining water. I begged her to see a doctor, but she insisted she was fine. The first night we arrived, my cousins and I took advantage of the pool at the hotel. My mother was already asleep when I returned to our room, so I did not get to say goodnight. At around 3 a.m., I was awakened by my aunt, who seemed panicked. My mother had collapsed on the floor in the bathroom and no one could get to her. My scrawny arm barely fit through the door as I tried to understand what was happening. She was unable to speak, and I was pulled away by the EMTs. That was the last time I spoke to her. My mother died from heart disease. To this day, I wish I was more informed and able to recognize the signs so I could have saved her life. This is why I support the AHA and its life-saving education and resources in any way that I can. I am a motherless mother, and my children never got to meet the amazing woman who gave me a giant heart.

My mother’s death is also the main reason I have always strived to eat right and maintain a healthy weight, and why I recently decided to give my body a jump start and do everything in my power to make sure I am here for my children as they become adults.

I was born with a heart murmur, which I sometimes notice if I overwork myself or if I am too fatigued. Nevertheless, my heart is healthy, and I always amaze my PCP with my cholesterol levels. I owe credit to my father who was always an active person and a great physical fitness role model. He introduced me to racing flat track and motocross and taught me how to properly do bench presses as a young adult. He is one of the strongest people I know, and if I can remain as resilient as he still is today, I will be happy.

On with the training! While I continue to attend classes during the day, I have decided to add a new level to my mix – CrossFit classes. Stay tuned as I explore another realm of physical fitness.


Melissa Crosby
About the Author

Melissa joined CDPHP in 2015 as a marketing assistant. Her love of innovation and project management led her to the product innovation department, where she spent three years as a contract analyst drafting employer/member contracts, amendments, and riders to ensure that all materials comply with federal and New York state laws and regulations . With her knowledge of contracts, and member facing materials Melissa transitioned to a consumer experience analyst position where she analyzes internal and external processes, and communications to enhance our members experience. In her free time, she serves on the CDPHP Foundation Charity of Choice Committee, The Healthcare Literacy Committee, and as a wellness champion for CDPHP’s wellness team, and she annually supports the American Heart Association’s Capital Region Heart walk. In her personal time, she enjoys the outdoors where she rides her motorcycle, skis, ice fishes, kayaks, white-water rafts, hikes and bikes. Melissa also loves music, painting, upcycling wood furniture, trying new pursuits, and enjoying the simple things in life with her two children, Mason, 14 and Summer, 9.

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