I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This post represents our first ever guest blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I couldn't be happier about who gets to share this first honor.  For 3 out of the last 4 years I have participated in the Branch Out Neurological Foundation's Branch Out Bike Tour.  This event raises money to fund neuroCAM research (neuroscience + complementary and alternative modalities) and is the brain child of the passionate, dedicated, and truly inspirational Crystal Phillips. Over the years I've got to know Crystal and everyday she continues to impress and amaze me.  If you'd like to support the Foundation and find out more about the Branch Out Bike Tour check out my post A Cause Worth Biking For. But for now, I would like to Introduce Crystal Phillips!

Creating a liquid Obstacle!

For the past 13 years, I have traveled North America talking about “pushing limits”, “overcoming obstacles”, being a leader yadi yada.

I was granted these life lessons in my teeny bopper years. Remember those years when you felt invincible to everything, always?? Back then, I was one of Canada’s top junior speed skaters, travelling the world and paving a pretty path to Olympic stardom.  One day, following a summer training program, I started to have a weird tingly sensation in my left leg. 3 days later and I was completely numb from my chest down, lost bladder control and had double vision.

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and told I would probably never speed skate again. Thank goodness I still had that young invincible attitude! It fueled me to spend every resource, minute and penny towards recovering so I could speed skate again. I became a nutritionist, studied herbal medicine and was a guinea pig for all things “Natural Healing”. Improvements gave me so much confident that I even went off my painful daily drug injections. By 2010 I had climbed my way back to an elite level in skating, missing the Olympic team by just a few spots.

This personal experience highlighted gaps in the medical system. Gaps that I now dedicate my life to filling, by creating the Branch Out Neurological Foundation to fund neuroCAM research (neuroscience + complementary and alternative modalities).

I’m no longer an invincible teeny bopper speed skater and I’m still a bottom heavy creature (my nickname was “quadzilla” growing up…), so swimming = sinking. I’ve learned a lot about overcoming challenges that I’ve been dealt, now I should probably learn to apply these same principles to overcoming a challenge I’ve created! Challenge:  Learn to not sink in water and complete a triathlon

It’s because of Brandon and Trevor (and YOU if you’re working towards a Triathlon or IRONMAN!) that I’m inspired to do this, so thank you!

Crystal Phillips ~ @crystalpatches

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