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  • Writer's pictureKen Lubin

Episode #61- Michelle Mead-From Broken Neck to Back on the Bike

Michelle Mead and is an Ironman and a Broken Neck Survivor, who always striving for a little more.

Her life and times can be defined by decades of competitive sports and arts. Her early years were all about gymnastics, ballet, and dancing. Always competitive; after dancing marathon running became a passion.  Completing 10 marathons and top 10 finish at OBX as a master. A friend suggested she might enjoy cycling and racing.  Multi-sport and bikes came into her life. She took her love of running and cycling ability to secure a spot on team USA for world championships in Duathlon. Placing 9th in her age group at worlds in distance duathlon.  What’s next Ironman! She was 49 and thought let’s go big for the big one at 50! – Completing Ironman Wisconsin was the culmination of dream accomplishment. After Ironman, her loves of bikes turned into racing cyclocross and mountain biking. 

Then life changed forever in September 2017, she was participating in local bike festival promoting cycling and during a stunt on live television, she fell and broke my neck in 2 places .  she her C-1 in half and had 4-5 fusion resulting in paralysis of my upper body extremities. Navigating the “New Me” made Ironman feel easy. Retraining nerves, making arms, hands, and fingers respond was crazy hard. A team of OT and PT at Metro-Health System, Cleveland, Ohio and weeks of intense work made it all happen. she had the goal of getting back to riding again, she made her return to riding at Global Fit Bike Ride Day December 3, 2017. Three months post-accident. Being active and helping others experience the joys of sport has been woven in my lifestyle with mentoring programs and social media groups. She can run and ride now, still recovering with spinal cord issues and another surgery to remove hardware holding her CT1 in place is next.  

She lives by the motto: Live fear free in the moment each day…small steps forward.

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