July> UT System Success Story

UT System Success Story

Name: Kathleen Lafleur
Institution: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Email Address: kathleen.lafleur@utsouthwestern.edu

Kathleen Lafleur with her State Championship Jersey she won in Georgetown, TX in May 2012.

 

"No matter what turns you make during your lifetime, always look for the positive. Regardless of what happens, never give up, never quit. Always move forward."

Resources available to you and your dependents to help you incorporate exercise into your busy schedule

Learn more about Kathleen Health & Wellness Success Story.

1. What health behavior did you change?
I was in a bicycle race in early September 2011. At some point in the race, another cyclist knocked me off my bike and I fell on the back of my head. In addition to the broken collarbone and 8 broken ribs, I received traumatic brain injury due to that event. The cognitive function as a person was affected and need therapy.

2. Why did you decide to make this change?
I could have easily opted to quit the workouts at the gym and on the bike; however, that is not the type of person I am. It took a few months to get back into a workout program due to memory loss and weakness in the body. I gave myself the time to recouperate and to eventually get the memory, the energy and the strength back into my life.

3. How did you accomplish your success?
I went to the gym at least once a week with some cardio on the treadmill and weight training and core exercises. In about March I began to add yoga classes to the regimen. I had already been working out on the bicycle on the trainer indoors. I began to get some strength back in the legs and arms. When I was comfortable, I began riding on the road again at small distances and worked on building that back up. Now we are in June and I have actually been back racing on the bike again. The greatest accomplishment from racing is that during a race in late May I won and age-based criterium race and came home with a Texas Championship jersey and a gold medal. I was very excited about that.

4. How did the University of Texas System Living Well: Make it a Priority or your Institutions resources and tools help you?
I enjoy spending a bit of time on Living Well and I learn some things from reading the content and it helps me to feel connected again to the healthy lifestyle I had and have back again.

5. What goals and obstacles did you have?
Because I am back racing again, my next goal is to place on the podium for the time trials in Mineral Wells and the state champion time trials. The obstacles that I have in racing are learning how to not only keep up but to have the ability to read the riders again so that I can better anticipate what is going to happen. With that though I do also need to work on short-term memory so that I can be more up-to-date with my personal homelife, my job, relationships, and working out.

6. Who supported you during this experience?
My husband has been my largest supporter in addition to my mother, father, brother, and sister. Not only did that support come through, but there was even more support from my coworkers, my supervisor, and the doctors I work with. Everyone has been nothing but helpful, positive, and very supportive.

7. What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?
No matter what turns you make during your lifetime, always look for the positive. Regardless of what happens, never give up, never quit. Always move forward.