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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Bothma


Updated: Apr 12, 2019

The one moment I was on top of the mountain (literally) and the next moment I am rolling down on the other side falling flat on my face (figuratively!) 

At the beginning of the year, I invited you to be part of The next chapter of my life, Dream Chaser. Unfortunately, it looks like I skipped a chapter. This chapter came in unplanned and is not going to be an easy one to read.

New Year's Eve, I always sit down and write all my goals for the year. A new clean page filled with possibilities and opportunities! This year was no different, I sat down full of hope and expectation for what the year holds! For twelve years of my life, I have always started the year with a positive outlook with the hopes that this year it was going to turn around - this is going to be my year!

But unfortunately, for the past twelve years, it has never been a smooth ride. Since, I was an 11-year old girl, every year of my life, I have always either been sidetracked by an injury, illness or traumatic accident. We set goals and dream dreams but sometimes life knocks us down or in my case many times...


2007-2008: I started struggling with my health. I stopped growing at the age of eleven, and experienced and started experiencing symptoms such as nausea, weakness, unexplained weight loss, cold hands and feet and fatigue. I was in the hospital for extended periods of times and saw a multitude of doctors all failing to tell me the real cause of my problems. I was often judged and rejected for the way I looked. People take one look at you and without knowing what you are really going through they put a label around your neck...and once it's been given it isn't easily taken away. I started running as a result of this, it was the only thing that made me feel free, I wasn't fast when I started - but it was my way of escaping pain and hurt. It made me feel strong when I was weak.

2009: Was in hospital for a total of more than 60 days.

Got attacked by a big dog - I had to get 45 stitches, an operation and still have scars on my left leg today.

2010: In the hospital for a whole month with a bladder infection. No running for more than 6 months.

2011: Fell off a bike, sustained a bad concussion and wasn't able to compete in the school's biggest athletic event of the year, as well as the provincial athletic competitions.

2012: My health, especially my gut, was so bad at this stage that I wasn't able to run much either.

2013: I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and IBS. It was a big adjustment to completely change my diet and find out what my stomach can tolerate.

2014: My health was so bad that I was homeschooled my last year of school. I wasn't able to run much either.

I fell in a manhole without a lid and fracture both my ribs and sustained bad bone bruising and a knee injury. No running for 6 months.

2015: I was finally diagnosed with hypopituitarism. I was so thankful, but it was a big adjustment for my body to start taking the medications and at first, my body didn't respond as hoped.

Car accident 1 - Got hit by a pick-up truck while biking from practice. Torn my meniscus, had very bad bone bruising, sustained a concussion and hurt my lower back.

2016-2017: Never ran more than 3 consecutive months without stopping again due to my back injury.

2018: Car accident 2 - Rolled and totalled my brand new car I saved up to buy for years.

sustained another concussion and whiplash.

Stress fracture due to uneven and rapid growth in my right tibia.

An Uber slammed his door against my chest and I fell hard on the pavement straight on my back.

2019: Possible back operation...

In my previous post, Even if I fall, I will still fly again, I explained how my first race of the year ended due to my back injury. My back had enough. All the falls and accidents added up.

Nobody ever posts their failures. We only see a glimpse of exercises, workouts, races, pictures of victories, and smiling faces. We don't often see the struggles, the hurt, the pain and frustrations that go along with it.

I want to...

Connect and to relate to others that have been through the same pain and hurt that comes with an operation or injury that sidetracked you for weeks or months.

Share in the frustrations of those that had to go through unnecessary accidents.

Sympathize with those that love this sport and had to sit out for extended periods missing out on big events they trained hard for.

I am going to share something different with you for the next few months.

I am inviting you on a new journey, the chapter called DETOUR. I am going to share my rehab story. I will have to start from scratch. I am going to show you how I suffer, how I hurt and how I fail, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY HOW I GET BACK UP! I am not going to let my dreams go, I am simply taking a different route. It may be a long one, but I will be back and you better know that I won't...


- Annie

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