On November 21st, 2010, Janelle was faced with, what many would consider to be, a ‘life’ game-changer. After having just left a full-time teaching position, selling a home, moving, and giving up nearly every form of ‘stability’ to pursue a dream to race as a professional Ironman triathlete only a year prior, an ICU hospital bed didn’t bode well for those plans.
While driving on the Trans-Canada Highway Janelle was struck head-on by an oncoming van which had crossed the centre line. The impact threw herself and her Toyota Matrix down a 30 foot embankment where she remained for 3 hours until the ‘jaws of life’ were finally able to remove her from the vehicle and air evacuate her to the nearest Intensive Care Unit.
Janelle spent a week in a medically induced coma where surgeons performed nothing short of miracles on her broken body. A shattered tibia, shattered femur, broken pelvis, fractured vertebrae, ruptured diaphragm, punctured lung, stomach moving into her chest dislodging her heart, broken ribs, broken arm, and a concussion were among the list of the injuries that resulted from this impact. Doctors told her family that it was questionable whether or not she would make it through the intensive care process. If that was accomplished, if she ever did walk again it would likely not be without a limp, and that she would definitely never race again, especially as a professional.
But when Janelle awoke from her coma, she knew there had been a serious accident but felt an overwhelming sense of belief that this had been meant to happen and that she would overcome to race again as a professional, eventually coming back stronger than ever and finishing the goals she had set out for herself before the accident.
Less than 2 years after the accident, Janelle was back on the start line in Ironman Canada 2012. She raced as a professional. She came in 3rd place. After continued setbacks in 2013 as her body and mind have re-adapted to what she knows it can do, Janelle continues on to finish the goals she has set out for herself. She has been given, not only her life back, but also the opportunity to race again professionally. Because she believes profoundly in “finishing what you start” this is what she is doing, finishing what she started, no matter the obstacles along the way.
Janelle speaks of what is threaded into all of the human experience for each individual person. That we all have a dream. That we are meant to pursue our dream, because it is to be our destiny that will lead us to our highest selves which will be of benefit for the collective whole and simply make the world a better place to be for everyone. As Paulo Coehlo has written, “It is the possibility of realizing a dream that makes life interesting.”
For those that have the courage, and are willing to take the risks in order to pursue these dreams, challenges will inevitably arise to test our will. The ‘universe’ will ask how badly we want it. And what will determine whether we succeed or fail is what we choose to believe and how we decide to label our reality, which will determine how we answer this very important question.
If you have interest in Janelle’s keynote speaking engagements you can be in touch directly through her contact page.