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The Stroke That Changed My Life

Surviving A Stroke With Support

In 1992, I was just a normal kid playing outside in the crisp spring air. I loved to tumble and do cartwheels. I remember doing a crab walk all around the backyard. What would happen over the next 15 minutes would change the entire course of my life forever, as if God said, "Let's make Kelly stronger today." I had gotten in an argument with my father on whether or not my best friend, Sarah, could spend the night. He said "no," so I marched upstairs upset. A couple minutes later my brother and father heard a scream. My brother found me unresponsive, and my father crawled up the stairs because he had recently broken his ankle at work.

My mom and my sister, Shannon, returned home from the grocery store as terror tore through our house. The squad arrived, and I was rushed to the hospital because I had suffered a brain stroke.

I had two brain surgeries, countless hours of speech, occupational, and physical therapies. I had to relearn how to walk, talk, and function properly. I had to relearn how to talk due to Aphasia or muffled speech caused by the stroke. The sounds of words were strange to me, putting words into sentences was extremely difficult, and it was a huge struggle for me to comprehend anything I read.

From Stroke to Graduating College

After the stroke, my outlet was dance. Every week my parents took me to dance class. I would bring home countless hours of homework each night, and my dad would work with me on my school work.

Only the strong survive as I struggled to crawl over rocks that were in my path. Yet the support from my family was enormous, and I could achieve whatever I set my mind to. I graduated high school, and wanted to achieve more. So, I attended Ohio State University and graduated 4.5 years later with my Bachelor's degree in Communications. June 13, 2004 was a beautiful day as I graduated from university while tears poured down my cheeks. I knew that I didn't take the well known path; I was a person who went against the grain.

How Eaton Barbell & Fitness Helps Me

My father died of Colon cancer, which shook me really bad. I attended two years of grief counseling so I could learn about my options to deal with this upheaval of lost. This was a shock to my system, and I threw myself into a relationship that taught me many hard lessons. I loved Ernie; he was a talented painter and actor. He could have grown with me, but he was depressed and after a seven year relationship, committed suicide. His demons were too much for him to handle, and I was left with a heavy heart. I thought I needed to change the course of my life, so I decided to go home to the house I grew up in and live with my loving mom. I also started taking fitness classes at Eaton Barbell.

My second home, Eaton Barbell, is filled to the brim with like-minded people who pursue their goals and crush them. I have been training there for three years, and I've competed in three powerlifting meets. I can deadlift 135 pounds with one hand, and flip a 250 tractor tire over repeatedly. This is really incredible work considering I used to be a little girl that would become exhausted walking down the hallway. Now, I flip over tractor tires with one hand (small tractor tires mind you) while still having the delicate task of tying my shoes with one hand.

Life Is What You Make It

I dream of accomplishing the pilgrimage and walk the 500 miles through the city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain by the time I'm 40 years old. I also want to publish my autobiography soon. Life is what you make it. I have so much I want to do and see in my life.

I've made it this far against all odds, and I can't wait to see what my future holds. In order for you to understand my future, you must know my past. Panic is my enemy, and will never serve you. Life is an adventure, struggling is what keeps you alive. My advice is to train hard, and move your adventure forward because adventure waits for no man.

Follow me on Instagram @thiscriplife.

Thank you for your time!

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My name is Kelly, and I am a Stroke survivor. I love fitness and adventures!

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Kelly Studebaker

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