It’s me, Frances-Rose, Motorcycle Accident Survivor, Health & Fitness Coach, Bikini Athlete, Communications Manager, and Co-Founder of And Then It Hit Me.
I love food, motorcycles, soca music, beach vacations, and I thrive on challenging competitions. I was born an adrenaline junkie so rock climbing and bodybuilding are ultimately two of my favourite sports. Truth be told, I just sucked at all the other sports, ha!
My story dates back to when I purchased and moved into my first home… I got into a luxurious habit of drinking a glass (or bottle) of wine daily and ate one full cheesecake every single night for two weeks. Before I knew it, I was receiving cards at the office reading “congratulations on your pregnancy”.
One night, I walked by my bedroom mirror and decided that enough was enough. I simply YouTubed some home workout videos and picked up a Squat Challenge I found on Instagram. After two weeks, I noticed my quad muscles protruding, and I felt full of life and energy.
Over time, I searched for new ways to push myself taking my fitness to another level. I stepped foot in a gym and immediately fell in love with the equipment and all the determined athletes who huffed and puffed around me. Soon enough, I placed third at my first Tour de Bloc Rock Climbing competition in 2012, and I placed top five at my very first Ontario Physique Association (OPA) Natural Bikini competition in 2015.
My first bikini prep was far from a walk in the park but when competition day finally arrived, I was thrilled to see what I had accomplished in under two months. I felt proud of the obstacles I fought through during my prep and the transformation I worked incredibly hard for. What I once thought was impossible became my reality.
And Then It Hit Me…
On May 31st, 2016, I was struck by a car from the right lane parallel to me, while riding my motorcycle home from work. My head smashed the car, bounced backwards and pulled my body to the ground, face down. My 300lb motorcycle bounced off the car and landed directly on my back.
I sustained a multitude of injuries in my right leg, large liver lacerations, internal bleeding and a concussion.
The first few months of recovery was amazing. I received hugs, kisses, flowers and candy at the hospital every day. I felt loved and nothing short of blessed for surviving an accident the doctors told me I couldn’t have survived had I not worn my helmet or motorcycle gear.
The hard work began when it was time to go home, stand on my own two feet (literally) and relearn how to walk again. I started by learning to walk in a pool and eventually moving on to dry land. The real challenge, however, kicked in when my body stalled – I couldn’t push my body beyond some physical limitations and it was extraordinarily difficult to mentally accept my new norm. Taking the subway with a cane as a 32-year-old athlete was devastating to my pride and self-confidence.
Today, I am able to walk without assistive devices, however, I am unable to curl my right toes to fit in my rock climbing shoes or balance well enough for those good old 100lb lunges. I also can’t feel the surface of my knee cap. My orthopedic and plastic surgeons have confirmed that I’ve sustained permanent damage in my right leg… but I’m not going to give up. It’s been three years of recovery and counting – I will continue to rehabilitate and fight against all odds.
And Then It Hit Me…
I want to create a network of individuals who have experienced any form of trauma in their lives for support and optimal growth. Nobody should have to pursue the journey of recovery alone yet so many have and continue to. It takes a team to recover physically, emotionally, medically, psychologically etc.
My dream come true would be to provide that support for others and break the stigma around disabilities and mental health. Through this platform, let’s keep the conversation going!