Denise Castelli recently lost a leg in an accident, but her competitive spirit is still burning. As she looks to reignite the athletic lifestyle she led before her amputation, Denise is one of seven participants in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge organized by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. She’ll be using a prosthetic leg for the biking and running events, but artificial limbs are ill-suited for swimming. This means that Denise is busy relearning how to swim, this time as a woman with an amputation. She wrote a compelling post about this new challenge on the CNN website. An excerpt:
I jumped in the pool for the first time and, much to my surprise, it was not as bad as I expected it to be. My coaches, Mickey Cassu and Kristin Cacicedo of Start-Tri.com, had me swim the length just to see where my knowledge base was. By the time I reached the end, I was panting. All I could think was, “How am I supposed to swim half of a mile… in the Pacific Ocean?!?!” …
“Head in the water, rotate every third stroke to breathe, repeat.” Trying to form muscle memory is a lot harder than I remember. It’s going to take a lot of repetition. It’s going to take a lot of repetition!
We’ll be tracking Denise’s progress and invite you to do the same by checking in on the Triathlon Challenge’s website.