Letter to the editor: Fitness saved a life


I am a general entry into the 2023 Eagleman Cambridge and I would like my story to be heard. I grew up in Cambridge, poor and without dreams. Growing up mixed was almost unheard of in the ‘90s. I have built myself up into one amazingly resilient woman and I think the community should hear my story.

Three years prior to this, I wanted to kill myself. I wanted that because I made a mess of my life.

When I was 15, I was raped.

I was raped by five of my classmates at a party I went to because I wanted to fit in so badly. I was introduced to alcohol at that party, and I was tossed around like a rag doll with no ability to understand what had happened to me.

It changed me. I grasped on to any person who showed an ounce of love to me.

It was the most regretful decision because it shaped the rest of my life before I even knew it. I have survived rape, drug addiction, alcoholism and domestic violence. I had a gun held to my head at 29 years old by a police officer I was engaged to.

Trauma changes people. It shuts you down like a knife stabbing you in the head. I fell into a deep depression for two years and in the middle of it crashed two cars and almost killed myself.

Two DUIs later, I decided my life was meaningful still. I have overcome and maintained PTSD, severe anxiety and chronic depression to get here today. If I had met fitness earlier, I believe I would not have gone through what I went through back then. 

My strength comes from my faith in believing that my purpose is beyond what I have experienced in my lifetime. I am not your average triathlete; I do not have everything figured out in my life and I struggled to train and stay committed because so much hurt has been shoved in my face throughout my adult life.

One thing is for sure, and two things are for certain, 1) I pushed through and trained myself to run, cycle and swim; 2) I feel my strongest when I am active in either of those sports. I registered for this triathlon the day after the last one concluded, the 2022 Eagleman Cambridge.

After I volunteered at the run aid station it pushed me to go forth and register. I wanted to give myself one year to train and since then I have overcome so many trials and tribulations. Still poor, still afraid of my own shadow and still lacking the courage to join a club team.

I am proud to say that the same day I participate in the 2023 Eagleman, I will be graduating with my master’s degree in clinical psychology. I would love to share my story and reach thousands of women who are struggling with domestic abuse and feelings of worthlessness. Fitness saved my life.

Krista Wheatley


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