In News & Blog, Peer Profiles, SCI BC Event

To celebrate our 10th anniversary of wheeling, walking and running in the Charity Challenge we’re profiling some of our amazing Team SCI BC racers. Next up, Kristi Leer!

A woman in a power wheelchair hugs her daughter and touches noses with her son
Kristi with her children.

Is this your first time participating in the Charity Challenge

Yes, it is!

Why did you decide to sign up and help raise money for SCI BC? 

I hope to share how being active is a priority in life. Prior to my injury I was an oilfield/construction worker and running a business for 20 years, pushing my mind and body aside while chasing money…… I’m so thankful for the things I’ve learnt about what it takes to be happy in life as I have been given a second chance.

How has SCI BC been a part of your life?

Living remotely (by the Yukon border) you don’t have access to routine physio or peers who understand you and your personal hurdles in life. I was told going home would be hard, and it was!

My kids had been through enough with almost losing their mom and moving was not an option. Raising children is a full-time job and doing that while recovering is extra challenging. When I first was released from rehab at GF Strong I went back to putting work first and my family second. My relationship with my children and family was growing distant, and then I met Marney Smithies during the “accessible parking wars of 2021” and I found a way to keep more of a balance. She introduced me to the Get Wild Dance Classes (one of the many online programs I have been able to engage in from my home!) and I loved it.

Now I can bring peers and support into my house while I raise my kids. With a click of a button I still feel accomplished at reaching my own goals, as well as being able to support my children and animals as a single mom living with SCI.

Kristi with her physiotherapist (left) and some photos post-injury.
Kristi on a vertical board and training at the pool!

You host our online Parenting with SCI Group – what does that group meet about? Why did you decide to host this meet-up?

Parents are too busy putting family first in this busy world that they forget to love themselves. I’m hoping we can still get together in support of putting “you” first, as this is one of my biggest lessons I’ve learnt on my journey in life.

When an airplane is going down the instructions are to “put your mask on first” and then help others. As a parent, I thought this was impossible! But since my accident I can officially say I understand all walks of life as my injury made me start all over again. Now I have mastered the art of putting my mask on first! I would love to help others learn the balance and offer the support I’ve struggled with finding in my journey of life.

How will you be racing this year? (I hear you may be swimming 5K! Can you tell me more about that??) 

Water is my physio and a great activity I can engage in with my family. That’s where I go to gain mobility and work at getting back on my feet.

I’m hoping to share the joys and ease of hydrotherapy and how I’ve regained so much mobility back with what the water has to offer, if anyone who is interested! (Plus, I live in my powerchair so I think it would be cheating if I ran the 5 km 😉 as it goes 28 km/hr)

In order for me to reach 5K in the pool I’ve chosen to do 400 laps one way. I won’t be doing this all at once so stay tuned! I’d love to share my life with you and I’m here if you have any questions. I’m happy to share not only my means of being active in the water but how I get out of the house and to the water independently every time I go to add on some lapse to this 5K swim.

With the right support you can always find a way to making that first #StepUp to your goals and you can do anything!

Happy racing, everyone!

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