One of the very first Rogue AC athletes I met after joining the Rogue Running community was Nicole Bowler. She graduated from USF and got a masters degree in Secondary Education and Teaching and was the owner to some pretty impressive PRs including a 9:16 3k and a 16:36 5k. When I met her she was training with the elite Olympic development team where she focused on the 800 / 1500 and was coaching Marathon High – a free 5-month after school training program designed to give high school students who would not normally participate sports a chance to run the Austin Marathon.
On a very scary evening in January Nicole was involved in a horrific accident that detached most of her patellar tendon and shattered her hip socket. She suffered multiple breaks to her femur and had nerve damage through her foot and lower leg. It was a month later after her third surgery when she decided it was going to be time to hang up the spikes and focus her passion on something else. She is now working on a very cool program that is getting high school students noticed and allowing them to get scholarships to run at the next level.
I cannot start to fathom how devastated anyone would be when they are told they have to put there passion and career to the side at the age of 24 after many years of die hard dedication. What makes Nicole different and someone I not only look up to but consider my personal super hero is that she does not let anything stop her. She stays positive all the way through with a smile on her face and makes the best out of any situation. She has taught me through and through that no matter what happens you need to keep your head up and keep on keeping on.
There were talks about no more running but a little over a year later she is having some of her best workouts since the accident. I think we can all learn something from Nicole and that is that no matter what life throws at you you have to stay positive and fight back because you never know where perseverance will get you. I am extremely lucky to have her as a friend.