Inspiring Runner: Angelica Lamprecht
I suppose everyone has a story as to why they run. Some do it for fun, some do it to blow off steam, some go through a traumatic event. But no matter what their reason is, it comes down to the fact that we all run because it gives us the freedom that not many can explain. To be alone on a road or trail, surrounded by nothing but yourself and your thoughts; it brings a sense of calm. That is why we run.
A horrific accident nearly claimed 23 year old Angelica's life three times just 13 short months ago. An OMTOM televised advert gave her a goal while lying in a hospital bed, unable to move and uncertain of her future. Today, having relearnt to walk, Angelica is ready for the Half Marathon in just 21 days, look out for this truly inspirational runner on the route!
My story involves a traumatic event but it started way before that. Growing up I always loved running. I would race around for ages and part took in athletics, mainly short distances throughout my entire school career. I had done well but having torn the ligaments in my ankle several occasions I had to slow down and eventually, stopped altogether.
A couple of years went by and that's when the big event called it. Someone once told me that throughout your life you get seasons and all the things, whether good or bad, are just events. They do not determine the season or this thing called life.
On Saturday, the 21/02/2015 started out like any other day. I want to mention that my family stays on a farm about 40 minutes out of town and I had just recently moved back home due to unforeseen circumstances. You will see why I mention these facts in a bit. My mother, sister and I went to have our hair done, but because I was planning to meet up with a few mates later on, I went into town a little later. Being the last one to leave I took the house keys with me. We had a wonderful time getting pampered and talking nonsense.
My mom and sister had finished and decided to head home. I finished with my hair and with there being a little while before meeting up with my friends, I decided to pop by my aunt's house. Only once I had made coffee and all that, had I realised I still had the house keys. I called my mom and told her I will bring it to them because it was my fault that I never gave it to them in the first place. With that, I said my goodbyes and went on my way. I filled my car with petrol and got on the highway (as it was the fastest and easiest route home) but little did I know. I remember driving and seeing a silver car pull into the emergency lane and answer his cellphone. I remember thinking that I appreciate such responsible drivers. That's when it happened. This fellow made a U turn right in front of me. I couldn't swerve out either way risking oncoming traffic of going down an embankment and rolling my car. I kept telling myself "just don't kill him". Right before impact I let go of the steering wheel and the last thing I said was "God help me". Then, we collided...
I don't remember much after that. I recall having people faffing around me and me begging the paramedic not to let me die. To cut a long story short, I died three times that day. I eventually woke up in the ER and feeling like I couldn't breathe. The doctors didn't think much of it until my mother kicked up a fuss. Only then did they do the appropriate scans and realised I got hurt a lot worse that they first thought. By this time, I had already had words with my maker and said my peace. I was at peace but someone, He didn't want to take me then.
Just to give a brief summary of my injuries, starting from top to toe:
- Complete blow out fracture to my left eye orbit and cheek bones which later had to be reconstructed with titanium plates
- Broken neck
- Broken collar bone
- Cracked, bruised and broken ribs on both sides where the bottom rib on the right punctured my lung, thus filling it with blood, hence me not being able to breathe.
- Cracked sternum (from being resuscitated)
- My heart stopped 3 times and had to be resuscitated
- Deep soft tissue injuries to both of my upper legs
- Torn ligaments in my ankles and
- Broken toes
While lying in my hospital bed, connected to all sorts of monitors, simply because I couldn't move, I remember my dad was watching the cricket when an advert came on for the Two Oceans Marathon. That was when I told my folks that if I survive this thing, that's what I will be doing in 2016.
I did well to recover, learnt to walk again, went through 10 months of intense rehab before I started doing exercises with a biokineticist. I couldn't even walk from my room down the passage without feeling like I was going to pass out. My heart was all over the show from the accident. I would get heart palpitations and then pass out. I kept at it and once my cardiologist (who at 23 has a cardiologist) gave me the all clear, I started walking, which progressed to jogging and that became running.
It came time to entre for the Oceans and despite waiting close to 4 hours, hoping and praying I get a place I got one. Race number 72597. That is when training really began. I started off on the treadmill so that I could be surrounded by people if something had to happen and luckily, it never did. That's when I felt confident to hit the road. I started off with 2km a day and before I knew it, I ran 7km. Then I ran 10km. I suffered severe shinsies along the way and beginning of Feb 2016 I had an episode with my heart. The palpitations and then passing out. I wasn't allowed to run until I saw the cardiologist again, which I did. Before I knew it, I was back to running.
Here I am now.
We are 21 days away from the event and I survived. It was hard. The Two Oceans isn't just some race to me, it is symbolic for the metaphorical mountain I had to climb and the top of that mountain will be crossing the finish line, even if I come stone cold last. This one is for me. We all have mountains. We all have something in our lives to over come. Its okay to fall. Its okay to take time to pick up the pieces. Its not okay to give up.
I leave who ever is still reading, with this
"Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be" - Rick Warren