It was just an ordinary day. Adrianne Haslet-Davis and her husband were out for a walk. He had returned from Afghanistan, where he was stationed, and they were on a date. They were out for a walk that would change their lives forever. During the outing their peace and calm was shattered by an explosion, two in fact. The day was April 15, 2013 and the explosions were the Boston Marathon Bombings. 3 people were killed on that day and over 200 were injured. Ms. Haslet-Davis lost part of her left leg during this act of terror. Her profession as a ballroom dancer seemed in jeopardy and she had a long, gruelling road to recovery.
Now usually when there is an act of terror some hidden racism or xenophobia tends to creep up within people. You would be hard pressed to find that in Ms. Haslet-Davis though. Her time wasn’t spent blaming this person or that person as she had other things to focus on. She turned this tragedy into triumph.
She documented her long journey back which included rehabilitation and learning to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. This rehab took several years and many tears. With her tireless will she returned to walking, and running and eventually ballroom dancing. While I’m sure it wasn’t clear to those around her whether she would ever walk again she persevered.
So you might be asking yourself: what did she do in 2016 to make her so fascinating? Well, I am glad you asked. This woman, this incredibly brave and courageous woman, returned to the Boston Marathon this year and completed it. She trained for – and finished – one of the most challenging marathons on the planet. Ms. Haslet-Davis, with the support of her prosthetic limb started and finished the Boston Marathon.
Ms. Haslet-Davis showed us strength, tenacity and dedication. She inspired us all with her ‘never say die’ attitude. She rose from the depths of dismay and used her situation to champion causes like ‘Limbs for Life,’ an organization dedicated to providing fully-functional prosthetic care to individuals who cannot afford it, and raising awareness of the challenges facing amputees.
When I first heard of her story I had to fight back tears. And to be clear they were not tears of pity but tears of pride. I feel immense pride when I think of this woman and how much she has overcome.
She is beautiful, strong and if you have ever seen her speak or looked at her Twitter feed she’s quite funny as well.
She even gets tweets from the President!
Years from now when I look back at 2016 I probably won’t be able to tell you who won the Boston Marathon but I’ll know that a woman who was the victim of a senseless act of violence in 2013 returned to the scene of the most devastating moment in her life and persevered, completing this prestigious race.
Adrianne Haslet-Davis is a survivor, an inspiration, and she has more fortitude than most people I know. I am beyond impressed with this wonderful woman.
These are the reasons why I find Adrianne Haslet-Davis fascinating.