Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us

Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us


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It was a beautiful fall day in Connecticut when Colleen Kelly Alexander, a lifelong athlete, rode her bike home from work. She had survived both a diagnosis of lupus and brain surgery, had a fulfilling career, and was married at last to the love of her life. Everything was good as she coasted along, meeting the eyes of a truck driver as he approached the stop sign beside her.

He didn't stop. The truck hit Colleen, running over her lower body with front and back tires and dragging her across the pavement. As she bled out in the street, nearby strangers surrounded her and the driver attempted to get away. An EMT herself, Colleen knew she had to stay awake. "I've just been reconnected with my soulmate," she told the medic. "We want to have a baby. I can't die now. Please don't let me die."

Five weeks in a coma and twenty-nine surgeries later, Colleen survived. Rather than let the trauma and PTSD control her life, she became determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain. She decided she'd run again and dedicate her race medals to the everyday heroes around us, including the medical staff and blood donors who saved her life. Since then Colleen has run fifty races and completed forty triathlons, including four half-Ironman events. Now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, Colleen shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455571130
Publisher: Center Street
Publication date: 01/16/2018
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 351,836
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Colleen Kelly Alexander is a lifelong athlete and motivational speaker. With her indomitable spirit and amazing story of survival, Colleen teaches others how to aim higher, be stronger, and use adversity as a catalyst to make themselves and the world better. She was the executive director of the Common Ground Youth Center in Vermont for eight years, and a regional program manager for PeaceJam, where Nobel Peace Prize laureates mentor youth. She has also worked for, volunteered for, and is heavily involved with the Red Cross. She lives in a New England coastal town with her husband and their three dogs and cat.

Jenna Glatzer ( is the author or ghost-writer of twenty-nine books, including Celine Dion's authorized biography and The Marilyn Monroe Treasures. She and her daughter live in New York.

Table of Contents

Foreword Bart Yasso xi

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 First Love 1

Chapter 2 Someone Else's Life 11

Chapter 3 The Youth Center 19

Chapter 4 Brain Surgery 32

Chapter 5 Fate. Destiny. Social Media 42

Chapter 6 Costa Rica 49

Chapter 7 The Big Move 58

Chapter 8 Flatlining 72

Chapter 9 Level I Trauma 83

Chapter 10 Rehab at Gaylord Hospital 103

Chapter 11 Breaking Down 120

Chapter 12 You've Got to Be Kidding Me 138

Chapter 13 We All Bleed Red 151

Chapter 14 Stillness and Motion 172

Chapter 15 Light Peeks In 185

Chapter 16 Racing On 202

Chapter 17 Rainbow Bridge 221

Chapter 18 Three Trials 237

Chapter 19 Endings and Beginnings 253

Acknowledgments 261

How to Be a Hero 265

About the Authors 271

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Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
Gratitude In Motion Is a story of loss and strength, a story of restoration and Faithfullness. A story of suffering and healing. This book is a dichotomy and I love it so much. Can you imagine being run over by a freight truck and all that entails for her? All the trauma that she had to go through and rehab? Will she have anyone special in her life to help her through it? Will she be able to hold strong and make it through it all? Will she find answers with GOD? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read my read Christian book reviews go to
InHisName More than 1 year ago
Gratitude in Motion A true story. Colleen Kelly Alexander's story. An amazing story of survival and coming through a horrific event with a stronger faith. Colleen was run over by a truck as she was riding her bike home from work. The driver never stopped and never cared that he hit her. That was the hardest, most difficult aspect for her to deal with - the fact he looked right at her, hit her anyways and never stopped. She should have died that day but didn't and her story is an amazing story. I was impressed with her sense of humor. She tells a harrowing tale and yet I found myself laughing as I was reading it. I am a breast cancer survivor and I can relate to using humor to face the tough. I found humor even in the ickiness of drains, gauze, and bandages. Colleen did too. She faced depression but she was able to climb out of the despair and choose gratitude. A friend has a blog about choosing joy because it is not so much the difficulties you face but how you face them that matters. A person can choose to be defeated by all that life throws at them or they can choose to rise above it all. A person can choose to be grateful and can choose joy even when facing the toughest of circumstance. I truly recommend this book. It is an amazing story. And certainly one that will help put things in perspective. It is hard to be down about any daily situation when reading about someone that has faced so much worse.
Teadrinker More than 1 year ago
Gratitude In Motion is the true story of Colleen Kelly Alexander. Alexander is a regular person like you and I--except she has survived some truly big challenges in her life. Alexander survived both a lupus diagnosis and brain surgery. Then, not long after marrying the love of her life, Alexander was riding her bike home from work when a truck driver ran a stop sign and then ran her over. I can't imagine surviving that, but she did. Not only, did she survive but she went on to continue her athletic challenges in various races. Gratitude in Motion is her story of survival through unbelievable life challenges--and is nothing short of AMAZING. Through Gratitude in Motion, Alexander's story is told candidly and shows just how resilient a human being can be. I have a bit of a squeamish stomach when it comes to medical details so some parts were a bit too detailed for me. However, in telling those details, it is clear how much Alexander truly went through and survived. I have no doubt that this book could be encouraging and uplifting to other people who have survived deep traumas and need inspiration to continue to go on through further medical challenges. However, Gratitude In Motion is also inspiring to all of us who need reminders to see the gratitude and beauty in every day life. Alexander's story also drives home the need for us regular people to do things to help those around us--like giving blood. When she had her accident, they gave her 78 units of blood in just the first 72 hours after her accident, thanks to blood donors. At the end of this touching memoir, there is a section entitled, "How to Be a Hero." We can all be a hero in someone's life by doing basic things like giving blood or learning CPR. I would also add that Alexander had a lot of friends and family to help her through these challenges. It was wonderful to read how people helped stay with her and did other things to help when she was hurt and her husband had to go to work. I think it is also a good reminder to help those we know and love whenever we can. I received a copy of Gratitude in Motion from Hachette Book Group/Center Street Books. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.