WINNIPEG – Sandi Reimer has been running ever since she was born — running from adversity and claims of abuse.
“I was born 2 1/2 months premature,” said Reimer. “I was born at 25 weeks.”
Two days later, Reimer’s right leg was amputated because of gangrene. It was the start of a challenging childhood.
“Things for me growing up were like bruises, fat lips, stitches and hand marks across my face,” said Reimer. “That was all normal growing up.”
Reimer ended up in foster care when she was 14. Within four years, she had lived in four different homes. But her fire wasn’t extinguished and was fuelled when she met legendary Steinbach high school coach Peter Dick.
“It wasn’t just teaching for him,” said Reimer. “It was inspiring and coaching. When you have somebody cheering you on, believing in you, you can’t help but hit that target.”
With Dick’s support, Reimer signed up for every possible sport in high school.
“I didn’t really believe in playing halfway,” said Reimer. “If I was going to play, I was going to play aggressively.”
The 41-year-old now runs competitively. Since 2012, Reimer has completed sixteen five-kilometre races, hobbling through each one on her crutches.
“It’s something I love to do,” said Reimer. “You feel good at the end of the race. You feel like you accomplished something.”
By the time she’s 50, Reimer hopes to finish 100 races — a goal she thinks she’ll easily surpass.
“You’re going to hit speed bumps,” said Reimer. “But the best victories of any game and the best victories of life are the victories that have been won through the hardest challenges.”
And Reimer would know. She has won a few of them in her lifetime.
© Shaw Media, 2014