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Overcoming the pain


 

Cedar Springs resident to swim in Meijer State Games

Stacie Carr, of Cedar Springs, will swim in the Meijer State Games.

Stacie Carr, of Cedar Springs, will swim in the Meijer State Games.

By Kenneth DeGraaf

The opening ceremony for the 2015 Meijer State Games of Michigan–Summer Games is just a week away, and the games will include a swimmer from Cedar Springs, who is participating despite the pain she faces on a daily basis.

Born in Wyoming, Michigan, and currently a resident of Cedar Springs, 28-year old Stacie Carr considers swimming her hobby and passion only second to her husband, Cody, and newborn baby girl, Clare. Her goal in the sport is simple, to always be better than the previous day. “I want to be faster every time I am in the water,” Stacie said. Stacie began swimming competitively at the age of 12, following right in her father’s footsteps. Her dad was a swimmer in high school and they had a houseboat growing up, so getting involved in the sport was nearly inevitable for Stacie.

Stacie with her husband, Cody, and newborn baby girl, Clare.

Stacie with her husband, Cody, and newborn baby girl, Clare.

Things aren’t always easy for Stacie, however, as she is a victim of Reflect Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome. “It is a chronic pain condition that affects my nervous system,” Stacie explained. “I have had 10+ surgeries over the last 8.5 years including an implanted spinal cord stimulator to help block the pain signal from getting to my brain. I cannot feel my lower left leg except internal pain, so getting used to that while also trying to be a better swimmer has been quite the change.”

Despite the challenges she has faced, Stacie has won her fair share of medals and ribbons over the past 16 years, and she hopes this year’s Meijer State Games of Michigan will present her with another opportunity. The main goal, however, has always gone back to improving herself. “I am going to try to better my most recent times in my events,” Stacie responded when asked about her desired accomplishments for this year’s event. Throughout her years of participation in the State Games, Stacie has always seen the event as an opportunity to compete against some of the best in Michigan while keeping her on her toes and giving her something to really train for.

One phrase Stacie loves to live by is, “There is always someone better than you.” She uses this phrase on a daily basis as a means to engage in positive sportsmanship. “There is always someone better than you and in my opinion the relationships you make doing what you love are far more important than the ribbons and medals,” Stacie explained. When asked about her methods of maintaining a healthy living, Stacie responded, “I try to watch what I eat and workout 3-5 times a week even if it’s just little things. My husband and I had a baby recently so finding time can be difficult but including her in it is also important to me.”

Through the challenges of raising a family in addition to her diagnosis of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, it would be easy to understand why Stacie might give up on her lifelong passion of swimming. But for Stacie, these have been nothing but minor obstacles in the way of her main objective. “My goals are to always be better than I was the previous day, in all aspects of life.”

The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.

The opening ceremony will take place at Fifth Third Ballpark. on June 26, starting at 7:30 p.m.

For more info on events, visit stategamesofmichigan.com.

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