Changing Seasons

Here we are, watching the universe change into the next season of life. Our summer was eventful. We began taking classes to become foster parents which included 10 courses at 3 hours each including homework, site visits, and a lot of personal reflection. The courses brought us both into an emotional journey as we learned the ins and outs of the foster care world.   Many of our classmates were themselves former foster children and now completing the circle in hopes to help others. We studied several sample cases in order to try and glean even the smallest window into what our children in the foster system experience.  Many nights my husband and I would drive home in silence trying to process all of the information and understanding the harsh reality that domestic violence, abuse, and neglect is rampant here in our country. Root causes are many, and without opening some resiliency factors into a childs’ life offering them hope, affirmation, guidance, love, and selflessness the cycle will in fact continue, and even when the child is offered such love they may be far too scarred to know how to climb up.  The foster care system is more complex than we can wrap our heads around at this point, and since we needed to miss three classes we are still not licensed. My husband needed surgery which took us out of classes, and then we had a family trip which took us away from another. The lesson here? Life happens. So, as much as we hoped to have a little one to love and care for sometime this fall or early winter it looks like we may wait until the next changing season.

We are happily settled into our home now for almost a year and loving the community. We both continue to be active with our work  as Red Cross spokespersons, and board members of Bike Walk CT. The summer held a busy race schedule, where we proudly secured a few podium spots (some because there were few competitors but we didn’t care), experienced a warm reunion with my medical staff, family, friends, and heroes at the Red Cross Gala, shared my story with several organizations, and have been vested in getting my memoir published with Hachette Publishing in 2017.

This summer I also learned that my hashtag #productofheroes contained myself. As my husband required a planned surgery, it forced him to need to sleep for a few weeks and for us to take on a strong role reversal as I became the sole caregiver.  My panic was immense when I brought him to Yale for surgery, I feared his pain, I feared how I would act or over act in regards to his pain, and I feared how I could handle not having him as my physical rock as he would require me to be strong.  Love is a profound and beautifully amazing thing. God gave me the grace to be present for him spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I was also given the grace to continue to train my body.  For the first time in five years I trained for over 2 weeks solo, I swam, biked, ran, weight trained, did everything around the house, took care of what needed to be cared for, and the things that were just back ground noise became tuned out.  I learned so strongly and so powerfully how to also be a caregiver, and gained an even deeper respect for my best friend who cared for me for years as I went in and out of surgeries. He has taught me over and over that a real man can be weak and strong at the same time and that selflessness is key in love and commitment.  I feel like we could almost write another book just on this topic we-are-one-human-family-l-iymc4q

Sean is healing well, and will be competing with me next weekend in a relay for IronMan Atlantic City. We will make up all missed classes for foster care, and continue to give gratitude for the hero within each of us. There is actually a little “eye” in Hero. Draw it out. 🙂 This fall I will be speaking to the American Case Management Association in two different states, as well for PeaceJam International, and a few other engagements. On October 8th, which is my five year anniversary of being run over I have the joy of being on the Inspiration team with the Hartford Marathon and running for Team Red Cross.  I will carry the Red Cross flag each and every mile.

With this I close, and mention the division that has been cut into our American Hearts from the upcoming presidential election. I urge you to remember, #weallbleedred. Regardless of the presidential outcome, the human family will always rise up.  Keep your hearts, minds, eyes, and souls open.screen-shot-2016-06-19-at-11-23-44-am(This is my staff from Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, CT)

We never know what each season will bring my friends. When we plan how we might rake up the leaves, a powerful wind might just blow them all over the place. The human spirit is resilient, beautiful, powerful, and we are one.

Utmost love and gratitude,

Colleen Kelly Alexander

This is a photo of my mother, father, brother, sister in law, and dearest husband at the Red Cross Gala.


Special thanks to The Dressing Room in Wallingford for this beautiful dress.





Spring is officially here (per the calendar at least). The New Year brought an incredible winter full of activity, opportunity, and growth.  The New Year brought answered prayer and my 43 year old husband was reunited with his biological mother, brothers, and cousins for the first time in his life! This was the first time Sean had the opportunity to look someone in the eyes that he is related to, it was a powerful 2 weeks full of a lot of emotion and gratitude for answered prayer.  For those of us who know our biological roots it is hard to understand what someone goes through that has never had that connection. Here is a picture of Sean with his biological mother, her husband, his TWO biological brothers, sister in law and our NIECE! IMG_5948-2

The spring calendar has quickly filled up with exciting events!  This April we will be returning to Galveston, TX for the Galveston 70.3 Iron Man.  I am honored to give my medal to a beautiful and brave little warrior this year who has inspired me greatly. Warrior Princess   IMG_4618

On May 18th at 7pm, I will be joining cyclists from all over the globe as we participate in the  National Ride of Silence as state coordinators for Connecticut.  I urge you to participate in a ride where you live.  These are “no drop rides”, and are slow paced for all abilities. The purpose of the ride is to honor cyclists that have been killed and or critically injured.  It is a powerful international event.  Our work as board members with Bike Walk CT has been exciting as we represented CT at the League of American Cyclists summit in DC.

My role as a board member and National Spokesperson with the American Red Cross continues to humble me. I speak at many schools and organizations about the power of blood donations, cpr, volunteerism, and the human spirit.  This year I am excited to be the honoree at the Red White and YOU Gala. To say I am honored is a gross understatement.  My chief trauma surgeon, along with family will be present at this celebration of Red Cross Heroes. For information on this event, click on this link: Red White and YOU Ball!

I look forward to speaking throughout the spring season, and meeting many of you. For those triathletes out there, I hope to see you at an event!  Namaste! The light in ME, is the light in YOU, and the light in YOU, is the light in ME!  Stay purpose driven.  Stay unfiltered.  Always move FORWARD!  lead_courageobevulnerable




Happy New Year. Keep it Authentic, real, and purpose driven.

2016.  I like the way it sounds. Last year I ended 2014 with three massive expanders in my left side, and started 2015 with an 8 hour surgery (January 2nd) to take out expanders, remove several feet of heavily scarred skin and close major gaps with my newly grown and stretched skin from the expanders. I was released home only 2 days later requiring in home nursing care for wound changes and pain management.  2015 started off very difficult. I was back on crutches for some time with drainage tubes for a few weeks until my left side began to normalize.  I required several more procedures of blood drainage in the OR from masses forming due to internal scar tissue build up. IMG_1548 Found myself expIMG_9449eriencing many moments of shear frustration that after so many races and triathlons I felt like I was once again back at a starting line learning basic things again.   I watched my husband do countless wound changes the first two months of 2015 and held onto his embrace when the pain would kick in and various nerves would start to “wake back up and reconnect”.   I once again embraced the feeling of being authentic, vulnerable, and in the moment and I vowed that even when my pain would dissipate and my surgeries would fade out, I would forever live a life raw, and unfiltered in hopes of being a catalyst for change.  2015 brought the honor of being asked to join the board of directors for the American Red Cross and the board of directors for Bike Walk Connecticut. 2015 brought numerous opportunities to speak across the country at races, businesses, medical communities, and in the media. 2015 brought many more finish lines and medals to be given to heroes.  2015 brought so many hugs that just sitting here my smile widens and my IMG_1976heart is warm.  Sean and I had the honor of being flown to Arizona for the National Trauma Conference to receive an award with my trauma surgeon and lead ICU nurse from Yale for how exceptional my treatment and recovery has been.

This past year we finally had our horrid case settle which was in federal court. One of the greatest moments of this past year was meeting David Smith in person and giving him a hug.  David was the first person on scene the day I was run over, he witnessed every gory detail and then stood strong as our main witness for the next several years. DSC01326We bought our first home together. We signed up to be foster parents.  We finally had the funds to not only pay off our medical debt but also hire an investigator to connect my husband with his biological roots as he was adopted at birth.DSC01299  Sean and I began writing our first book TOGETHER, co-authoring on the topic of gratitude.  I was only hospitalized three times for sepsis and circulatory distress (a problem that will be chronic as long as I have the honor to live).  My husbands book proposal on caregiving that he is writing in  tandem with Echo Garret has been completed and is in the next steps towards securinDSC01128g a publisher. My memoir is also
currently seeking a publisher.  We have regained training again, and Sean completed his first FULL Ironman in November.  Our lives have continued on the path of being very purpose driven.

I am not one for New Years Resolutions, because I have always felt we should live each day as if it is a New Year, because it is. In 2016, I look forward to meeting many more of you. I look forward to working with the American Red Cross and helping to raise funds and educational awareness towards disaster relief, blood donations, First Aid, and CPR.  I look forward to continued advocacy work around safer streets.

DSC00897I look forward to the road ahead realizing that nothing is definite.  I realize that change happens in a second.  I realize that I can not control everything that happens around me or to me but I can control how I act and react.

I will continue to take a stand to break down societal barriers about mental illness, anger, violence, chronic pain, traumatic brain injuries, and being ok sometimes not being ok.  We are a HUMAN FAMILY complete with much possibility, may we choose to roll our shoulders back with confidence, and work together to create stronger, safer, and healthier communities. Welcome 2016.  DSC00656





Merry Christmas Week!

_MG_9143 It is Christmas week. How are you feeling? Time for a mental self reflection moment. This is a busy week even if you do not celebrate Christmas. The roads are filled with traffic of last minute shoppers, people going home, airport lines are full, grocery lines are full, mall shopping lots are full. How is your heart? How is your mind? If your mind feels as full as the sometimes craziness of this season, take time to close your eyes and listen to the music of your heart beat. Is your heart full? Gauge what is filling your heart. Is it full of love, excitement, joy, compassion? Is it full of sadness and fear? Is it full of both? You are here. We all give gifts to one another this holiday season both tangible and intangible, and remember when we give we can also become slightly drained. Nourish YOURSELF. Give yourself the gift of intangible and maybe a tangible item. Give yourself the gift of self love. Remember when we become too “full” and busy with those metaphorical lines and physical lines we can exhaust ourselves to have joy. Put your hand on your heart, feel that? Your heart beat is beating music from the creation of time. The blood that is beating through your heart is part of the same blood that beat through the son of God. You are such a gift. Your very presence on this earth is a gift. Merry Christmas week my friends. Thank you all for the music of your own heart beats as we move forward on this journey. #namaste The light in me (and the heart beat) is the light in you.

Next Stop! Florida State University on November 6, 2015

This Friday I am honored to speak to hundreds of students at the PEACEJAM Southeast conference at Florida State University. CAN I HEAR A “PEACEJAM?”

The PeaceJam Foundation is an international organization whose mission statement is “to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody.  PeaceJam PeaceJam Southeast


#CHOOSEYOURDAY 100 days of Summer

A few more days of summer left and the need for blood is vital. During the summer months blood donor collection drops significantly.  As we celebrate summer, we go on Vacations, races, and family bbqs.  So much busy fun time happens in the summer, that people often forget to donate blood.  People who need blood do NOT get a vacation from needing blood transfusions. When trauma or sickness strikes it is immediate and the only way lives can be saved is if selfless heroes are willing to donate.

Remember each time you donate you could have the opportunity to not just save someone else’s life, but your own. #chooseyourday