Some people use a major life crisis to reach higher, and achieve their dreams.
A Lexington nurse recently found herself in the role of patient, but she didn't let that stop her from running forward.
You'd never know by watching her run that Casey Hill had every reason to stop running.
"I've got two rods and four screws, plus a polymer implant that serves as a shock absorber," Hill said.
The registered nurse loved to run, but pain made it difficult.
She faced back surgery, a discectomy, and lumbar fusion, meaning surgeons would remove a herniated disc causing the pain.
Hill did not let the operation stop her.
Within seven months of surgery, she ran her first race.
By ten months, Hill ran 20 miles, and before a year was up, she ran her first marathon.
She says the pain was gone.
"I had never had pain free running before the surgery, so after surgery, I was like, 'So this is what everyone else gets,'" Hill said.
She now has a whole new appreciation for how fitness helps recover.
Now, she will be one of thousands of people who will run a half-marathon Saturday at Keeneland, covering 13.1 miles.
"I'm running further, faster, and it's only up from here," Hill said.
So far, at least 1,800 runners have signed up for the RunTheBluegrass half-marathon Saturday.
You can find details at runthebluegrass.org.
On Friday, the day before the race, the race expo will be from noon until 8 p.m. at the Keene Barn.
The guest speaker is Newton Running Co-Founder Danny Abshire.
The event is sponsored by UK Healthcare and the Markey Cancer Center.