Janelle Morrison is a Victoria athlete who suffered a terrible accident in 2010 that had doctors tell her she wouldn’t walk. Now a yoga teacher, Morrison wants to offer other women an award for rebuilding themselves after hardship (File contributed/ Janelle Morrison)

Athlete who survived head-on collision offers GameChanger award for women

Victoria woman competed in an Ironman two years after doctors told her she wouldn’t walk

A Victoria woman wants to encourage other women to rebuild their lives after she survived a life-altering accident.

Janelle Morrison was a professional Ironman-distance triathlete when she was in a near-fatal head-on collision in 2010.

“I went down a 30-foot embankment,” Morrison said. “I had a shattered ankle, femur, pelvis, vertebrae, my stomach had moved into lungs, a concussion … as close to death as you can come.”

When Morrison awoke from her 10-day coma, doctors told her she would be lucky to walk, and that there would be no way she could compete again.

After a head-on collision in 2010, Victoria athlete Janelle Morrison, sustained a broken pelvis, femur, broken vertebrae and damaged organs. Doctors told her she probably wouldn’t walk. Two years later she competed in an Ironman competition and placed third in her division. Now a yoga teacher, Morrison wants to offer other women an award for rebuilding themselves after hardship (File contributed/ Janelle Morrison)

Fast forward two years and Morrison finished an Ironman competition and came third in her division.

ALSO READ: Athlete overcomes physical challenges to complete ironman triathlon

While the accomplishment to most is astounding, for Morrison something was missing.

“I was really unfulfilled, and I wasn’t enjoying my comeback,” she said. “I was pushing so hard to come back that I had put all my attention into that and I missed my journey.”

She said what was really needed was nourishment and self-love.

“I needed less of ‘I should’ or ‘I need to.’ What I learned was asking myself the question ‘am I enjoying this?’” Morrison said. “Really a lot of this was me saying ‘I’m an athlete, who am I gonna be without that?’ It’s a lot of fear, and choosing to rebuild is a big step.”

To find that nourishment Morrison turned to yoga and now teaches at the Metta Studio in Victoria. She now wants to do more to help other women celebrate their own journeys, and so she set up the GameChanger: Heart to Rebuild Award.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria conference all about young women imagining possibilities

The award is for any Vancouver Island woman trying to overcome something and rebuild herself.

“She has faced something that she’s committed to overcoming. What that looks like, how that’s turned out is completely up to her,” Morrison said. “Maybe she is recently divorced with three kids, maybe she was given a diagnosis that really had her change her lifestyle… it doesn’t fall on any other lines other than she’s faced a challenge and she’s demonstrated over time a willingness to rise above it.”

The $1,000 award is funded in part by tickets purchased for the GameChanger: Redefining Strength all-day women’s workshop, where the award recipient will be announced on Nov. 10. The event will include keynote speakers and yoga classes focusing on different versions of strength. The event will be at the Hotel Grand Pacific from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People can put forward nominations until Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. at Janellemorrison.com/award.


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

In and out in 60 seconds, two suspects get away with $10,000 worth of jewelry after break-in at WestShore Gold and Silver

Langford business broken into just down the street from West Shore RCMP detachment

UVic researchers develop industry-changing ‘hyper-glue’

‘Cross-linking’ technology already playing a role in performance body armour

Artists with Disabilities Showcase returns for seventh year

Victoria Disability Resource Centre showcases artists from across the region

More than a million square feet of rental units proposed for downtown Victoria development

The Harris Green development is proposed to take over two large lots on Yates Street

Trend to convert lawns to meadows and gardens reaches Oak Bay

Front yard ‘food production,’ a piece of the puzzle

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Infants should be tested for autism if older siblings are diagnosed, Canadian study suggests

Blood test for infants with sibling who’s been diagnosed would get information to families earlier

Province gives $4.93M boost to school-based gang prevention program

The funding will see the ‘Erase’ program expand from 12 to 16 communities

Vancouver Island town to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

Opening day delayed at Mount Washington

Dec. 6 was set as opening day but will now be delayed due to lack of snow.

Province begins forfeiture of Shawnigan contaminated soil site

The forfeiture proceedings do not impact the closure plan for the landfill site

Most Read