The Chicago Marathon was only three months away: what could be Carol Reeve’s 82nd finish line. And she was determined to make it — despite her failing, 54-year-old body.

Spoiler alert: The following text is a synopsis of the video above. Watch the video for a deeper look at this true story of human performance.

“When Carol came in, she wasn’t walking; she was shuffling,” says Logan Sullivan, a performance specialist at EXOS. After more than four decades of running long distances, almost daily, a multitude of neglected issues were becoming unescapable. Carol wanted to know what was going on but was afraid to hear the truth.

To stop running, if it came to that, would shatter her world. Marathons had become a part of her identity, along with the freedom and exhilaration of training and finishing races. “There’s nothing like the feeling of going through that finish line,” Carol says. She started working with a physical therapist and coach several days a week at EXOS. Treatment included massage, hands-on work by a physical therapist, strength training, and other less-conventional methods.

“Carol was always following the plan, never missed a training or therapy session, and did all of the things we recommended for her at home,” says Sullivan. Her efforts paid off. Feeling pain-free all the way through the race, Carol made it across her 82nd finish line. Today Carol still visits EXOS between races for maintenance. And then she’s back out there, going the distance. “I don’t see Carol stopping,” says Sullivan. “Carol won’t stop.”

Learn how EXOS uses physical therapy to help improve quality of life and performance.

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