It’s actually a true story.

April 18, 2012 · 70 comments

There was once a girl who spent most of her time in Virginia Beach…

(and Washington D.C. and Philadelphia and Charlotte).

She liked to run. A lot. Maybe too much.

When she wasn’t running, she liked to rock her inner meathead. Being strong is fun, and joking about her “huge” muscles was funner.

This girl loved the beach. She spent most of her summer days surrounded by sand, friends, jugs of skinny margaritas.

There came a day when three of her harmless-looking sun freckles turned out to be melanoma.

Although that was no fun, she considered herself lucky and tried to spread awareness. She wanted to prevent all the girls (and boys) in the land from getting skin cancer from tanning beds or not wearing 30 SPF.

original via

Not being able to run for a while after her two skin cancer surgeries made her sad, but she was still able to run the Shamrock Half Marathon. Not at a PR goal pace, of course, since she missed a lot of training.

The girl’s second day back running, she was so excited, she sprinted out the door. A few miles in, she went “splat” on the sidewalk.

She got the bandages back out and sported them for all the land to see.

Eventually, the girl was good to go. Free of bandages. Free of exercise limitations. She could try and get strong again. Life was good.

A few weeks later one Sunday morning, the girl noticed a small pain in her ribcage… almost like a bruised around her ribs.

This “bruised” feeling turned into a searing pain. Trying to breathe, yell, laugh, sneeze, and move her torso felt like getting stabbed in the ribcage.

 original via

One school nurse consultation, two doctors visits, a prescription for tramadol, and instructions to not exercise for at least a week later, the girl found out she had a rib-cartilage separation, or a “costochondral separation”. Her rib was torn loose from the costal cartilage and detached from her sternum.

Let’s get serious. I’m obviously just trying to find an attractive doctor husband. Trial and error, folks. What can I break next?

Just don’t make me laugh with your comments. It feels like I’m getting shanked.

P.S. My gym buddy Justin Timberlake (still not letting that go; never will) has a brand new design site called HomeMint. If you sign up on the waiting list now, you get free credit towards his designs! Click here to join me on HomeMint.

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Faith @ For the Health of It April 18, 2012 at 9:48 am

Oh Alyssa, what a huge bummer! Those injuries all sound tough…but getting through one after the other just continues to prove how tough YOU are as well! Hoping and praying that this gets itself resolved as well…

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2 Tracy April 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

I love tanning and being tanned..ur story has made me book my first skin check and realise fake tanning CAN be done without the whole cancer risk thing—>I have recently rediscovered my love for neutrogena self tanning. hope u feel better and thanks for sharing!!!! :)
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3 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

I’m such a self tanning advocate now! I use it a whooole lot.

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4 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat April 18, 2012 at 9:58 am

I’m sidelined with an injury too and it’s no fun! It makes me feel like the days are so much longer though when you’re not spending 2 hours driving to the gym, working out, and showering a second time!
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5 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

SO true. I may feel like a trash can, but no working out ups my productivity level 1,000%.

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6 Yellow Haired Girl April 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

Oh jeez, Louise. As I was reading…I was really scared of what you were going to reveal at the end. This is just another thing for you take on and kick it’s ass ;)

If your cute doctor husband has a cute doctor friend … hook a girl up!
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7 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

hahaha.. seriously, you knew there had to be some obnoxious news at the end, didn’t you?

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8 Easa April 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hmm, correlation? Rock your head to the left, melanoma on the R. Tilt your head back to the R, fall and hurt your L wrist and then get shanked in the L ribs? Maybe you should try a more balanced posture?

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9 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

you are so perceptive, Easa.

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10 Patti @ This Starts Tonight April 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

Clearly you should just head back to Charlotte and drown your woes at the Dog Bar…which I am totally opening one day wherever I settle down. Best. Idea. Ever.
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11 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile April 18, 2012 at 10:21 am

Holy crap! I’m sorry to hear that :( I hope you feel better soon, sending well wishes your way!
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12 Kelsey April 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

This seriously sucks and is a total bummer but imagine how upset Justin TImberlake is that his gym buddy won’t be around for a while. Poor JT.
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13 Devon @ Runningtothefinish April 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’m so sorry!! :( I haven’t been able to run as much as I want to either because of an ITB/knee injury and it’s so frustrating. I hope you heal quickly and can get out there and run again soon!!

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14 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm

ugh. been there with the ITB. sucks. get yoself a foam roller… they’re awesome for IT bands!

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15 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots April 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

sorry about your injury that is such a bummer but I think you will come out on top, you are very optimistic and luckily have a good sense of humor about things! P.s. I love ur bathing suit!

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16 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

vic secret, baybay! :)

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17 Chels R. April 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

So sorry to hear about that. But you are strong girl and will get through it! I have learned (recently) how hard injuries can be and being sidelined is not fun. Lean on your friends and family and stay positive through it all! Praying for a speedy recovery for you! :-)
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18 Sarah @Blonde Bostonian April 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

Oh NO!! I hope you feel better, girl! Stay strong!
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19 Emily April 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

I had my very first ever skin check on Monday. I purposely scheduled the appointment with an older doctor knowing I’d have to be in my bra and underwear, turns out he was superrrrrrr good looking. What IS it about hot doctors?! ;) Anyway, it actually went really well! I learned that what I’ve always thought to be freckles are actually “small moles” and that the red freckles on my scalp and chest are completely normal/ hereditary (my Dad has them). I have a follow- up in a year! Until then, it’s self tanners and lots of SPF for me. Thanks for being such an inspiration to a complete stranger!

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20 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I’m so glad, Emily! my daddy has those red freckles, too. it’s just a matter of time before I start getting them, I’m sure.

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21 Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry April 18, 2012 at 10:51 am

Aly my little muffin! Sweet baby cheeses, this sucks! I am so sorry to hear about all your weird injuries + illnesses lately, geez. I am thankful that’s all it is with the rib thing though, truthfully. I read a really scary article about skin cancer yesterday…I mean, obvs not to scare you here…but yeah, I’m relieved you know what the searing pain is and you will be A-okay.
At least you still have a positive attitude, and can even joke about it… Most important thing, in my opinion.
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22 Karla @myhighonlife April 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

Dang girl, you can’t catch a break!! Ease back into when you can so you can be back in full force. I was getting xrays on Saturday on my shins and luckily they’re clear cause I have a MARATHON in a week and a half. Take care, much love!
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23 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

good luck in the 26.2.. I’m so jealous!

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24 Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy April 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

dude. What gives? I’m sending you buckets of good karma.
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25 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

i’m getting all the injuries in my 24th year as possible. that way, when I’m old, I’ll be strong as an ox with no injuries ever.

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26 Alysia @ Slim Sanity April 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

that’s awesome you have such a great positive, proactive attitude about the challenges you’ve over come! keep it up!
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27 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) April 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

You just can’t catch a break, can you?? Hope you heal up quickly!…or find a hot doc in the process ;) haha
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28 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

Don’t worry … I try to be funny, but I’m not. So my comment shouldn’t cause you any pain. ;)

Such a massive bummer about your ribs. Any idea how it happened? It’s such a random-sounding injury!
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29 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

the doctor said it was blunt force trauma, so it had to be on impact. I have no idea how it happened, honestly. it’s very weird.

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30 Alyssa @ fit and fun in third April 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

Ugh!! You can’t catch a break! Feel better soon!!!
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31 Kate @ life's precious moments April 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Alyssa!! Oh my goodness! I am so sorry- you really can’t catch a break! I hope this injury heals quickly :)
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32 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries April 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I want to put you in a plastic bubble to keep you safe.
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33 Annette @ FitnessPerks April 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Oh how sad!! :( Heal up quickly, my dear!
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34 Calee (@chimes) April 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm

:( Major sad face.

I’m really glad that you can help spread the word about tanning. That’s about the only positive thing about this post (other than how ripped your abs look in that beach pic!)

thanks for sharing. And I hope you feel better. I wish you knew what happened to your ribs so it doesn’t happen again. :(
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35 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

bah, thanks, Calee. I just wish I could get them BACK… stupid ribs. no crunches for me for a long time.

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36 Calee (@chimes) April 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Don’t be so sad. Find something else to do instead! When I couldn’t run for 3 months I picked up crafting, and now make a decent amount of $ every month from crafting … but it’s hard to fit BOTH in. So maybe do something fun for yourself? Pick up a new hobby or a pet project. :)

Looking forward to meeting you!
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37 Calee (@chimes) April 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Also, JT? that’s hilarious. I just read that post. Jealous. Kind of.
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38 Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves April 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

You’re positivity is so encouraging! Adding injury to injury sucks, but you take it all in stride and keep your head up. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing I think that is.
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39 KerriAnn April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Wow! I’m sorry but good for you for standing up for something you believe in. I gave up tanning beds after there was a video floating around on FB called dear 16 year old me, or something like that, about the dangers. I’m all about self-tanner and sunscreen now!
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40 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

most definitely! I cried when I saw Dear 16 Year Old Me after my diagnosis. powerful stuff.

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41 Amber K April 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Being injured is no fun! So sorry that you’re having to go through another painful problem again so soon. Heal quickly!
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42 Kellie @ Compelled To Do So April 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Ugh! Such a bummer. Sending tons of positivity your way!
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43 Samantha April 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

My goodness, it’s one thing right after the other, isn’t it?! Sending well wishes your way, and hopefully you catch a break (and meet that super hot doctor husband) soon!

And JT’s new site — helllllll yeahhhhhh
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44 Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola April 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Omigosh I’m so sorry that happened to you! Did they give you any indication about how something like that happens? As someone who has had way more than my fair share of health issues, I get it– and am so sorry that it seems to all happen at once! I like where you’re going with the Dr husband, but I like to think that the hubby’s mom or dad is the doctor, that way my husband won’t be getting called away all hours of the night. Have I thought about this too much? Yeah, probably…
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45 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

haaha. good call. and the doctor said it happened from impact. I’m not sure what hit me, but it had to have been hard to sever the cartilage from my ribs. super weird.

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46 Heather @ Run Eat Play April 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hope you get better! I had torn rib cartilage about 2 years ago and it was so painful!

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47 Angela T April 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Alyssa, I had that same injury a few years back. Def not fun considering everything you do makes it hurt! Take it easy and hopefully you start to feel back to normal soon! Also, thank you so much for posting that video about skin cancer.. I LOVE to be tan but haven’t gone for over a year..My friend works at a dermatologist office and tells me all the horror stories and if that doesn’t make you stop, I am not sure what will! ..but now whenever I get that “urge” I will remember your story also and just stick to tanning lotion ( which I really need to try) :)

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48 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I’m glad you quit the bed! :) and seriously.. try the lotion. it works wonders.

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49 Jen@FoodFamilyFitness April 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Son of a bitch that sounds painful! I’m so sorry!!!
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50 Lisa April 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Haha. We are totally accident twins. I fractured my rib (it hurts sooo bad!!-I could not handle the horrible pain it took just to breathe!), then the day I was told I could exercise again I was so excited I was running down the stairs, fell (of course), and found out I bruised my tailbone. Luck is on my side clearly! Thankfully, nothing else bad has happened yet. I’m sure it will though ;) Hopefully you heal up fast!
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51 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run April 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

My goodness girl!!! You’ve been put through the ringer! I’m sending you some MAJOR recovery vibes.
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52 Katie @ Plates and Paste April 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Oh my god! So sorry to hear that! Just one thing after another right? How does something like that get fixed? Do you have to have surgery?

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53 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 19, 2012 at 8:42 am

nope. it heals on its own, but it can take around 12 weeks. pretty rough.

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54 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe April 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Oh gosh, that sounds horrible… how does that get treated?! Hugs!
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55 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

no treatment except for pain meds.. it heals on its own in 12 weeks time. blugh.

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56 Talia @ Bite Size Wellness April 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

One thing after another! Poor girl…I am so sorry to hear this. But maybe the doctor husband is bound to happen after all?? Feel better!
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57 Samantha April 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm

You poor girl!! I hope things get better and you get to stay out of the doctor’s for a bit :) I joined that website via your twitter link. I don’t quite know what it’s about or anything but I thought I’d help you out! :D Get better girl!

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58 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 19, 2012 at 8:39 am

thanks, sam! :)

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59 Heidi Nicole April 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Oh, wow. Let’s stick with the “bad things come in threes” and hope its all over! At least now you have a little motivation to avoid becoming a felon…and potentially getting for-real shanked in prison! ;)
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60 Kristen April 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Ouch! I hope your rib heals soon, and that you can get back into running again!
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61 nina April 19, 2012 at 1:12 am

If you can’t find a doctor husband i can come and be your doctor friend and run every day with you :D Too bad there’s a few oceans between this!

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62 Dorsa @ Running Thoughts April 19, 2012 at 8:51 am

Oh man girl! I am so sorry to hear… I hope you feel better soon!
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63 Sarah April 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I just recently found your blog through one of my friends, and it couldn’t have been at a better time. I worship the way my skin looks when tan and glowy – it’s what I long for all year, and I feel naked without sunkissed skin. A few years ago I started going to the tanning bed, and became slightly addicted. With the weather getting warmer, I was all geared up to hop back in the beds, but after reading your story, I’ve decided to nix the unnatural rays. I promptly went and bought the deepest shade of neutro. spray tan I could get my hands on. Thanks again for sharing!

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64 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I’m so glad it helped you, Sarah!

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65 christina April 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

i LOVE your blue bikini! hot damn.

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66 Brienne May 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

so I’m super late to this post, but I just saw you tweet about your rib and had to find out more. I’m dealing with the same thing!!! If you don’t mind me asking, how did they end up diagnosing you? I’ve been seeing a chiropractor, and x-ray and ultrasounds haven’t shown anything. I’ve just been prescribed to take it easy and ice. Hope you’re feeling better!

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67 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss May 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

they diagnosed a cartilage separation. I had to stay at rest for at least a week (I did a little more just in case), take anti-inflammatory, and take pain killers. It all seemed to be working, and the pain had completely faded until I tried to do crunches last night. I thought I was in the clear since it didn’t hurt during, but today my rib hurts again. :( I’d recommend taking it veerrryyy easy.

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