risha Meili loves this time of year, says Patrice O’Shaughnessy in the New York Daily News, even though it was in the spring that she nearly lost her life. “Everything is green, it’s new life,” she says. “And to come back from basically nothing …” Twenty years ago, Meili, then a 28-year-old Salomon Brothers investment banker, went for a jog in New York City’s Central Park when she was raped and beaten nearly to death. Newspapers called her “the Central Park jogger,” withholding her name because she was the victim of a brutal sexual assault. For almost two weeks, Meili lay in a coma as doctors doubted she would recover. She had to learn to walk, talk, and use her hands again; to this day she retains no memory of the attack. But while convalescing, she began to hear from people who drew strength from her determination to recover. “I experienced an extraordinary level of violence,” she reflects, “but I also experienced an extraordinary level of human kindness and love. It seems that my story touches people in so many ways.” Eventually, Meili left Salomon and became an inspirational speaker. She’s happily married, still runs regularly (four miles at a time), does yoga, bicycles, and hikes. “My life is rich and full. I’m so glad I can say I’m healing, happy, and okay.”
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