My Story


I was born asking why… which did not go over well in my strict traditional Mennonite family (almost Amish) where following the many rules (especially for a girl) was expected.


So I found a cute, progressive Mennonite boy and married him. Together we left the culture we grew up in and explored life outside the boxes of our childhoods.


Making changes was freeing, but also conflicting at times. Buying a TV, jeans, jewelry and getting my hair cut were all new experiences for me.


In my mid 20s, I had three children and I soon realized I needed something to help me stay balanced. 


Running became the thing. Over the next decade I ran about a dozen half-marathons and one full marathon.


Janet Oberholtzer Wedding

Life was good until the day my world changed…


Life was good until the day my world changed…

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I now use my personal story of overcoming challenging odds as a catalyst to encourage others to do what they can, with what they have no matter what obstacles they face.


If you’re interested in having me speak at your next event, please contact me.





Comments from others:

From a former COLLEGE PRESIDENT: “It’s a tribute to the power of her story that when I opened Because I Can, I couldn’t put it down. I read it all the way through and then wanted to know more.”

From a BOOK CLUB PRESIDENT: Janet’s book is amazing, but there is nothing more impressive than meeting her and hearing her speak in person.”


Check out My Book:


Doing what I can, with what I have, where I am

Featured in Runner’s World, Fitness, Women’s World, Forbes, and USA Today



One moment, she was savoring life on sunny Malibu Beach and the next she almost lost her legs and her life.

Janet Oberholtzer is not a celebrity or a superhero, instead she could be your mom, your wife or your daughter, but her story will give people hope to heal if they find their world has become dark and hopeless due to a life-changing event.

Because I Can chronicles Janet’s struggle after a horrific accident while she was traveling around the country with her family.

After being trapped in a wrecked motor home with her legs decimated, her pelvis shattered — paramedics and firefighters rushing to save her life — her struggle wasn’t only to survive her physical injuries, she also had to learn how to live with her new normal.

This included the struggle of keeping her marriage together, fighting through anger and depression and liberating herself from physical limitations to run again. Why? 

Because she can!

Because I Can is not a Pollyanna story — Janet still has disappointments and still asks questions. In spite of that, she’s made a choice to live life to the fullest …

Doing what she can, with what she has, where she is… Because she can!

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