DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Miami Valley woman is gaining international recognition for her yoga and contortion abilities, but the obstacles she’s overcome make her story even more impressive.

Caroline Pennington is a standout. She does it all.

“I do primarily contortion. I am a retired professional ballet dancer. I do hand balancing, which is balancing on your hands. I do fire performing with different aspects of acrobatics, and contortion, and on my pointe shoes or just flowing with fire. I do walking on the tops of bottles. I do Thai-chi. I do yoga. And I’m a model,” lists Caroline.

She’s living proof that anything is possible showing how far she’s come after the battle she’s fought.

“I am a survivor of fungal sepsis,” says Caroline. “It damaged my left hand and my right foot and some organs.”

Caroline says she has more than 30 diagnoses. A host of medical problems, her sepsis diagnosis came in December 2018 after two years of fatigue, mental fog, and not feeling like herself. As part of her treatment and therapy to get better, she started doing yoga.

“I started noticing on days I didn’t do it, I didn’t feel good. So it became habitual for me to do it because I personally noticed the difference of when I did it and when I did not,” Caroline states.

Since starting to do yoga, Caroline has gone from yogi to experienced contortionist.

“Now grant it, I had a lot of background as a physical artist prior, but all of my physical therapy put me where I am in my career today,” admits Caroline.

While yoga is part of her routine, she’s garnered recognition from it. She’s currently in the running to be named as “Yoga Warrior 2021” for Yoga Journal Magazine, an international publication devoted to yoga. More important than the title and prize money is the chance to tell her story.

“Yoga is a time when you’re at peace with yourself, and you’re at peace with everything, and you’re just there. And it doesn’t matter what happened five minutes ago, and it doesn’t matter what’s happening five minutes from now. It’s what’s happening now,” says Caroline who lives her life in the moment. “Adaptation is a beautiful thing.”

“Always love and appreciate yourself. Appreciate your hard work and everything you do,” advises Caroline.

To vote for Caroline for Yoga Warrior 2021, click here.