Let it

Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”
Harvey MacKay

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Split

I have had grand moments. Sworn to live life large after being mediocre and complacent for many years. I've fed my spirit until it feels so expansive as to burst ecstatically from my body. I have been a powerful, joyful, brilliant, generous goddess.

There is a dichotomy to life.

I have been laid to dust. Felt broken, helpless and hopeless. I have crumbled and shrunken. I have felt so empty, hollow, friendless and small.

The expanse of the one is made possible by the juxtaposition of the other.  Both are inevitable because I will not settle for a constant bland middle. Both the highs and the lows will pass. They always do.

Because I know this, I can live with gratitude, even when I am low, and small, and lonely. I know the warmth that waits me when I endure and push through.

The grand moments that are yet to be will be all the more bright for the darkness I've endured.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Home again

I went out.
Brian cut my PT sessions down to twice a week. When Wednesday rolled around and it was crazy busy, and I had been nurse, chauffeur, teacher, cook, secretary, and EVERYTHING all day long, I told Aaron I needed to go out and he agreed.  I put on my running clothes and my Garmin, and I tied up my shoes. I drove to one of my favorite nearby spots that I knew wasn't too technical and I started to walk. I walked on the brink of running, knowing I should be careful, knowing what my body needed and knowing that what my heart wanted would take over eventually. There was sunshine peeking through the clouds, and it was just me and dirt and freedom. It felt amazing. It felt like home.
 I made it to the spot where I had taken a picture on the very last trail run I did, the morning before my accident. I cried. If I'm being honest, I sobbed. But I didn't feel sad. I felt grateful. So so grateful to be there in that spot 4 months later on my own two feet, that I couldn't contain it. I stopped and took the same picture. The leaves are all dead. I missed the colors, but I didn't care. It was so beautiful to me.
Steed Creek

When I asked the doc when I'd get back to the trails, and he said "you might not", he didn't know what a soul is willing to go through to get home again.
I walked until I couldn't not run anymore, and then I gave my heart the lead for just a minute.
I ran.
With the goofiest grin on my face as the tears streamed unabashedly down my cold flushed cheeks.
There are no words for that feeling.
I am so grateful.

I still have a long way to go. But I'm going. And I'm grateful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


So close. So close.
I've been attending physical therapy faithfully 3 times a week. Brian initially told me we'd have about 1 hour sessions, but they quickly drew out to 1 1/2 and then to 2 hour sessions as we added workouts and got carried away with various challenge games. 2 hours, 3 times a week.
Only about 15 minutes of that consists of massage and manual joint mobilization. The rest is work.
I honestly don't know if I've ever worked out so hard. Spinning, heavy shuttle squats, stretches, balance regimens, resistance bands, throwing around weighted balls, plyometric work, isolations and full body movements. Crossfit type HIIT sessions have come close, but I never dreamed I'd be working this hard to get my health back. And I LOVE it.
I revel in the challenge, the relationships I've gained in the clinic, the environment of people working together to overcome unenviable circumstances. It honestly has me researching PT schooling.
I get a thrill every time a slip into my Altra Superiors again and move.
The Alter G treadmill is the key right now.
These ravishing shorts zip in to complete the pressurized chamber around the legs.

This ingenious machine lets me run at a fraction of my bodyweight with proper form and without compromising my gait. I progressed quickly from 70% to 75, 80, 85 and 90%. That's where I am now. 90%. I've even been able to use this progression to speed train my legs to move faster than they were previously accustomed to. I may just come out of this stronger and better than I started. Brian looked me in the eye the other day and said, "Now is when you want to jump the gun and take off. That's exactly what you shouldn't do." Gah! I know he's right!
I am so grateful to be moving again. Every time I put my running shoes on, it's like reuniting with old friends. But we need dirt, my friends and I. I am outright itching to get out on the trails again.
Hiking with my littles. Ary stole Saia's Altras.
 I've done a few small, easy hikes and just soaked it all in, but it just makes me crave more! My heart lives there!! I want to be were people are scarce and nature is abundant! To feel wild and primal! To be so close, and not get to let loose is just a little bit maddening. I have to step back and remember how grateful I am to be where I am. To get to dream about races I might actually get to sign up for and run again! I am so grateful!! I can wait. I can do this. It is worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

You've got this.

You've got this.
Whatever it is you've been striving for, working towards, worrying about, or that has been sprung on you, you've got it. You can handle whatever comes your way. You are strong. Have you had moments of weakness, craziness, defeat? Yes. So what? You're still you, and that much stronger for it all. Your track record for survival so far is pretty dang awesome. Will it be hard? You betcha. But since when have you ever taken the easy road? Will it take time to see the results and be where you want to be? Maybe. Probably more than you were prepared for. So what? You've got time. This is exactly what you've been given time for. Time will pass. What are you going to do while it does? Worry? Wait? Stress? No. Not you. You'll fill up that time with life and love, work and growth. And you'll be all the better for it. So go get it. Whatever it is you want.
You've got this.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


They say to be careful what you pray for. Whoever "they" are.

The topic came up in a recent conversation with my physical therapist Brian, as his magic hands beat the crap out of my ankle in the very best way. We were discussing the humbling lessons I'd learned from this whole dramatic ordeal.
"You weren't praying for patience were you? Never pray for patience!" He chuckled. "You just end up in horrible situations that try your patience!"
I laughed aloud and said all too knowingly, "Oh I've learned that one the hard way!"

There is a part of me that is pretty sure God isn't some smart aleck trickster, sitting around waiting to twist our heartfelt pleadings into cosmic jokes, or smack us off our high horses the moment we find our confidence. But I do believe there is something to be learned from every trial, every experience... Whether you believe in Him or not.
So as I drove away from the PT office, and my heart felt that familiar tug from the nearby mountains, I entertained the question. What had I been praying for?
The answer came like a bolt to my brain. It was so obvious that I let out an ironic "ha!" as the sting of emotion filled my eyes. You see, before my accident I had been training for my upcoming 50k, and in a constant battle with anxiety and depression. I was mostly winning, but somehow ended up feeling downtrodden and inadequate most days. My runs, which should have consisted of determined training, were reduced to mere survival therapy for the most part. I often questioned why I spent so much time on something that I sucked so badly at. My logical brain knew that I was exceptional in many ways. That I was strong, and intelligent, and blessed, and kind, and really pretty awesome. But for some reason I couldn't believe it. The monologue of negativity would pop up at the most inopportune moments. I am so stinking slow. I am not as strong as I should be. I've put on weight. Who am I to be teaching yoga and giving advice? I am obnoxious. No one really likes me, they just put up with me. I am not a good enough mother. My poor kids, I'm ruining them. I can hardly be called an athlete. I'm a crappy friend. When was the last time I called my sister? I can't keep up with this house. I'm hardly bringing in any money. Such a poser. Such a loser. What is the point? What is the point? What is the point? Things I wouldn't say to an enemy if I ever had one. I knew this couldn't continue. So with a shot in the dark to a God that I was once so sure of, I started praying for more gratitude. GRATITUDE.

It took a crushing blow to gain it.

I spent weeks in devastating pain and the deepest depression that all of the things that I had unwittingly defined myself as were leveled. Dust. Start over.  But I never had a single day without something significant to be grateful for. I could do little for myself and I was attended to without even having to ask. And I came to realize as I mourned for those things that I couldn't do, and dug in hard with the things that I could, that I was awesome. I was so loved. I was strong. I had been all along. This incredible life of love, beauty and adventure that I had built on so many fronts was phenomenal. At first that just made me yearn for what had been all the more, but slowly, day by day, I am finding the wonder in what I am now and what I have now. There is a certain beauty in starting over. And the overwhelming emotion that comes with seeing with fresh eyes is gratitude.

The difficult side of believing that everything happens for a reason is that it's hard not to either wallow in guilt, or feel incensed with the bad stuff happens. It's tough to notice the building and refining process when I'm on my back with the wind knocked out of me. Hard to acknowledge a divine hand when I can't feel past the pain of my own flesh and bone. Skeptics may say that things just happen- good and bad alike. But whatever the rhyme or reason, I am getting what I prayed for. Should I give credit to God? Yoga teaches that divinity lies within all of us. We are each a part and portion of the divine collective. God dwells within us all, His hand is in everything.  So I could take credit for hard fought survival and gaining from the experience, sure I could. But I feel that to do so would be.... ungrateful. I'd like to think that I've learned that lesson for now.