Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Relay for Rachael 2017

It's that time again! I have a group of amazing runners raising money and hitting Highway 1 on Sunday, April 30th in part of the Big Sur international Marathon. Every year since my car accident in 2010 this has been my annual fundraiser for caregiving and physical therapy costs. I am forever grateful for everyone's continued support! Thank you! Donations can be made HERE!

I have finally started collecting my rehab videos over the years! Check them out HERE. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. Be the Light.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

6 years down - Crashiversary


Honestly life has been whacky for me recently, not because of my disability but because of life. My grandmother passed away in May, peacefully at home in Carmel. Grandma was a big influence in my life, she taught me so many things that molded me into the person I am today. Her dementia kicked in big time right around the time of my accident. In a way i'm glad she couldn't understand what happened, but watching her grow weak and not being able to help her in the ways that I wanted to was challenging. Grandma taught me the value of hardwork, an appreciation for art, to have manners and be polite, the joy of gardening, to cheer for the Oakland A's and much, much more. Her influence in my life was huge and I am so thankful for our time.

Ironically Carmel celebrates 100 years this year as my great, great uncle's property (left to my grandparents) of 100 years is for sale in Carmel. Unfortunately this is the end of the line for us but I feel so fortunate for the time we had here... I am taking in my last moments and looking forward to new beginnings. I will miss the sound of the ocean at night, the trees and the fog. I will not miss the mold, the parking issues or the mail delivery!

The "crashiversary" always makes me re-evaluate my life and my rehab program. Is what i'm doing sustainable both physically and financially? Am I being the most productive with my limited time? Can I do more on my own? I'm always wondering if i'm doing the most with my exercise, pushing myself enough... while still remembering to listen to my body.

Somedays I am so mentally exhausted, and others physically... I have to remember (and have the energy for) the mindful movement that is needed to really connect to my body. It has been a bumpy road recently. I lost my trainer I worked with for years and this has really made me question my home rehab program. I recently read this blog post of a fellow quadriplegic, he explained the importance of the trainer/client relationship so well.

"The client can have his entire world changed – for good or bad! – by the attitude of his trainer...This is the constant psychological battle that plays out over minutes and months alike and, during a time when there is much uncertainty about the future for someone who has just lost access to most of his body, the therapist can keep the commitment boat afloat...As you can see, awareness and trust in this relationship are critical for rehab when working with a therapist, just as they are in so many other settings: student-teacher, player-coach, community-police, public-government." -Theo St Francis

Thank you Theo for sharing!

More on Theo here

I finally have gathered my rehab videos from over the years, this helps me see how far I have come and what I need to be working on more. Check out my videos here


Thanks to my friend Roman Reed and his efforts in finding a cure for paralysis there have been huge strides forward in Stem Cell research here in California! Read about the recent human clinical trials here

I lost myself that night of the accident, my old self "before" the accident but I also experienced a rebirth, into something maybe deeper and more meaningful. I'm not sure what it all means but I look forward with hope and determination knowing that I have a lot to look forward to.

"We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us." -John Steinbeck


In my calm place.


In my "WTF are we doing" place.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Relay wrap-up 2016

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Words can not explain the gratitude I have for the overwhelming support I continue to receive year after year. My inspiration and hope comes from all of you.

My runners hit highway 1 on April 24th...it was a windy Sunday morning as they headed out to put one foot in front of the other for me. I heard Hurricane point was a force with wind coming from all directions, I can feel that force. The relay year after year motivates me to keep on going and gives me the means to do it.

I want to thank my runners, friends, family, community and everyone who donated. Aswell as my friends at the Big Sur River Inn, Loco Coco, and the Treadmill for their continued support! BE THE LIGHT!

Check out relay for Rachael on KSBW! Watch video here

Wow! All the donations are incredible! River Inn's check from their proceeds on marathon day pushed us over our goal of $30,000! www.relayforrachael.com

Team "El Sur Grande" came in 2nd in the Big Sur International Marathon open-mixed relays and was my fastest team. (My marathon runner, Kodiak Greenwood, beat all the relay teams!)

Pasta Dinner! (photos by Magdalena)


Monday, February 22, 2016

Relay for Rachael 2016

It's relay time again! This year is the 6th annual relay for Rachael and I have four teams and two full marathon runners who are hitting Highway 1 on Sunday, April 24th at the Big Sur International Marathon. This is my annual fundraiser to help with my ongoing physical therapy costs after a car accident that left me a quadriplegic in 2010.

Every year I am blown away by the amount of support that continues to flow in. My exercise/rehab program is the most important thing to me and I am able to continue this because of the support from my community and the relay for Rachael. Without it my quality of life would dramatically deteriorate. Every day I am so thankful that I am given the opportunity to heal, that I can put all of my energy into gaining as much strength back as possible. I believe if I continue to work hard the possibilities are endless. I know that there are many people in my situation that don't have the support that I do and do not have the opportunity that I have and for this I am forever grateful. I am inspired and left in awe by the amazing runners who year after year train hard and raise money so one day I can too.

Thank you for being my light!

You can pledge your support through the website at www.relayforrachael.com using PayPal, or if you prefer to write a check, send it to:

Rachael Short SNT

PO Box 6445

Carmel, CA 93921

Soaking up the winter sun.
I can stay here all day!
Chelsea representing!

Lyra and Kendra training hard.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

5 years down...

On my crashiversary I always think back to my 66 days in the hospital. Not able to speak, breathe, or eat for 18 days, not able to move my head from the pillow. I have come so far, mostly because of the support of my community and a little determination on my end :) One of the most exciting things this year is that I am beginning to sweat again, I am getting stinky armpits and sweaty feet! This means that my nervous system is starting to work like a "normal" body!

I can finally admit I am scared shitless of being in the car. Getting in my truck feels OK but takes a lot more work, getting in the van is torture every time. I was never a good passenger, I preferred being the driver, especially on country roads and if I was the passenger my slogan was "slow equals love". Slow down with your passengers and enjoy the ride.

I am so thankful I am in downtown Carmel and can go out without getting in the car. I appreciate the time that I have here because it could change at any moment. I can zip up to the gallery, meet friends for dinner or check out a great exhibit at the Center for Photographic Art where I am on the Board of Trustees. I seem to avoid the beach not because I don't love it but because it still hurts. I avoid the things that bring me sadness and focus on the things that bring me happiness, and there is a lot to be happy for.

Everyday gets easier as I learn to live again. After 5 years I have a pretty good idea that everyday is an adventure and as I change and get stronger I learn more. I miss traveling but now I am on my craziest journey of all. I often think about my solo travel to Cuba 8 months before my accident and how the lessons I learned on that trip were in preparation for this "journey". We are all part of a much bigger picture.

The biggest lessons I've learned on this 5 year journey is to be patient, be understanding, never give up and to laugh at yourself. I accept that this is a life long struggle that I will always be fighting and that is ok, I know I can do it. Life is a struggle, this is why there are sunsets and art and music, because life is also beautiful. I am now brought to tears at the stars in the sky and the sunlight through the trees. The struggle is more real, the beauty is more real, the love that I feel is more real too. I laugh at road rage, how can somebody get so angry at something so silly, life is so much more. Everyone has their struggles, no one has it easy but getting upset about the little things is not a way to live. More than anything I know that my injury is not just my struggle, it is my family's, my friend's, my community's and we are all healing together.

I am learning to put my body first. The first year of my rehab I still felt that I could stay out late, I wasn't going to miss the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Big Sur! But I quickly learned that I cannot do that anymore. I have learned that I need my sleep and I need my schedule. I prefer to be home warm and cozy in my bed rather than out in a loud, cold place. Maybe I'm getting older or maybe I'm just learning that my body can only heal if I let it...priorities. I can't spend hours in the chair, it makes my body hurt and my energy low. Battling exhaustion every day is one of my biggest challenges and I do everything I can do avoid that, drink water, sleep, exercise, movement, breathe...

I miss push ups more than crunches, dirt roads more than city streets, beer more than liquor and sunrises more than sunsets. Everyday gets easier and everyday I get closer to independence again. On this crashiversary I want to say thank you again to my family and friends who have supported me every step of the way and to my amazing caregivers who get me out of bed every morning and tuck me in at night. I love you all...

MRI of my spinal cord before the surgeries. The first Doctor at Santa Clara didn't want to do anything so I was quickly transferred to Stanford. Thanks Buddy...

This is an xray of my neck after my first surgery, 4 screws and 2 rods. Yikes!

Xray after my second surgery, add in 4 more screws and a plate. Believe or not I have more range of motion than most because I work at it every freaking day!

My current show up until Jan. 2nd at Gallery Exposed!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Return to Photography


Join us for the opening of From the Shadows, photographs by Rachael Short at Gallery Exposed in Carmel, California.

Friday, October 2nd from 5-8pm.
Running through January 2nd, 2016.

From the Shadows is a series of photographs captured over a three year period, the project is a reflection of Short's life and how she learned to live again after a car accident that left her a quadriplegic in 2010.

The series is a return to photography for Short after a year of not taking a single photo do to lack of mobility. In 2011 Short had enough strength to hold an iPhone and her series From the Shadows began. Being a film/darkroom photographer the transition to the iPhone was a hard one, but her friend and fellow photographer Kim Weston suggested Platinum printing her iPhone images and from that her passion for photography was sparked again.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Relay Recap

We met our goal of $30,000! With 21 runners and over 200 people donating, this year's relay for Rachael was the biggest success yet! Not to mention that my team from Apple Pie Ridge came in third overall for the Big Sur International Marathon Relay, hopefully one of these years we can take first! My runners worked so hard to raise money for my ongoing rehab costs and for this I am forever grateful. Without getting movement every day I would have nothing. Thank you runners for waking up way too early on a Sunday morning, braving the wind of Highway one and for putting one foot in front of the other for me.

To the 200 people who donated this year, thank you. I look at the list and see the names of my friends and I am overwhelmed by the support that year after year keeps growing. I'm excited to be purchasing some new rehab equipment with this year's donations. My Nu-Step recumbent bike should be here shortly, I will be able to exercise on my own, and frankly I'm sick of everybody and could really use some alone time! I will also be getting the Galileo whole body vibration platform to rattle my body everyday. My rehab is the most important, thank you for supporting me on my long road to recovery.

"Does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop." Confucius

The runners!

Celebrating at the finishline.

After the first leg of the relay.

Hanging out at the 3rd leg hand off.

Hurricane Point

The finishline!

Kodi after running the full marathon.

Hanging at the finishline!