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!




Friday, April 17, 2015

"Astronaut" training


Last fall I was introduced to Bob and Marilyn Hamilton and the Galileo (thank you Domini). I like to call it "astronaut training". Bob and Marilyn are the U.S. medical distributor for Galileo and they live in the Carmel Highlands, go figure! I feel so fortunate that our paths have finally crossed. Marilyn was paralyzed 35 years ago in a hang gliding accident and has been charging ahead ever since...for more info on Marilyn click here.

The Galileo is a "side-alternating" whole body vibration (WBV) device for intense muscle training, different from a power plate, in that it moves the hips in an oscillating pattern similiar to our gait (walking) cycle and stimulates all the muscles up the legs and core. A three minute Galileo Training at 18 Hertz corresponds to 3240 muscle contractions! That is alot of movement in my body that I have not been able to get with any other exercise. Check out for more on Galileo.Once a week I have been going to Bob and Marilyn's house and train on their Galileo tilt table. Just last week my legs activated with the vibration on and I was able to weight-bear on my own, and this is from using it just once a week! I want to use it everyday! Thanks to the generous support of my community and all the hard work from the runners for the Relay for Rachael I am hoping to purchase one for my home, another exercise to throw into the mix that will make a big difference!

Loco Coco is doing a pasta dinner in celebration of the 5th annual relay on Friday, April 24th at the American Legion in Carmel. Tickets are available to purchase for $35, all proceeds go towards helping with my physical therapy costs. More info here: Sunday is race day! Join us at the finish line around 9:30 AM at Rio Road in Carmel to cheer the runners in. It's not too late to donate to your favorite team or runner, go to for more information.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

photos by M3 **************PO Box 6445, Carmel Ca 93921 831.238.0127 ...BE THE LIGHT**************







Monday, March 30, 2015

Relay for Rachael 2015

The fifth annual Relay for Rachael, it is hard to believe... since I woke up in the hospital paralyzed from the neck down in 2010, I have been working everyday to gain my movement back. This is only possible because I have an amazing community of friends and family who are willing to go out, run hard and raise money for me. It is uncomfortable for me to ask for help, but I am learning that people want to help. I see the happiness on people's faces when they see my strength coming back, and this makes me happy, I am excited for the changes ahead. It is a tough world and I feel so grateful that everyday I am getting stronger. Everyday I am one step closer to stepping again...

This year I have 20 runners, 5 relay teams running in the Big Sur Marathon, along with a good friend who is running the full marathon! This is the 5th annual Relay for Rachael and we are stronger than ever with the most runners yet. The goal is to be the fastest team and raise the most money to help with my physical therapy costs. 6 days a week, 4 hours a day I work out with my trainer and this is possible because of people like you who donate to my recovery. Over the past year I feel the strength all over my body returning, my arms and hands are becoming more useful, my rehab is working! The runners are training hard and hit highway 1 on Sunday, April 26th to run their hardest for my recovery and I am forever grateful for their amazing support and yours!


Donations can be made **************PO Box 6445, Carmel Ca 93921 831.238.0127 ...BE THE LIGHT**************



Photo news from Rachael...

  I recently just curated my first official show at the Center for Photographic Art where I also serve on the Board of Trustees. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with such great photographers and a wonderful organization. If you've never been to the CPA in Carmel now is your chance, it is the Central Coast’s only non-profit photography center focused on promoting a broader understanding of photography’s visual, emotional and social impact in our community not to mention Ansel Adams and Brett Weston were a couple of the original founders back in 1967.

About the show...

Next Generation
Photographs by Kodiak Greenwood, Michelle Magdalena and Zach Weston Curated by Rachael Short
March 14th through May 9th, 2015
"Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow."—Imogen Cunningham
The future of photography is changing faster than ever. With over a billion digital images uploaded daily, our world has never been more photographed. Looking towards the Next Generation, what will the future of photography look like?
Here on the Monterey Peninsula, film and wet darkrooms are still alive as new generation fine art photographers Kodiak Greenwood, Michelle Magdalena and Zach Weston both continue and expand upon the legacy of the great West Coast photographers who pioneered this medium and evolved its traditions before them.

Next Generation spotlights the work of these three emerging artists and exposes the rawness that so effortlessly yet individually distinguishes their images. Kodiak is inspired by the rugged beauty of the Big Sur coast that has been his home since birth. Michelle's images emanate femininity derived from the natural form. Zach continues in the footsteps of his father Kim, grandfather Cole, great-uncle Brett and great-grandfather Edward, creating soulfully composed images and perfectly crafted prints. For all three young artists, film is still preferred over digital, the land and sea are ever-stirring muses, and the innate beauty of the female body is timeless. —Rachael Short, Exhibition Curator