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.



  1. Life is a journey isn't it? Not one we are prepared for, yet we still take the trip. I am proud of you and your accomplishments, and even more so of your attitude and commitment even at the bleakest of times. I am reminded to cherish my mobility, not perfect, but it could be worse, and I now cherish my bike, without which, I would not be able to go to the places I go.
    Rock on Rachael, and keep on making your beautiful images.

  2. I love you and afire you So So much!!!! My beautiful, strong and courageous daughter! You have so many traits that at admire!

  3. I love you so so much my beautiful, strong and courageous daughter! You are such a role model for me!! Love life, appreciate it, learn from it.. I admire your determination & dedication to learning & growing!

  4. As I read your blog this morning you touch my heart so deeply. Many folks come up against challenges and give up hope but it seems that you have used your challenges to metamorphosis eyes. To go into the relm of the spiritual when facing so many difficult challenges, the answer you have found is the most valuable key to life. I always honor you but today, this morning, my heart touches the ground in surrender to this new day.