Thursday, November 1, 2018

8 year Crashiversary

I’ve decided I have a PhD in Spinal Cord Injury, 8 years down, oh how time flies. I learn more and more every day about this crazy life, 8 years is nothing. I take the anniversary of my injury as a chance to reflect on where I was then and how far i’ve come. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t remind myself how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, food on the table and the incredible support of so many.

At Point Lobos photographing with my iPhone. 

My health is my life and my life is my health and that is only possible because of the help I receive from others.  Our health mentally and physically are both so important when trying to achieve a happy and fulfilling life. This made easier by getting the proper sleep, nutrition and exercise. I feel our general health is greatly under valued.

At times I feel selfish, every day I have to think about me, be my own health care advocate. How am I going to get up in the morning, fed, transported around and get the help I need to get through my day? In part because of this I am always trying to find ways to give back and to help others.

I was reminded of this again in August after a friend passed away suddenly at the age of 32. Everything he did was to help others, to make this world a better place. He was a bright light and once again I am reminded to be the light and to #livelikeWeston. He was part of my relay for Rachael crew and will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

Every year I get stronger and life with a spinal cord injury gets a little easier, just last month I was finally able to turn over from my stomach to my back in the pool. I’ve been working on this for 8 years! Being able to breathe on my own in the pool is huge because now I can work towards independence in the water. I started competitive swimming at the age of 8, played water polo and swam on the swim team through high school, lifeguarded, taught swim lessons, coached swim team, surfed, wakeboarded. I am a waterdog and I can’t wait for the day when I don’t need any help in the pool, and I am so close! Never give up!

Don’t take any minute of your life for granted. Look at the big picture and don’t let the little things get you down. Go for walks, watch the sunset, spend time with friends and family, volunteer, make a difference in your community, hug, cry, laugh, love, make art, be kind. Life is short.

There’s a lot that can get you down, this world can be a brutal place and I know it is hard to stay positive, I work on it every day. But this world is a beautiful place too, yin and yang, black and white, shadow and light, birth and death.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.”
-Stephen Hawking

Monday, May 7, 2018

8th Annual Relay wrap-up!

As the dust settles from this year‘s Relay For Rachael I am reminded that I am not alone on this journey and that I couldn’t do it without the support of many... every year we get stronger and it is truly an amazing thing. 

Shelby Hawthorne and Kodiak Greenwood both ran the full marathon while my relay teams battled it out on the highway. Team LaLa Land came in 1st out of my 6 teams, upsetting the Big Sur teams, and came in 3rd overall out of 112 teams!  I love seeing everybody come together for such a fun and rewarding event and I’m so proud of my runners who hit Highway 1 in support of me. I can’t say thank you enough!


This year we raised a record amount of money, from over 250 donors, to help with my ongoing caregiving and physical therapy costs. I can’t put into words what this means to me and how this helps me get through my days. My progress is slow but it is progress and I am up to the challenge. Thank you for BEing my light.

Thank you to The Treadmill for hooking up the winning team with free shoes and for hosting such a “Fun Run” on March 25th in preparation for the marathon.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Staying Healthy

As the 8th annual Relay for Rachael approaches I am reminded how lucky I am for the support of my amazing friends, family and community.  Year after year my runners continue to train and raise money and I continue to get the help I need to gain strength and stay healthy both mentally and physically.  I am knocking on wood as I write this but I have not been sick in over 5 years, I am gentle to my body because I know it needs strength to heal. I try and eat healthy, I rarely drink alcohol anymore and if I do it is a glass of red wine, I get my rest by staying on a consistent sleep schedule (which includes having to wake up from 3-3:30AM every morning to switch from my left to right side) and most importantly I keep my body moving.  My movement is possible because I have people who believe in me and who allow me to continue on my journey. I can’t imagine my life without this support and I am forever grateful.  Once again my runners hit highway 1 on Sunday, April 29th in part of the Big Sur Marathon to run their fastest and raise money for my recovery, to inspire me and others and to enjoy one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Donations can be made at Relay for Rachael. Thank you and Be the Light.

Working with Domini Anne at Mindful Movement in Carmel.