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