Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tediocity

I enjoy the plasticity of words ;)

Recently my therapist said that he thinks my progress is beginning to slow down. He said it's to be expected, and it doesn't mean it's going to stop. and not to worry. My first thoughts were shock and anger and disbelieving - I mean, what is he basing this off anyway? Then I started thinking about this blog and how there's not too much to add every week, and I got sad. BUT my Pilates instructor made it all make sense to me. She said progress in anything is like building a house, at first it seems to go faster because you're putting up the major structures such as walls, windows, doors. But when you start having to do the cabinets, or the crown molding, or all the little details, that's still progress, it just takes longer to complete. It's the final details, the finishing touches, that take the most time. That makes TONS of sense to me and everything is alright in my world again. And I guess not everyone needs crown molding, but it''s my house and I'm going to make it as awesome as possible no matter how long it takes.

SO
Swim: The program I swim with is off for 2 weeks, so back at it the week after next.

Bike: 2 miles and a fall. The first road rash since getting hit, ha! My right ankle tires quickly, and it's hard to hold it in place after a while. It hit the chain and I went over. That pedal's pretty worn, too, so I'm going to try new pedals before I blame my ankle just yet. Yeah, yeah, I got back on.

Run: Well, walk. 5 miles on the treadmill, both a distance and speed PIPR of 28:34 min/mi. Got a month before my goal of 18 min/mi, hmmmm. Treadmills I know are easier than the road, but since I can hold on to the front or either side, it offers better form. I hate the elliptical. It's tedious, and doesn't do much for me for strength or proper movement. But it's good for cardio, and works faster than the bike. Sigh. One of those things I don't want to do and is boring, but guess I'll keep it in my regimen for now. Rowing - I'm going to try this for cardio too.

Hands: The most tedious of all. So many little tiny muscles and takes so much to make a little change. Easy to give up on. Just started strength training with a vengeance so we'll see what happens. I got paddles for swimming so that should help my extensors. Also pushing putty out with each finger, sliding a card across a table with each finger, and wearing hair or rubber bands on my wrist and constantly stretching it out with my fingers - all extensor work. My grip needs work too, especially for weight lifting. And my wrists. So, tedious! But doable.


New road rash, old road  rash, and finger exercising with putty.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

First Post-Injury Off-The-Trainer No-Hands Bicycle Ride

I've been down. I didn't even blog on Friday because I've been down. Sometimes reality sets in and it's just too much. I lost so much! My profession and my brand new obsession with racing, and even just being an attractive girl. I went from being larger than life to BROKEN. There's no guarantee I'll get it all back. Of course I'll keep trying, and with the gym and Pilates I'm getting noticeably stronger every day, but anyway sometimes things are overwhelming. I know, I know, I can still accomplish great things and yadayadayada, and I know so many people are worse off than me - I get "survivor guilt" fairly often - but none of that means I don't get sad.

BUT yesterday, my friend Jen Steele hooked me up with a bike small and light enough that I could try to ride it. AND I have an awesome boyfriend (you already knew that). So today (just now) I did it. I needed help getting on and off, and Nic jogged by me holding on. I was nervous because I often can't get my right ankle to stay in place and I didn't know if I could pedal fast enough, and then of course balancing... I was shaking and crying and sick to my stomach. But I finally asked him to let go - I mean what the fuck sometimes you gotta live. And I lived. And there's a lot more to go but it's one more milestone.

Documented by Snakebyte ;)


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Better Late Than Never Post

Well, I almost forgot to post today! Ashley, owner of Smoothie Factory, had told me how when she found out I was hit and heard I didn't have family in the area, she called all the hospitals looking for me even though we had never met. She just hated the thought of me being alone. And when she finally found out where I was they wouldn't let her in to see me because she wasn't family, and she nearly had a meltdown until an unknown lady approached her out of the blue and said God wanted her to know everything was going to be okay. Her life changed for the better after that, and she told me I should always know that something positive came out of that awful experience. I was pretty out of it, I know she and a few other triathletes had come to visit but everything's kind of fuzzy. This incident also prompted John Hebert, head of my triathlon club the Tri-Cajuns, to push for the "Share The Road" signs that were finally placed. And while I will never say this is good what had happened to me, John Hebert has decided to resign, giving me the opportunity to take over leadership of the club that has done so much for me, and keep them going in their already positive direction. I wouldn't have had the time to dedicate to it otherwise. Luckily for me, John isn't going anywhere and is a huge help, and Marcus Dudoit, a fabulous athlete in his own right, is co-administrating and helping me tremendously. Check out the website: Tri-Cajuns Triathlon Club

So that's the big news of the week that's taking all my time! I didn't accomplish much aside from that, unless you count muscle soreness and bonking! I'm doing heavy weightlifting right now, 2-3x/week, 6-8 reps max. I need to get my nutrition more in-line and eat more carbs. I'm slowly upping distance and endurance and hopefully speed, so it's one of those forces gathering weeks for me.

That's all I got, have a fantastic week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Calvary Baptist Turkey Trot - I can totally say I raced this because I won a prize!

This has been a fantastic awesome amazing two weeks. We did the "Rawson Family Tradition" of participating in the annual Turkey Trot, and it was definitely memorable! It's my second time racing it. I had PR'd the first time, and it became my PIPR (Post-Injury Personal Record) 5K.. The day started off in the 20's, being the coldest Thanksgiving Day on record in the area. I planned to get there early and do the thing myself but Aunt Kelly and Uncle Mike decided to join me and I'm entirely grateful for their company! We started 45 minutes early, and I really was slower than I had hoped because of the cold weather. I was hoping for a 1:30, wanted to beat my old PIPR from this year of 2:05, and came in at 1:45. I was awarded a cooked turkey for coming in last, woohoo! ;) Nic's sister Laura Zaunbrecher had a "slow" day and came in 2nd OA, and Nic was 5th OA whilst still recovering from an illness. Then we ate a lot of food and passed out. It was great!

Great company the whole way!


I *might* have cried here, overcome by emotion of all the people cheering etc, and had to bury my head in Mike's shoulder to hide.


Our awards!


This week I started training with Damian Living with Anytime Fitness Upper Lafayette. It was a great surprise to me to find someone as knowledgeable as he is about strength training, including muscle groups and concentric vs eccentric training, and basically how to train muscles to remember what they're supposed to do. I've been incredibly impressed with Anytime Fitness and their support; as a company with web support from work outs to nutrition and a knowledgeable personal trainer, to the specific experiences I had with the people at this particular location. Also BIG thanks to Aileen Bennett for the hook up! She's here: Creating CleverI already see this becoming a vital part of my recovery. Totally excited to see how much this is going to change things!

It's been a week of PIPRs, starting with the Turkey Trot. I'm up to 3000 yards swimming (Swim Log) with a 4s/100y PIPR on Tuesday, breaking it by another 7s on Thursday. Wednesday I had a 27:59 min/mi walking PIPR (the cleaner and improved Training Log). It's been great to be able to get back on a bike trainer again! Pilates has been awesome too, Alyce (my instructor) has really been a major influence on me mentally and physically. She told me about "Groove Church" which is a freestyle dance session once a week, and I attended it. It's so much a different scene for me, but I really like her thought process that I have to work out in all planes, not just linear such as running and biking, and especially swimming. Also, to do something not structured since the rest of my workouts are very structured. I have officially started training for the 1/2 Marathon (I was unofficially training for this 5K up until now) and honestly I'm not sure I can do it in the time limit. Wulf had said this would be the case, but I only have 2 months to go and would need to increase my speed by about 1/3. Meh, I'll figure it out. AND the Competitor Group said they'll work with me, so no worries!

To end with two Nelson Mandela quotes:
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
"Does anybody really think they didn't get what they had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?"


Friday, November 29, 2013

Pre-Post Update Friday

Well, It's Friday. If this thing is working correctly and posts it at the time I told it to, that is! I'm not planning on spending time writing a blog Thursday or Friday, or really even most of Wednesday, so this is just filler. Hopefully by now I will have completed a 5K turkey trot, though honestly I'm a little concerned because the weather is cold (the coldest Thanksgiving on record here! Sheesh!) which means my muscles don't move as fast as I would like. My goal is 1.5 hours, but with the weather prediction it's looking more like 2, which isn't any better of a time than the SRA 5K back in June so dang. I did tandem a 16 mile bike ride with BikeLafayette president Jen Steele, and it's looking like I finally have a working bike/trainer combo so that's fun!

Ya'll have a great Thanksgiving weekend! :)



Friday, November 22, 2013

Maintaining Happiness

If you're in Lafayette, and you love cycling and mountain biking, please please please take part of planning the Horse Farm! Even if you're not in Lafayette but feel that the city can benefit, you can take part in the survey too!

Go here: TAKE THE SURVEY BEFORE MONDAY!!!
Planning with some of my favorite people :)

I've been doing a lot of thinking on what I can't control, and what I can. I really try not to dwell on what I can't control. Sometimes it gets the better of me, so it's good to be reminded time to time! A friend reminded me today. It's not productive to waste energy dwelling on things I can't control, and also trying to please everyone. SO
*What I can't control, well, I've got to move on with what I can. I have to make sure I've covered all my bases then forget about what I can't and work with what I have. That's the tough part, knowing what it is you can and can't! Knowing when to relax. You've got to recognize you're human and therefore not perfect but doing the best you can, draw a line, and Let Go. Yikes! But it's how to stay sane.
*Trying to please everyone - here's the truth about me. I think this is going to disappoint people though I don't mean for it to!
I LIKED RACING BECAUSE i LIKED WINNING.
It was something I felt I had potential at and was getting better all the time. I was on a huge upswing with my speed. It's not that I liked crushing my competition, it's that I liked living up to the mental and physical challenge to have what it takes to be that good. That level of determination is still my goal. I have a lot of work and training to do, and I want that challenge. BUT, if I can't get to the place where I feel I can be competitive, racing this way will stop being my goal. The goal will be something else hard that I can do exceedingly well, like maybe climbing a crazy mountain or hiking a continent, or whatever else tough that if I focus on I can excel at. It's not that I'm against people racing just to better themselves, that's fantastic! That's how Nic and so many other amazing people feel and that's all good. It's just not why I personally had started getting hooked on racing, and why I stay focused on getting back to that now. I may never have been that fast, I my never be now, but I don't know that yet. I just watched Ride The Divide and I want that feeling. Keeping balance on the edge physically and mentally. THAT is my goal. It's when I'm happiest.
PS If I ever win a race, even just my AG again, I'm going to Norway. I don't know why Norway exactly, it's just sounds cool. Er, cold. Come with me!

What I CAN control: getting faster swimming all the time! Huge challenges with my body, but it works and I'm in love with the technical aspects of swimming. It's a perfectionist's dream come true! Here's my swimming log if you haven't seen it, it ain't much! Swimming Log
I am just now able to really weight train, and Anytime Fitness Upper Lafayette has volunteered to help me with it! Awesome, awesome, awesome. I'm so glad to be part of such a great community, where when a bunch of doors slammed shut for me all at once, a bunch more opened that I wouldn't have if I wasn't here. LOVE all of you!

Lastly, a tiny shout out to Couer Sports. Only tiny because they're new and I barely know them, but I'm stoked to see all the coolness they're doing. Couer is a new line of women's athletic clothing and while I haven't gotten a chance to try it out, as a company they've been fun to watch. They're already working hard to stay engaged with the public, and have started a "Heart and Courage" award that commends "the bravest move, have the most courageous race, or in some way exhibit tremendous heart on the field of competition." On top of that, they're going to give cash compensation to their sponsored athletes, and already donate 1% of their sales to The Challenged Athletes Foundation.  They're taking applications for ambassadors right now - check it out!

Not all the pics of me working out can be pretty ;) This is another Pilates machine, the "reformer", It makes me have a well-balanced body (my right side is looking good, right?) and I can even mimic running on it!
I kinda have the best Pilates instructor, ever. She's sweet and amazing, and I've learned so much already. Honestly, the best thing for my recovery outside of therapy. I really need to designate a whole post to this. You can find her here: Wise Body Pilates

LOVE!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

True Story


I volunteered at the Audubon Zoo as a Junior Keeper/Keeper Aide until I was 15-years-old. There I was able to work with several different kinds of animals. I befriended the sea lion trainer, Carolyn, who was a bit older than me and sooooo awesome! It was great to watch her with those guys, she was very very good at what she did.
Part of her duties included "Asian Domain" which had several types of animals in it, including Garth the Lion.
One day, I got to go help Carolyn behind the scenes in Asian Domain! The way it works, all the animals stay in their inside homes at night, and go to the outside exhibits during the day. There is a hallway that you can walk down to access all the inside rooms. There are chains that you can open and lower the animals's gates from this hallway so that you never come in direct contact with the animals  themselves. SO, to let an animal outside, you open the gate to it's outside enclosure, open the one to it's inside enclosure, and they run through the passageway from inside to outside, and you close the gate behind them. Look, I have a picture.




At least, you're supposed to close the gate to the outside exhibit after the animal runs in there. But somebody must have not done it all the way, or something, because Garth was in his passageway when we came in!
This wouldn't have been that big of a deal if there wasn't a very thin sheet metal door for human access to the hallway. And if Carolyn didn't love Garth so much. You see, Carolyn was fascinated by him, and before she was able to work with him, she would every day go eat her lunch or whatever outside his exhibit and watch him. Stare at him. For days and days. Come to find out, this makes a lion think you're threatening, and Garth Hated Carolyn. She stopped when she realized it was happening, but by then it was too late.
SO, Garth realized Carolyn was just on the other side of this thin door, and kept trying to bang down the door to get at her! She couldn't leave the lion loose in case someone else walked in, and I wouldn't leave her, so she kept running to the roof to lure him back to the outside exhibit while I kept trying to close the exhibit door behind him fast enough to keep him in there. BUT he knew what was going on! He would see the gate closing and dash back in the passageway, banging down the metal door.

And then, it worked, he got the door down, and was loose in the hallway with us. And then he saw us and then...

We died.

THE END

(ending loosely based on Shel SIlverstein's "True Story")

Friday, November 15, 2013

Turkey Trot, MACCA'S IN SKN?!, and TMI

I'm warning you, there is one issue I am writing about in here that is TMI (too much information). Sometimes, there are just things that need sharing, whether you want to hear them or not! ;)

But First, I have a 5K scheduled! It's the Calvary Baptist Turkey Trot, where I feel incredibly guilty for making the race director feel bad enough to make people stay late to accommodate my slow walking. I'm going to try to start early so that it won't be necessary for them to stay overtime, but I'm really excited, because this will be with Nic's family who I love dearly! :) My goal is 1.5 hours, which will be a push for me, especially because it's cold. I swear, I'm the most reptilian mammal I met! My body slows down significantly when it's cold. I need sun!!! But I really want to put them out as little as possible.






HOLY COW MY TRIATHLON IDOL IS ON THE ISLAND THAT I USED TO LIVE ON!! MACCA is having the MACCAX Triathlon on Nevis tomorrow, celebrating 12 years of triathlon. I went to vet school on St. Kitts (which is part of the country of St. Kitts and Nevis) and it is where I was first introduced to triathlon. I was there for the first! Please Please Please Please Please my SKN friends if you see him tell him hello for me! Better yet, maybe have a pic taken with him tand show me, then everybody wins! YAY!! Nevis Triathlon







I know you've seen this pic before sorry, it's my favorite of Rebel, on St. Kitts with Nevis in the very background.









I don't know what has gotten into me, but I have been Little Miss Overachiever lately. I had a goal of a mile swim, and I did 2100 yards. On a different day, I decided to walk 2 miles just before two hours of therapy, and then 1 hour of Pilates. Then walked another mile. I finally am back on a bike trainer. So all is good. (update - still no bike trainer sheesh flat tire now bikes are obviously (understandably) scared of me can't win but all is still good)

Also, USAT has a friendly off-season competition that I entered my triathlon club in. I couldn't race and get us any points this past year, but this is something I can participate in! You enter all the training miles for your participants, and they're weighed differently. For example, I can log my elliptical time, and it is weighed differently than running, but it still counts. This goes on for 3 months and you can see how you match up to other similarly-sized clubs around the country. SO if you're a TriCajun and you're reading this, I really and truly am trying to guilt you into participating with me! ;) I know, I know, not everyone believes in training in the off-season, but if you do, please help us out!


Okay - on to the TMI. I promise never to do this around you, but, I can pee underwater! I know it doesn't seem that big of a deal, but there was a time where my detrusor muscle (the one that makes your urinary bladder contract to urinate) wasn't even strong enough to micturate. I had to be catheterized every several hours. Some people with spinal cord injuries live with this their whole life. Not me, I'm lucky. Then, though, my sphincter muscle was not strong enough (or spasmed too much) to hold  the urine in, so I had to wear diapers for a while. This too has healed. Water pressure makes it even harder for the detrusor to work, so this is a BIG deal for me, my muscles are strong enough to perform not just adequately, but well! So this is very worth me getting excited over,  even though I'm sure I put you through some terrible mental images just now. You're welcome. It's part of the injury though, and I wouldn't be doing justice to those that deal with this daily if I left out all the bad things.

It's been a bit nippy outside, which feels awesome to me, maybe because I can't feel the cold very well ;) Have a beautiful day!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Don't Run For Me

The book The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz says this: "Love is ruthless; it doesn't feel sorry for anyone, but it has compassion. Fear is full of pity; it feels sorry for everyone. You feel sorry for me when you don't respect me, when you don't think I am strong enough to make it. On the other hand, love respects. I love you; I know you can make it. I know that you are strong enough, intelligent enough, good enough that you can make your own choices. I don't have to make choices for you. You can make it. If you fall, I can give you my hand, I can help you to stand up, I can say, "You can do it, go ahead." That is compassion, but it is not the same as feeling sorry."

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about fund raisers and honoring people, but I want YOU to swim/bike/run/whatever else for YOU! Otherwise I feel like a drag. I like to hear about you being healthy and doing well, loving life and accomplishing great things, and more than anything being happy. Watching you guys be awesome is so peaceful and honestly makes it all worth it to me! I've heard the best gift you can give someone is your happiness and it's TRUE! I love all of you, and it is definitely through your varied modalities of support that I'm doing better, but instead of pitying me please rejoice with me that it Works, your thoughts and efforts can help a person be independent and strong again. This week alone, I have walked over five miles, spent hours on the elliptical, and swam over a mile and a half; not to mention 2 hours of Pilates and 6 hours of therapy. ALSO eating healthy, and being super mom, and getting my house straight, and applying to residencies, and spending time with amazing friends. Not exactly worth feeling sorry for, right? ;) I still get sooo worried about the future sometimes, but this week I felt "good" for the first time in over a year. I mean my body did. The weather was beautiful, and my mind and body keep communicating better and better, and I could feeeeel!!! I didn't know if my body could enjoy being alive again. There's much more to life, believe me I found out, BUT I'm Super stoked about how good my body can feel! It's getting more confident and I'm getting mine back. SO I appreciate your help, I'm not out of the woods, but pitying me is not appropriate. Enjoying life with me is! Run WITH me! Run FOR you.

The "Mermaid" in Pilates. Everyone should do Pilates! More on this later.


This next bit makes me laugh: I had started writing this post and my right hand has suddenly started working all the way again whilst typing. So instead of typing, then pausing to think of what to say next, and then typing again, I just typed randomness. I've decided to keep it because COOL I'm going to be able to look back on the exact moment!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I want to type this  to retrain my hands to type again. I don't even care what I'm saying at this point, just the fact tat they're working correctly and I can do this is Awesome and feels SO giod! Keep typing and keep going Hooray for healing! The big brown dog jumped over the quick brown fox.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then, I got tired, ha! Nic pointed out it's the fox that usually does the jumping in that sentence...oops!  It's been a good week, a fun trip to New Orleans and accomplishing my workout goals. This weekend's looking good to. Good luck to those running the Cajun Cup, and riding the Gran Fido. And everything else!

Friday, November 1, 2013

6 Months Into Training

Today is my favorite day of the year. I don't know why, exactly. All Saints Day just seems so peaceful. I like taking this day off just to do fun things. Halloween was also awesome this year.

Yup, it's been 6 months since I officially started training for February's Rock'n'Roll 1/2 marathon. As foretold, I'm a data whore, and here's my training log: NOLA RnR 2014 Training Log (started 28 Apr 13)

Let's recap.

THEN
28 April 13 - walked 0.9 miles with walker, 97:03 min/mi
29 Apr 13 - Eric's elliptical 30 min, 32 rpm avg
30 Apr 13 - bike trainer 15 minutes
7 May 13 - 500y swim, 50y at a time

8 June 13 - SRA 5K, walker, 42:09 min/mi
16 June 13 - .9 miles quad cane, 59:06 min/mi

7 July 13 - .45 miles straight cane only when needed from now on, 73:51 min/mi 
20 July 13 - 9 miles tandem on bike
27 July 13 - elliptical 10min x3, 40rpm

17 Aug 13 - elliptical every day (about) for 30 days
28 Aug 13 - walked 0.9 miles, 38:14 min/mi

23 Sep 13 - walked 0.9 miles, 31:26 min/mi
26 Sep 13 - 1000y swim, 1:07.0/M
29 Sep 13 - 45min elliptical

NOW
28 Oct 13 30m elliptical, avg about 40 rpm, maintain 55-60rpm 15min at a time, macine can't go faster
29 Oct 13 - walked 0.45 miles with cane, 28:35 min/mi ("normal" is 20-22 min/mi, 18 min/mi to finish the half within the time limit.)
Bike trainer - yeah, there's been malfunctions with this bike thing. Start again next week!
31 Oct 13 - swim 1000y straight, 100:01/M

It's not a perfect comparison, but I'm so much stronger after just 6 months! My upper body is much better too, not perfect but better. I am using 10# weights for most of my work-outs, including finger and wrist work-outs, I can clap and shake hands on a regular basis, and can type with all my fingers.

It's been quite the 6 months, but seriously, I'm confident and eager to get back to my profession and go even further with it. I donW't use a cane anymore in my house. My limitations are pretty minor at this point, and I'm confident on racing next year.

This Morning, love this day!


Friday, October 25, 2013

It doesn't get easier, you just get faster

So far BDv.36 has started out WAY better than BDv.35 as I'm not in the hospital! BUT I'm sneezy hacky lethargic so bleh. My cardio hasn't been where I wanted this week, but I've kept up my hand workouts and strength training, and I'm consistently faster walking. Pilates is rockin. The quads/hams co-contraction is steadily improving as my strength and hip stability improves. Dang when I first started running I was spending a lot of time strengthening and stretching my hips; it seems a lot of the population that sits  for a living already has weak tight hips, so again I feel like I'm doing the same things again. And I am.

The biggest thing I learned from race training was that is doesn't get easier, you just get better, faster. That's still how I see things. After a year of recovery, and with so far t go, I was worried that I would get discouraged. Maybe someday I will. But now I'm not convinced; I'm working just as hard as I was before I got hit and I think that's made the difference. I've been through things that took a lot of effort but paid off big in the end, like vet school, and it's just a way of life for me. Yeah it sucks that I'm working as hard as I was before just to get back to baseline, but life ain't fair for any of us and you'll never catch me playing the victim.

Sertoma 5K is this weekend, my first race 2 years ago, where I placed 3rd in the 30-39AG. I was all psyched up to do it, but Snakebyte's got a soccer game sooooooo priorities. There's plenty of other 5Ks for me to come in last still this year. ;)

Nic found this place on my birthday, Rotary Point by the Vermilion River! The graffiti says "Keep on keepin' on" I love it.


Last thought is on health and nutrition. Blatantly, it'd be incredibly easy for me to get fat right now. I lost a lot of muscle mass very quickly due to denervation and I can't burn calories the way I used to. My lifestyle's more sedentary, temporarily anyway, just because of circumstance. I'm finally back up to the weight I was before - 106# - and I guarantee it's not all muscle. BUT keeping track of all you guys running, racing, talking about exercise and fitness, keeping up with the major tri races this year; it's all been instrumental in helping me keep a healthy outlook on eating. I cook for real now, I focus on whole foods (though I still have this sugar craving I can't kick!), and I don't calorie count but I do stay aware of what I eat. I have to go easy on myself too - I honestly thought I was fat before! - but I've really learned what's important. It's about being healthy, not about how you look, that counts. I really wish our society wouldn't put so much stress on being so clothed all the time, because I think if women knew what real women looked like we could stop a lot of problems such as poor self esteem and bulimia. As it is, the only scantily-clad women we see are media-touched-up super thin women. What are we supposed to think then? Of course we believe that's the ideal, we don't have real life to compare it to. So I thank all my balanced strong healthy connections for keeping me on track by example.  Have a great week!



Friday, October 18, 2013

Lenny and Joey. I mean Jenny and Loey! #GenderChangingSpoonerism

If you knew Nic for any length of time, you would know that a spoonerism is when the first sounds of two (or more) words are switched, making them audibly two other words. My favorite example: Pizza Hut/Taco Bell = Pizza Butt/Taco Hell. If you then subsequently talked to my dad, you would have learned that this is also called a "marrowsky".

I've been sick this week. Boring. I blame Nic - he had it first! So this is a topic more interesting. I have plenty of friends worth mentioning, but I loved this spoonerism, so you're stuck with these two for now ;)

OH, I'm now under 30 min/mi; that's pretty awesome actually! Anyway:

I met Jenny first, in high school, but I didn't remember it (she did). So I'll start with Lori aka Loey.

Loey I met at LSU, where she and Jenny were roommates. She started out as an art major and then decided to become a veterinarian, and we had a Biochemistry class together. She was in my group, and during a pop quiz on the Kreb's Cycle I (much to my GPA's happiness) learned that she has a photographic memory. She's also super thin with blonde hair, blue eyes, and big boobs to boot. Oh, and she's nice. And incredibly fun. In other words, painfully awesome and one of-those girls I wish I could hate. SO, after Jenny moved elsewhere, I decided Loey and I needed to be roommates.
I could tell you about all of our crazy adventures including road trips and mud riding and New Orleans sleepless dancing nights, and how she was much better at cooking and cleaning than me, and watching The Simpsons and Jay Leno's "Jaywalking", and her awesome family, but I'll sum our college times up with this incident. I was seining a catfish pond when a colleague found a Graham's Crayfish Snake! I had to have it, and in fact the snake ended up with Loey's sister at Bluebonnet Swamp. I loaded up my share of live catfish in my Jeep, and took them on home. Meanwhile, the snake got loose in the vehicle. I dumped the catfish with some water in the bathtub and headed back down to my muddy Jeep to find  the snake when Loey showed up. Without even batting an eye, she helped me catch it, and we spent that night cleaning catfish on the back porch listening to the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack. You KNOW you have good friends when...
I also introduced her to the guy she's married to. That's a whole different story. Suffice to say, she's now a top-notch veterinarian outside of Houston, and as far as I know the only vet in Texas that is trained in stem cell therapy for dogs with arthritis. She also has two beautiful girls and is totally supermom. So, basically, still perfect. Sheesh.
*She IS an old lady though. Her birthday was yesterday, mine's not until Monday. So There.

Loey removing sutures from a dumb hand injury I managed  to acquire right before a 40 mile trek.
This is a couple years back.
I can't help but think this is pretty typical for us.


Loey and Amber. Loey couldn't decide if she wanted a Lab or a Boxer, so I found a litter of Lab/Boxer mixes. Hence, Amber.


Jenny in college was always crazy beautiful and outspoken, and didn't mind talking to anyone at any point about her opinion on anything. She was that super fit girl that roller bladed everywhere, and wore overalls with just a tiny shirt or sports bra. Yep. You meet her once and can never forget her. She of course graduated in Advertising, and was incredibly good at it, telling Loey and I tricks like reading the Sports headlines to talk to clients about without having to actually care what was going on. She ended up marrying an incredibly sarcastic man, and they are Constantly at each other's throats. In a good way! Like an old married couple. It's Hilarious! They also have two beautiful (and hilarious) children. Jenny ended up having several congenital defects that didn't really manifest until after college, leading to a plethora of life changes and eventually a pacemaker. This time last year we were in the hospital together, and her goal Which She Accomplished was to get out to come help me. And I'm forever grateful. She is continuing to kick butt and stay (crazy) and crazy healthy.We keep a blog together with another girl: Cajun Titanium, which I have been remiss at because I'm always blogging here, and Amy has been off being awesome and engaged and beautiful, but Jenny has kept up with, continuing to help and educate other heart patients.

Jenny, from when she and Loey visited me in vet school on St. Kitts in the Caribbean. She (of course) got her hair beaded and braided Carib-style.

Jenny and her son. Jenny has a lot of pics on her Facebook, ya'll, it was hard to stalk down just one!


I have outstanding people in my life. Another one, our friend the incredibly accomplished Ms. Nurse Anesthetist Charlotte, told me under no uncertain terms while I was in the hospital last year that I did that. I had the wherewithall to pick good people, and raise Liam to be tough the way I did, and it is my decisions that laid the foundation to get me through all this. And a year later I still know she's right. Always be thankful of those around you, but also appreciate yourself for your own good decisions. I love you all!

Friday, October 11, 2013

That time of the year again!

I feel like this should be a big awesome post because it's my "I got hit one year ago" anniversary! But, I have not that much. So it goes. #Vonnegut
This is my favorite time of year. This year I won't miss Fall, or my birthday, or Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or my anniversary with Nic.
It's been a year. The fastest year that ever was, I have no idea how it passed so quickly! I celebrated by going to a Pilates class and making my teacher cry (okay we both cried) and swimming 1000 yards straight for the  first time in a year.
LAST year I dropped a 3# weight on my face in the hospital because I had convinced the OT that certainly I was strong enough to life it - HA! THIS year, this week, all my arm/shoulder workouts are with 10# weights. Because I Rock! This is back to where I was before I got hit!
I've got a few more months, I've been ramping up a little. Gotta get back on a bike, but honestly I'm a little nervous! I hate to say it, but I probably need to start with training wheels. We'll see how it goes.
I broke the 30 min/mi mark walking this week with a 28:55 min/mi 0.45 mile loop ;) I just need to get down to at least an 18 min/mi and I can walk the half within the time limit. In two months I went from about 60 min/mi to about 30 min/mi, I'm impressed. So I might be able to do it. I've lost so so much, I've come so far, and I still have a long way to go. But whatevs, we all do what it takes.
I'm honestly on an upswing, where I'm making a lot of progress. And it's freaking  gorgeous outside. So i'm outta here, got 2.25 planned for right now, and fun dogs to play with. Enjoy today, wherever you are!

Flash and Malcolm, new BFFs



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Update Thursday, for the Verchers

A man tried to run his wife off the road in a fit of rage, and instead collided head first with an oncoming vehicle, killing a wife and child. Their funeral is today. If you find ME strong and inspiring, you must also give that credit to the husband because I cannot imagine going through the journey he just started on. We were both affected by people that should not have been on the road. My story still has a chance of becoming a victory, but mine is easier than his ever will be. If I am a hero because of going through this, so is he, 10 fold so.

My personal beliefs: I don't believe that God changes what happens down here. I don't believe that prayer changes circumstance, but opens us to see the blessings that are in the world. I believe that our actions are positively influenced by those we love, and our actions influence others, and in that way people persist forever.
So maybe do some good in the world, and maybe even in their honor. Show someone gratitude or give them a chance to show you. Let innocent death not have to be in vain but influence a chain reaction that abundifies goodness. And above all, live your life in a way that everyone that you love knows that you love them. That way it will never be too late. That way, you always remember how precious life is.

This is Nic's friend, a "Cult of the Stage Monkey" fellow. Nic's maybe not your typical American guy. He is always hugging all of his friends, and tells them he loves them. He's taking this really hard. They all are. The way I see it, the last thing we should have to worry about in the face of such tragedy is money for funerals, hospital bills, etc. You can help by sending checks made out to Heath Vercher to his church, First United Methodist, PO Box 905, Nederland, TX 77627. Also, you can donate to "Vercher" at any Western Union. Or you can use my PayPal and I will get the money to him.

ME, I'm getting faster again. My Pilates instructor said, what's the difference between imagining you feel something and feeling it? Nothing. This is true for me right now. "Fake it til you make it" if you will, and I'm finding a true center again. Maybe I can't feel my legs as well as I did before, or my right as well as my left, I'm *beginning* not to know anymore. Maybe it's healing, and also maybe my body and mind are adapting, changing. Normalizing. It's incredible. Life is beautiful.

From John Muir: Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseperable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.

This is what I always tell people when faced with death. I don't know, this still stings. But we just made a commitment that was inspired by this tragedy to help a needy child in Mexico. While senseless acts will never be justified, somebody's world will be a little better because of the influence of the Vercher family. I can't do anything to fix the situation, but I can do that.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Friday Update - it's been almost a year ya'll!

This weekend is the Big Cajun, the Olympic-distance triathlon I was training for last year when I got hit. Between you and me, I was confident I was going to place. It's about a month earlier this year. I was soooo convinced that I'd be able to do it too, but dang I was hurt far worse than I had given myself credit for. Lookin' at next year! ;)

So I'm still deciding what to do with myself, and now that I'm SO much stronger I'm  getting bored in the middle of the day. I mean, there's always computer etc work to do but I picked the veterinary career because I like being physically active (among other things) and there's only so much one can work out daily! So I've decided I should get paid for what I like to do, which is heal right now, and I'm looking for sponsors ;) Well, I contacted one about being an ambassador that I really like and it gave me the idea, so it's kind of backwards, but, I'll let you know how it goes!
BUT ALSO, because I'm realistic, I'm applying for residency programs. That way I can stay a vet and become a specialist, maybe not in research like I was headed before, but we'll see. I'm not the typical candidate but it's the direction I want to try.

I have gotten to the point where I need to start cross training again to do all the cardio I want. I decided to get back into swimming, and swam 1000 yards yesterday, woohoo! It was slow but whatevs I've got big plans.
PS YES I used that same watch, but I'm researching to get  a new one! Sooo much out there!

A year ago today I was in the best shape I had ever been in in my life. This week I've finally been able to push myself as hard as I did then. The results of course are not anywhere near the same, but it feels so so good to be able to work this hard again! It makes everything better, to know that all I need to do is keep doing it and I'll be able to get better. We'll see where I am in a year. Hell, 5 years even. Where will you be? I have a good idea where I'll be.
A year and less than 2 weeks ago today I couldn't feed myself, or tie my shoes. This week I can finally put my hair back again. My left hand has been strong enough, and my right hand's flexors, but now my right hand's extensors are strong enough to open the hair band. It's the little things, and the breaking bad habits like tenodesis so that I allow the proper muscles to heal, that are big.

I promised gross/awesome scar pics, so hear you are. I didn't get all of them, there's a lot, but these should do!

KNEES

I think there's like 3 on my forehead, starting at my hairline and cutting off half my eyebrow. Then my nose and lip. Nic said the guy suturing played U2 (my fave band) for me while he did it. Awesome.







Random foot scar



My favorite! I didn't even know I had this scar for the longest time.






Friday, September 20, 2013

I'm boring this week

I know it's rare ;) but I'm totally boring this week. I'm at somewhat of a plateau, but only with speed; my balance and strength are improving greatly. I feel like I'm at a point where I'm gathering strength for the next big awesome storm, and I'm totally fine with that. I feel good.

There was an interview with Neko Case on the World Cafe this week. It made me laugh because I though she was a lot like me in some ways; kind of tomboyish, likes being outside, and doesn't worship the typical type of pretty. BUT I realized that there's a very distinct difference, which is she can sing!! HA, I have no redeeming "girl" grace such as being a good musician. Whatcha see is whatcha got with me I guess, no hidden girliness there!
I'm cool with this. I know I'm awesome.
So are you. If you need to be reminded of that talk to me, I'll help you remember.

This was totally going to be a gross/awesome scar post, but the pics didn't come out last night because the lighting was bad, and today is's all overcloudy so a no-go again. Yeah I'm sure there's a way to take good pictures even with low light, but even if so I don't have awesome photographic skills either, no artistic redeeming grace here. So you'll have to wait.

I met some great people at our first BikeLafayette member's meeting this week, I'm stoked to see where we're going with all that.

That's all I got, take care!
Except for the following cool picture.
Cool because of the content, not that there is an amazing photographer involved.

Here you can see a raccoon print BUT ALSO wasp bites! Mud daubers scoop up mud from puddles such as this one, and leave these very unique prints.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Okay OKAY I need a new watch already!

SORRY Facebookers, but the story isn't all that great! YES it's the watch I was wearing when I was hit, you can tell by the scuffy marks. BUT you know, it still works even though it's a little hard to read and all, and I can't find another one like it, and I really love it, and how can I justify spending money on a new watch anyway? Sheesh! But then Liam's dog got a hold of it last night and tried to chew the band off, so Fine, guess I admit I need a new one. I think I want a heart monitor too. And a GPS, why not? I'll probably need it within the next year! So spending money on *just* a watch seems silly. Can you buy awesome watches used?

Bergh I was sick this week, some snotty nose but mostly just tired, so I didn't get  to train like I wanted. That didn't stop me from 4  hours of therapy, 2 hours of Pilates, or an hour of swimming, though! But Zzzzzzzz...... No real breakthroughs this week.

The ITU Worlds is going on  right now. My favorite twins just raced - I have 2 things to say. 1) They  started a family tradition which might be a trifle sad at first but I find hilarious, and also means that all Zaunbrechers who decide to race for Team USA should do it at least twice, and 2) holy cow they kick butt! They are in the top 1/3 of women racing triathlons - at least the top 5% of the fastest people in the world. The WORLD. Yep, I know them. If you want their autograph talk to me about it! ;)

I'm sleeeeeepy, ya'll have a great weekend!



Friday, September 6, 2013

The name of the game is to NOT overtrain (I've been losing a lot)

 I got down to less than 32 min/mi this week. I started to FEEL how sore my hamstrings, calves, and quads are, which is great because I don't just get hypertonic I know where it's coming from, but OWWWW!! And, I must have been overtraining a lot. It's hard not to, I have a training plan but lately I've been getting too excited to follow it! Sooooo....I started a few more things this week. Sigh. What am I going to do with myself.

Therapy is still my mainstay.
I must give a shout out to Lydia, and a huge one to Jerrod, without them none of this may have happened.
PILATES is one of them, with the amazing Alyce Morgan Wise at the Camelia House; I mentioned last week she heard my story and we have mutual friends, and offered her services. She combines Pilates with the Franklin Method. I'm so so stoked about this! I went twice so far, and am scheduled a couple of times a week coming up. It's Exactly perfect for me! Core stability and balance, I'm already seeing a difference. Another lady there offered "rolfing" so I'll let you know how that goes!

This guy Joe taught himself to walk, and invented Pilates doing it

ACUPUNCTURE is the second with Ms. Emily Calvert. She also practices in Boulder, and was the first Five Element acupuncturist in Lafayette (the others now were her clients). It's a whole different way of thinking for me, and the first session was 2 hours of talking and testing, no needling. I'm excited to see how it works!

I won't even pretend to understand this

SWIM COACH! The third is a very nice man who is a USAT swimming coach, and teaches the Total Immersion method. We talked extensively about my injury and proprioception etc deficits, and he's going to coach me!! We're going to meet with my therapist next week. To top things off he called Terry Laughlin of Total Immersion  while I was there and we discussed what to do, sooo super stoked. He's not even batting an eye at me being able to compete in triathlon again. I could go on and on and on about how much I truly look forward to this!



Met a lot of great people this week. I love Lafayette, I love the community. If I really and truly get through all this it will be because of my community; the people that have surrounded me. Always surround yourself with good people.

My favorite twin triathletes are racing in London next Friday at the Sprint World Championships. I wrote an article for USAT etc about them, coming out Tuesday as a follow-up to the story I wrote about them last year. That story I wrote before I was hit, and it came out when I was in the hospital. It gave me something more to focus on when it came out! I could say a lot about this right now but I will save it for next week because I promised myself I would keep it short ;) Have a great one!

Friday, August 30, 2013

"Too Lazy To Think Of A Good Title This Week" Update Friday

Snakebyte turned 7 this week, and *had* to ride the saddle at Texas Roadhouse, so good times!!

It's been a good week for me, too. I mentioned last week about the co-contraction of my muscles and visualizing one to shut off while the other is on, well it's working. I went from a 63:48 mile to a 36:44 mile in 10 days (17-20 min/mi is normal walking speed). This is of course due to therapy, and also using the elliptical every day, but part of it has to do with training my brain to interpret the messed up signals that it now gets through my spinal cord correctly; the other things I've been doing for months. Maybe it will never get better than that, who knows? But my speculation is that music helped because I stopped focusing so much on what wasn't working correctly and instead what feels like moving correctly, and the same here. If I keep in my head what is correct movement and what feels good, then I move better. For example, I'm practicing swinging my legs. My right leg would not just drop, the co-contraction would make it drop slowly and jerkily, not just swing down passively. But I've been working on it over and over again, visualizing my foot being sooo heavy and that muscle letting go, and I can swing it sometimes now. It's not enough to write a book on yet, but totally worth continuing!!
ALSO next week, a Pilates instructor offered to help me - I'm super stoked because I was doing it on my own because I didn't think anyone would want the liability, but she has a great reputation and it is exactly what I feel would help me right now! Wulf says that part of my problem is that my core is unstable due to the co-contraction and weak hips due to the injury, and since that's exactly what Pilates work on, I'm all for it.
My wrist is much much better, my hand is also moving better. Progress is so slow, I keep feeling like I'm telling you it's better but there's still so much to go, but the truth is there are little things better all the time, and even if it's not fully functional yet I see it headed that way and it's a good feeling.

Good luck to everyone racing Hy-Vee this weekend!!! Ashley Delaune of Smoothie Factory is racing it, she and her husband now own CajunMan, a Lafayette sprint on September 8th, which will be a great race too! The World Triathlon Grand Final starts just a couple of days later, and the TriCajuns' SugarMan is on October 6th. It's a hard time of the year for me for patience right now, but I'm looking forward to next year. Ya'll have a good one!

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Pressure Friday

A wonderful reporter from KATC is doing a series of stories following people training for the inaugural Zydeco Marathon, the first marathon held here in Laffy. This is the story: Cyclist, runner seriously injured in accident plans to run Zydeco Half Marathon
I don't think I'm going to watch it because I can't think of a grosser place to watch oneself than therapy, but I'm pretty sure my therapist Wulf publicly talked nice about me so that would be worth seeing! ;)

So No Pressure right? If you remember, Wulf had warned me that it will be too far for me to be able to do within the 4 hour time limit. Sure it's half a year a way, but he says it's still a year too early. And of course nobody knows for sure what will happen with a spinal cord injury. BUT I'm still aiming to run it. So that's the goal, and if it doesn't happen, none of us are allowed to get all down about it!

It's racing season ya'll and it's been fun watching my friends and colleagues kicking butt all over the world. The ITU Worlds is just 3 weeks away. The 1 year anniversary of me getting hit is only 6 weeks away. I plan on riding a bike on the road by then. My right ankle is still crazy weak but I think I'll be able to pull it off - will keep you updated!

Overall, it's been a good week. Healing comes in fits and starts and it's doing that right now. I guess I try to capitalize on it when it starts as much as possible. Music isn't necessary to get me to move faster anymore, but it was a good jumping stone! I'm doing a lot of visualizing and practicing shutting one muscle off while the other is on - if you remember my major problem is co-contraction of my muscles, the biggest one being my right quads don't shut off when my hamstrings contract. I'm thinking if I can get my brain to understand the signals it's getting from my damaged spinal cord I can do a little more healing. This is NOT proven or anything, but it keeps me occupied while I'm healing!

You can see my right leg is now slightly bent here. It's been coming, but maybe a little faster this week.
Also, I should never be an artist.


My friend Jenny is going through some stuff right now. You can check her out on our blog with Perky: Cajun Titanium. She was rescuing a drowning kid, pulled a lead out of her new pacemaker, and damaged her phrenic nerve in the process. Sheesh! Be thinking about her!

And of course this week has been all bike bike bike. There's a lot of volunteer work for an advocate in this area right now! I started a new Facebook page for stolen bikes: Stolen Bicycles - Lafayette Area that works in conjunction with the group ACADIANA BICYCLE CHAIN REACTION and will soon feed into BikeLafayette's website. Still working on the Bicycle Friendly Community designation with some wonderful ladies with LCG, with "The Lab" on becoming a Bicycle Friendly Business, and some PSAs to educate our community on cycling safety. There's also some work to be done with "Safe Routes To School" -- so keeping busy! Love you guys, have a great weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Broken Tenodesis Update

People really should say "relax" tenodesis, because that's what it is! I've been struggling with tenodesis of my wrist, which means it had started compensating for weak fingers. It helps a lot of people be functional, but I don't want it. I'm trying to keep normal form, which may make me not as functional, but my goal is to continue strengthening until my function is normal again.
And I'm achieving it! It took sitting in the passenger seat in a 12 hour car ride, retraining my wrist and fingers, but I can flatten my hand now and keep my wrist in neutral position. Patience and meditation comes in here - I literally think about "relaxing" my hand flat. It's not perfect, I still have to work on it, but I can DO it. Heck I can even extend my wrist and keep my fingers straight! So now I'm working harder at extensor strength. It's slllooowww but I have movement in everything, and it's coming. My grasping etc - flexor strength - is coming along quite well, definitely functional.

The car ride was a Fabulous trip to Columbia, Missouri, where I finished veterinary school, then worked as a fish biologist for a year. I love this place, I have amazing friends there, and a piece of me is always there. I found out I can now SWING again (!), hiked to Table Rock and the Devil's Icebox (a bat cave!), went birding at Eagle Bluffs, visited my old river crew, and visited my old office the Missouri River. Walking in hills and long grass did a lot of muscle building for my ankles, gastrocs, and extensors. I need to find a place like that here in south Louisiana! ;)

Colleagues and Coworkers at Les Bourgeois


TODAY is the day to start Hal Higdon's 30/30 program if you don't run now but want to run the NOLA RnR half! Hal Higdon
My training log, I haven't posted it in a while: Training Log

I get sad and scared sometimes still, but not as much, at least not right now. I'm working on being less in my head and relying on my intuition more. I don't understand it exactly, I'll let you know when I do!
Snakebyte started 1st grade this week, dang kid! My favorite triathletes, the Zaunbrecher twins et al, have been kicking butt all over the nation. My own triathlon club is doing awesome. Nic is awesome. Life could be worse. Have a great week!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Update -NOT!

I'm on vacation, you'll have to wait til next week! #prescheduledpost
Have a good one!

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Lied Last Friday. Also, Never Underestimate Music.

And the Friday before. But not on purpose! And not entirely. Okay here's the deal.

Those "little" progressions, well one of them turned into a huge leap for me. Right when I had told you it's all little. I guess it's not THAT big of a leap (or a lie for that matter), but it is for me! I'm thinking so fast it's hard to type all the words out, and I type fast! Okay, I Never listened to music when I ran. I didn't need to, and I was always focusing on form etc. Totally cool if You do, I just never found it helpful, just distracting! I'd think it in my head, but never actually listen.
BUT this week I started listening to my favorite songs that I think about when I'm running while I was on the elliptical. And All Of A Sudden my body just started working, I don't know how to explain it. I had Nic get on it to see what was a "normal" walking speed, and he said about 35rpm, easy jogging about 50, and 150 was out of control.. I was averaging 34, with my absolute max at 50. This all of a sudden thing was 40 average with a top of 62! I don't know what "normal" jogging speed is for me, but heck that's close enough. To top it off, many times spinal cord patients can't get their heart rate about 150bpm, and mine was at least 180bpm. While it's kind of funny to think that just this little bit will get my heart rate elevated to a point of a high cardio exercise, I'm Stoked!! I'll get back in shape again in no time.
This does *not* mean I can run again yet, I still have high muscle tone, but it's looking better.

PS If you're my Spotify "friend" sorry for the constant repeat of songs! ;) I've got my "TRAINING" playlist as collaborative, so pppppllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeee add to it!

Also, malfunction with the exercise bike. This is okay because the awesome Mark Miller at Precision Bikes fixed Eric's road bike for me so that I can ride my rollers. I'm pretty attached to Precision at this point. And of course I love Eric. And holy heck it's been a flying week.

I would say that's enough awesomeness for one post, but something else totally cool happened. Nic's sister Laura knows Daniela Ryf, 2x Swiss triathlon Olympian, and I now have her personalized jersey and signed a picture. I couldn't be more excited, incredibly sweet!

AND this post was written on Saturday! There's the rest of the week to go!


Sunday belonged to my kid. Maybe I didn't think he trained enough, but dang he's fast, and he completed his first triathlon. Not just completed, killed it. Nic was with him,  they rocked. Poor kid worked so hard he was shaking at the end. Keep kickin ass, Snakebyte.
Tri-Kitten, playing with Liam on the run!
 (Nic's picture)

Monday belonged to The Daily Advertiser. More specifically, Jean-Paul Fonte and Paul Kieu. I had no idea how well it was going to turn out, I was more concerned about how therapy maybe isn't after all the best place for pics. Damn good article.
GO LAFAYETTE is what I have to say about it, and sooo stoked that there's real support for bikes rollin about here.
photo credit Paul Kieu

Tuesday - Dang I don't remember Tuesday. I was tired. OH we have new friends that we went to hang out with, awesome. OH, the elliptical music experiment was reproducible. And I'm faster now even without it...going to keep working on it.

Wednesday - Therapy, and some realism. Wulf says it is highly unlikely I'll be able to run, or even walk quick enough, those half marathons.  He says it's a year early. I should be able to ride a bike by then though, including getting on and off by myself, We did a lot of talking, and at least I have his support in reaching my goals! Closest thing I've ever had to a trainer.
Also, Kieth Terro today, best chiro in Laffy.

Well that's enough for this week, I think. I am OUT ALL NEXT WEEK!!! Friday will probably be skipped. Don't look for me. I'll be hanging out with my previous co-workers and colleagues near my old office. This is way more awesome and exciting than it sounds here, I'll explain later! Have a good one!


Friday, July 26, 2013

It's ALL About The Bike This Week

For those of you who don't know me yet, I'm not a Lance Armstrong fan. If you want to do whatever it takes, including hurting yourself and potentially even giving yourself cancer then Fine, but they should have a separate group for freaks and let the clean kids measure up to other clean kids. I'll never read his book.

BUT this week really has been a bike week for me! I'll go in reverse chronological order. Hmmmm which starts in the future.
October 8th this year is my personal deadline for being back on my own bike. It may not be pretty but it'll be exactly one year since I got hit; exactly one year since I was happy on my own bike. It won't be easy but I don't think I'd recognize myself if I wan't struggling for Something! ;)
I've requested to be on the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization Bicycling Subcommittee. I've sat in on a couple of the meetings, they're a focused group of people that really have safe bicycling at heart, and I'm stoked to see it happening. I'll find out probably next month if I'm in!
BikeLafayette has been a great outlet for me. They're a good group of people and the organization is realizing it's potential, growing crazy fast, and I'm glad I'm in a position to help. I used to work 40+ hours, single mom it, and train for triathlons, and now allll that energy has to go somewhere. When I'm not hanging out with my awesome little family or promoting my business, it's this. I'm heading up the first membership meeting next month!
I was on KLFY with the amazing Laura Phillips:
KLFY video (Facebook)
(ugh, it was early, I look tired!) And dang look at those comments! There's sooo much work that needs to be done educating people here!
The highlight of this week was the inaugural Watermelon Ride! The president of my triathlon club John Hebert had the Lafayette Consolidated Government agree to put up "Share The Road" signs after I was hit. This was the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating them in the North East quadrant, and I was incredibly glad to be a part of it. I was able to ride tandem again with the president of BikeLafayette, Jen Steele.


I like these pics because I don't look so hurt in them! Trust me, I totally still look hurt in person, but cool that I can pull it off ;)

Progress is still slow this week. It seems things are getting way harder and taking much longer for little progressions, and it's frustrating. I still have so far to go! I'll probably be working at this the rest of my life.
I had a friend this week say that I'll probably be approached by a lot of people that I maybe don't know that feel they know me  because of my blog and minor fame. I'm okay with this. I'm cool with people "knowing" me that well and I wouldn't change a  thing, but I'm glad he said something because that is what's happening and it is a little weird.
I had another friend this week tell me that the main point in the end is that I'll be better for all of this happening. This wasn't some flippant statement; this is  from someone who's been through hell and is coming back, and her point I think is that tragedy like this makes you grow in ways that you would have avoided before. Not that I would have chosen this or had a choice, but hey man that's life. I'm choosing to believe this is  true, it's a good way for me to think right now.

I typed this using all the digits on my right hand; my fourth (ring) finger has not been able to do that.  It's all about the awesome little progresses. It's also all  about bikes right now, time for a road bike ya'll! #roadie? #no #holycowthenicknamesforcyclistsmakemelaugh!

Friday, July 19, 2013

BUSY FOR FREE

You know that song "Money For Nothing" by the Dire Straits? They wrote that about Motley Crue. There, your music trivia for the day.

Now that I don't have a job, I'm staying pretty busy. For free. Doesn't add up once I think about it...

My biggest thing this week was an application to the League of American Bicyclists for Lafayette to be designated at a "Bicycle Friendly Community". Now I realize, by up front and personal experience, Lafayette is most certainly NOT a "Bicycle Friendly Community". But I want it to be, and come to find out there's a ton of other people that want that too. If your city doesn't get the designation, the LAB provides invaluable feedback that you can then take to your council person or whomever and start working together towards reaching your goals (this is my personal plan anyway). They only accept applications every 6 months, so I decided to embark on this little project (unbeknownst to me) 24 hours before the deadline. This made the application a bit sparse but I Was Determined not to have to wait 6 months. And it was, you know, workable, but I wasn't really going to tell anyone about it because there wasn't much to it. Then though LAB asked for local reviewers and the more the better, so what the heck, I had done the best I can, so I asked a ton of people to review it. More than I actually even know. SO if you're one of 'em, No Laughing!
We'll get the results back Novemberish, I'll have the next application well on it's way by then, so February 2014 is my target date.

ALSO Feb 2014 is the NOLA RnR! This is the time to start training if you're not a runner; if you can put in 30 minutes a day or every other day for the next 30 days, you'll be in good shape to run it. In fact, if you start in 30 days, you'll be fine. So I'll remind you again! My info is not based on any coach or anything though, just info from Hal Higdon's website. I'd welcome coaching! Here's the 30/30 plan if you don't run: Hal Higdon's Beginning Runner's Guide
*Here's my training log: Training Log
**If you can't make that one I'll also be at Laffy's inaugural marathon the following month! http://zydecomarathon.com/

This Saturday is the inaugural free "Watermelon Ride", celebrating the placement of "Share The Road" signs in north Lafayette. The TriCajun's president, John Hebert, had gotten the Lafayette Consolidated Government to agree to them after I was hit. Needless to say, I will be there!! For more information, go here: BikeLafayette's Website

Not much has changed on the physical front; I've been working and I can feel a little bit more, and I'm a tiny bit faster, but not by much. My hand relaxes a tiny bit more but all progress right now is slow and minute. Still progress but I see why people that have been doing this a long  time get frustrated,  there's still so far to go!

It will never ever ever be good or fair that this happened, but I talked to an Episcopalian priest about similar things a couple of years ago, and she said that prayer doesn't change what happens, but it does open our eyes to the blessings that do occur. One thing is that I've been able to be a stay-at-home mom this summer. I could only take 10 days off of work when I had Snakebyte (or Liamuiga, ha - what nicknames!) and I lloovvee it! Yeah we get bored, and he's a handful at times but on the whole this is a good experience that I would have never had if I didn't get  hit. We frequent the library and train together (well, I walk and he runs) and he bikes all the time  and we cook and play with the pets and argue and go to the park, etc etc. I can't imagine life any other way right now.
This is what my kid did when I asked to take his picture!

Lastly but not leastly, my favorite triathlon blogger is back at it! This one includes dinosaur bones. http://laurazaunbrechertris.blogspot.com/


Adios amigos, buenos dias!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Friday Update! Oops I mean Saturday - sheesh I need to be employed again!

I walked .45 miles sans cane last Saturday; it was slow and hard but I could do it! I followed it up then with the same the next day with the cane, much faster (though not as fast as I had with the walker!)
THEN, I took a break, because as my therapist had mentioned and my SKB friend Kate had reminded me, I maybe shouldn't be overdoing things right now. And I surely was exhausted! It's hard to know where my limits are, I mean sheesh walking less than 1/2 mile is exhausting? But, yep! All that balancing, it's hard to realize, but that takes a lot of stamina. #slowbuildIguess
My tone has gone down, but still feels crazy up. HOWEVER according to my therapist my tone is much better, and maybe my nerves are just kicking in and my feeling is getting better? I'm going with that. My muscles are all stiff again today but I worked out crazy hard in therapy so maybe that's it. They don't feel sore necessarily, just harder to bend my knee again for example, but part of all this is learning how my body feels in different situations.

I started seeing Keith Terro, chiropractor extraordinaire, again this week. First my quads were ultrasounded - man that stung, it didn't last time! - and then he massaged the heck out of my right quads. Lastly  he kinesio-taped my ankle to help with propriception. MAN my quads HuRt the next day - great news because they hadn't hurt before when he had done the exact same thing! Woohoo yay pain! Well, feeling anyway. Trust me it an't all back but it's a good start. BUT the next day I went to therapy, my PT commented on how I had NO quad resistance whilst he was manipulating it! Coincidence mmaayybbeee but I'm going back again next week fo' sho', heck can't beat it!
I'm also up for giving any and all alternative therapies a try; massage and acupuncture and reflexology and reiki and all that other crazy stuff that I don't necessarily believe in. Wulf said, and it makes sense, that the placebo effect may be a placebo but still is an effect.

I'm open for business ya'll, and already have my first client referral, back in the game! I'm sure I won't make tons of money but it gives me something to focus on. Maybe I should go back to school and be an accountant or something. Don't they make good money and have awesome hours?

What else what else what else... it's racing season again and it's been fun watching, knowing I'll be back at it shortly. Dang ya'll I have some fast friends!
The truth is, if I thought I had no chance on being competitive again I wouldn't try to go back to it; it's what got me hooked in the first place. It's cool if it takes a year or five, I was on such an uptick when I got hit I hate to think that I had lost that chance completely just yet in my life. So we'll just pretend that I hadn't.

Ya'll have a good one!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday, I'm In Love. With this week. Well, love/hate anyway. Or love/blergh, hate may be too strong. And now this title's too long. Just like this entry seems to be.

Oh Man, I'm soooo a 90's kid!



Last Sunday we went to Natchitoches to witness my Great Aunt Anna's induction to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. The timing was especially special as it coincided with the opening of the brand new museum. My dad gave a speech since they were very close. She didn't have kids of her own, and subsequently I was close to her too - she taught me how to read, even. At age three I was reading the newspaper because of her! She was incredibly smart and had completed a post-doc at Harvard (where she won a tennis title beating the other women AND men). She was the first woman in professional tennis to wear shorts instead of a skirt and literally dominated several other sports, including hurdles, baseball, track, basketball, etc etc, for over a decade, even being named New Orleans Greatest All-Around Athlete of the 1930s.
A lot of comparisons have been speculated between us recently, namely I guess our persistence and dedication, and encouragement to others to compete, but as Nic pointed out there's a HUGE difference between us -she is described as "terse" and I am most decidedly NOT, ha!

This is my amateur video of her actual induction

CoxSports TV (the video won't work for some reason! This link will). Please watch it it's really really good!

One of several write-ups

Pictures of us and my dad at the ceremony________________________


So on to this week! Let's see...

Monday: Wulf (my PT) was on vacation for three weeks and now he's back, which I'm incredibly glad for. He's always excited for me when something awesome happens, and is gentle with the sad stuff. Don't tell him I talked nicely about him, though! I have to keep up my tough outer shell ;)
My abnormal muscle tone is still crazy high, but he convinced me not to worry about it. He also told me that I might be over-training, and I'm maybe not the calmest person he's ever met, and to relax a bit - what?? Pshaw! But the truth is, I just can't feel as well, even when my muscles are sore or whatever, so mmaayybbeee. We'll see. I asked him about when I can walk again, to see when I can start running again. He said I could walk alright without the cane now, albeit slower (yay!) but running has a hop in it that is limited by my increased muscle tone, and there is nothing I can do about that. Sadness.
I read a fake Buddha quote, "The trouble is, you think you have time." This makes me think, if I had the time to heal I would. 50 years, 300 years, whatever. But I don't have that kind of time, and that's a harsh truth. BUT  I do have Tons of time, so I'm going to pretend I'm going to heal fast!

The other thing on Monday is, my business is official! I still have noooooo idea what I'm doing, even pricing, but hey it's a step forward. I've also decided I need a small segment of the population to critique my webpage, and I've decided that should be ya'll blogliophiles! I'm doing it myself, and the picture credit  goes  to Drew Shawver - I don't even know where to put credits in! My awesome neighbor Darren is going to come up with a couple of logo ideas for me. SO, it's sparse, and I've got tons and tons and tons of work, but any and everything you come up with I will take into consideration. PLEASE. I've left it a little sparse on purpose. So if you don't mind, please get in  touch with me with your thoughts! You can comment, or Facebook, or email, or use the "Contact" form on the page, or whatever. I plan on having an awesome lawyer help me, and I think I need an accountant? Oh, and I have this "Business Plan" template I should do something with.
And, as you probably didn't guess, I've named it Cadence Veterinary Behavior Solutions, LLC. No real mind-blowing awesome thought process behind that, just the word "cadence" makes me happy and people generally know how to spell it. Seeing how "Cadence Veterinary Behavior Solutions" is long, and to shorten a word or two would be confusing, I'm sticking to "Cadence Veterinary" as the trade name (is that what it's called?) Plus when I'm all healed up I could still use the name for my medicine-inclined stuff. SO, I don't expect large profits or anything, but hey it's something to focus on, and it's in my profession which I'm really starting to miss.
Okay, Okay, here it is:
Yikes I'm so embarrassed and bashful!

Tuesday: Well dang I don't remember much about Tuesday, Monday and Wednesday were pretty eventful. It was my mom's birthday- you should wish her happy birthday!

Wednesday: Wednesday I was a little down when I woke up. I still have hypertonicity, and it's what's going to keep me from running, and bleh. But Then, I went to therapy.
My OT Simonne had me repeat these strength tests for my hands, and I'm Much Stronger. 7x more in one case of my right thumb, and getting close to normal strength with my left hand. My right wrist is much stronger too, and I'm able to extend it quite well now.
It was also testing day for PT (if you remember, OT mainly works with upper body, PT with lower). I walked a set distance, I don't know what it is, in 20 seconds with the quad cane; it was 53 seconds approximately 2 months ago. Then I walked it in about  the same amount of time with a regular cane. Then I walked it in about the same amount of time with NO cane. Nothin. So, rockin! Also my balance test was better, which in my case reflects that my tone really IS decreasing, even though it's up higher than I want right now! And now therapy is going to start focusing more on balancing. Which, of course, is going to involve falling a lot. In fact, I'm required to stand with my eyes closed until I fall over and over and over and over. Sigh. BUT I scored high enough on the test to graduate from a quad cane!


In not so great news, I got denied unemployment Again. I don't understand  - something about being instructed to and then not getting an unemployment agency and going to their office. I think. The jargon is really weird. Which is the first I'm hearing about it if that is what they meant! I imagine this has something to do with being a pregnant administrative assistant...not a broken-neck vet... So, I'm appealing it. Yet again. There's even more to it than that, like they changed my username without telling me, which made me have to skip a week, and more... It's just tedious. I've also been turned down for food stamps (appealing that) and still waiting on my hearing for social security.
And here's my thing. I've *always* maintained that I'm going to be self-sufficient and never ever need government assistance. I've never thought anything else. And now that I need it, it's not there!
Now that this is happening to me I'm seeing there's a bunch of friends I know now that have needed it too, when I thought they didn't need it. Way more of us than I realized. AND the amount of craziness that I have gone through and I still don't have access to it, it's unreal.
I know some people make a living on it, like scamming the system IS their job, but what about regular people that don't have the education or computer savvy and access I do, what about them? Well, I found out, they just don't get it. They don't get the help they need. It's sad. These are people I know now too, from therapy.
This experience has shown me that people that shouldn't need government assistance because they are highly educated and/or have a good work ethic still do need it, and other people who do need it but are older and/or poorer can't access it because the path is too convoluted for them to get it. Our system is way more messed up than I ever realized.
So ME, I'm fighting what I can fight, and holding out until the retirement money that I had put away makes it through. Because that's what I have to do to make it work, take my retirement out early. I'm a professional that has worked full time and more as much as possible, hit by an illegal driver and blamed for it, lost my government job in a shady way, and too disabled to get a high enough paying one to cover my bills. I'm sure glad I pay taxes to the government that I have to fight to help me out when I need it. Awesome. Go USA.
Enough ranting! I love my country, just there's always room for change!

Thursday - Independence Day! Man this blog is long enough already, ya'll have an awesome week!