Exactly one year ago today, I was woken by a nurse who came to prep me for surgery. I was alone, terrified and in a tremendous amount of pain.
Looking back, I truly can not believe the events that have transpired since I crashed.
my first steps down the hallway in the hospital with Laura filming my progress
going down the stairs of my apartment for the first time after being carried up them a week earlier AND making it across the street into the bakery
my first shower after two weeks during which there was a 38 mile sweaty bike ride and 8 days of hospital grime
getting into the pool and swimming a lap after my stitches were out, with the seniors from aqua aerobics cheering for me
giving up my second crutch with Dr. C holding my hand to help me take my first, mostly unassisted, steps
“running” across the turf in the Iron PT office
run/walking 2 miles with Josie & Mac during a regularly scheduled Fueled by Doughnuts group run
jumping on a 20” box at my final PT appointment
feeling all the love and support from my community who fed me and my family breakfast, lunch and dinner for 8 weeks straight, went grocery shopping for me, cleaned my house, did my laundry, took my kids to playdates, washed & braided my hair when I couldn’t shower and so, so, so much more
completing my book proposal and having it picked up by a literary agent after months of writing and revisions with my editor
reconnecting with my mother after 10 years of estrangement
standing at the starting line of the SeaWheeze half marathon just shy of the one year anniversary of my accident
feeling trapped in my body, unable to sit up or turn on my side without help
pain so intense I couldn’t sleep for more than two hours at a time
needing my 10 year old to put on my socks for me
loss of any independence
realizing some ‘friends’ aren’t really friends
breaking into a cold sweat every time I have to pass the place where I went down
Things I’ve lost
feeling in my left hip - after a year of moderate progress in regaining sensation I’ve realized what’s gone is gone and it’s not coming back
a handful of toxic relationships with people I’m much, much better off without
my hatred of track workouts
fear of swimming in open water
sense of comfort riding a bike on the streets - I don’t know if I’ll ever feel at ease
my need to consume alcohol to ease my anxiety, to recover from a long run, after a crazy day/night at the bakery, to have fun, when I’m sad, to kill time….
Things I’ve gained
gratitude for my tremendous support system Fueled by Doughnuts, Iron PT, my friends & family, my coach Alden, my editor Elisa, my staff, my surgeon, Brad, Jessica… I would be nothing without the people around me who, through selfless acts of kindness, helped (and continue to help) me be a better version of myself
an ambassadorship with lululemon which in a few short months has connected me with a truly inspiring community
an interview with Ali from the Ali on the Run Show!
notable achievements through Montclair Bread Co: TSA lunches during the government shutdown, a press worthy April Fool’s Day prank, lots of new recipes on the menu including the Carrot Cake Doughnut
strength and ability to get me to the finish line
30 second 5K PR
2 minutes 13.1 mile PR
nearly 30 minute sprint triathlon PR from June to July
4 minute Jersey Girl PR and 1st AG award
body art - over the last year I've added three new tattoos to go along with my 14” scar
fire building skills to help fuel my wood fired oven - something I’d only dreamed of having before this year. I’m really good at cooking every meal using a wood fire now too.
improved diet & nutrition, for a time it was the only thing I could control. This also led to the creation of the meal kit service now offered at the bakery
friendships - yes I had friends before this but this last year has brought new people into my life and strengthened bonds with some who have always been by my side
There was a time when the last thing I wanted to hear was “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “everything happens for a reason.” I never want to experience the pain and trauma brought on by this accident again in my lifetime. However, without this accident, without this complete reset, I don’t know that any of the incredibly positive events of this last year would have been possible. I am 100% better, stronger, more resilient and happier as a result.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. It’s only the beginning.