Tuesday, November 9, 2010 arrived with a clear early morning that promised to become a chilly, sunny, and typically autumn day. I zipped my coat, buckled my helmet strap, unlocked my bike, and headed off to work. A few minutes later, a garbage truck crossed a bike lane to make a right turn. I was in that bike lane. The tires of the truck crushed my left leg and caused other internal injuries. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my leg to do so.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Confucius.

In July 2011, I set off to walk a thousand miles as an above-knee amputee in my new prosthesis. The journey has held more twists, turns, and detours than I ever imagined.

I reached Mile 1000 on March 30, 2013.

But of course, that wasn't the end.

I'll keep walking!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Near the Beach

Mile Markers 3 and 4:

After my abdominal surgery in November, the surgeon told my parents, “Well, she’s gonna hate me come bathing suit season!” He was referring to the long, vertical incision and the metal retention sutures that covered my middle. At that time, they were all just relieved I was going to BE HERE for bathing suit season. Back in November, we couldn't conceive of the salt air, warm sand, or bright sunshine. We couldn't imagine anything outside the fluorescent lights of the hospital.

But now….Ahhh, the exhaustion that follows a day at the beach. I can feel it in every bone in my body, and even in some that aren't!

Yesterday's walk found me in Ocean City with my best beach buddies – Rocco, Susan, and Beth (“Bosco”). We paced the Boardwalk, as close to the beach as my prosthesis would allow. Think of it this way: Laptops don’t belong on the beach; neither do microprocessor knees.

So after soaking up the hot, sunny boards without the luxury of an ocean dip, we summed up the day with this list:

Top Ten Reasons to Take My New Leg on the Ocean City Boardwalk

10. It’s not as dangerous (or as WET) as skim boarding with Rocco!

9. I'm powered by Mack and Manco Pizza. That is, until the “food coma” kicks in!

8. My pedicure looks snazzy in sandals.

7. Kids think I’m the newest Transformer.

6. I’ve got a stumble-recovery mode for downhill ramps….Good thing because there are a lot of them on the Boards!

5. There’s a charging station at 8th and the Boardwalk. Really!

Thanks Verizon!

4. I glitter in the sun, even without sunscreen. Think Edward from Twilight.
3. Easy clean-up from ice cream drippings. It turns out I CAN walk and eat George's Ice Cream at the same time, but not neatly!

2. My leg doesn’t tense up on the Ferris wheel – unlike the rest of my body.

And the Number One reason for taking my new leg for a walk on the Ocean City Boardwalk ….(drum roll please) …. SHE’S A C-LEG!!! (Hee hee…get it??)

Mile Marker 5:

Good friends, good food, good miles. No bathing suit necessary. As we reached the car, my energy flagged. Exhaustion kicked in.

Someday, we’ll be ON the beach – but that’ll require a specially-designed leg and another learning curve.

For now, I covered 5 miles in two days – the MOST I’ve ever walked in my prosthesis. Bring on the next 995. Just don’t get my leg sandy!

Mileage so far: 5.10

2 comments:

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    It's been awhile since we spoke but Shawn has kept me updated on all your amazing progress! I am so happy to see the new amazing journey you're on and I hope I get to join you on one of your walks when I come to Philly.
    All the best to you,
    Leah

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  2. This is SO great, Ricki! You've walked more in 2 days than I have in a year, probably. And I live in the woods! We're so, so proud of you and just love this blog. We're counting down right along with you.

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