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!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ready, Set...

7/7/11. I figure it’s a good day to start a journey. I’ve become a bit of a believer in omens, charms, wishes, and good, healthy luck. When things spin out of control, don't you?

If you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll tell you, “So far, so good.” Good luck can turn on a dime. On December 31, my rehab doc – Dr. L -- called to ask how I was doing. I’d been home from the hospital for 2 whole days. “Great!” I replied enthusiastically. "Things are going great!" I was lounging on the couch with a good book. “Great!” That’s all it took. What ensued was a three-month struggle with what felt like a 30 car pile-up in my intestinal tract. Now when someone asks, I say, “So far, so good.” No scientific evidence of any connection, but still….

And to clean up that mess on the Schuylkill (a.k.a. my intestines), one of my all-time favorite surgeons – Dr. J –had to convince me to go against my bad luck bias. Yes, this was to be surgery number 13! And despite the pain, nausea, vomiting, and NG tube down my throat, I informed him that the number 13 didn’t seem to be the best stat to take with me into the Operating Room. It was 6:45 a.m., but Dr. J didn’t miss a beat. He replied with full confidence and a huge smile, “Thirteen?! That’s my lucky number!”

Whether it truly was or not, I may never know, but now it’s definitely one of mine!

So, today, on 7/7/11, I invite you to join me for my journey of a thousand miles. Walk with me through the funny, interesting, sometimes scary, and always unexpected twists and turns that any journey takes.

Along the way, please leave your COMMENTS – questions, opinions, thoughts, stories, jokes, messages…similar or different experiences…suggestions or advice. And let me know if you have any great ideas for places or opportunities where I can put on those miles!

And, finally, want to join me??

29 comments:

  1. I love this idea! What an inspired way to continue your journey. We love the Chester Valley Trail and would love to introduce you to it!

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  2. We'll be with you every step of the way, Rick!!! Love you and can't wait to read about all of your adventures.

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  3. Hi Rebecca! Let's do a walk around Cooper River Park. It is just over 3 miles. I can come pick you up in Philly or if you are feeling adventurous you could take the PATCO Speedline.

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  4. Hi Rebecca,
    I don't know you, but I do know your sister.....I'm so glad to hear you're healing and starting your 1000 mile journey. You are an inspiration to all of us and i have no doubt in my mind you can do it.....be strong and keep us posted on how you're doing.
    Colleen :)
    and her fur-kids (Tela, Mojo and Lucy)

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  5. Hi Rebecca,

    I will not be back east this year but if you want to walk anywhere in the vicinity of Portland, OR you have a place to stay and a walking partner. You are an amazing person and a true inspiration to us all. I look forward to following you on your journey.

    Debbie

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  6. This is so great, I am totally rooting for you and excited for your journey, and to "go along" via your blog! If you come up to Vermont, I would LOVE to do some walking with you! What an inspiring and uplifting project you're undertaking. No doubt you will be having a wonderful adventure. Walk on!

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  7. Hi Rebecca, I'm so glad to hear of your blog so I don't have to keep bugging "Mary" (aka Mary Margaret) for your news. I have two ideas for places for you to use some of your miles...NYC to Argot Tea (they have arrived!!!) and La Belle France--I'm sure it misses you! You are amazing and I wish you lots of love and healing. xoxoxooxoxox

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  8. Can't wait until I can get back out there and walk some of those miles with you!
    And hey, there's a beautiful lakefront path here in Chicago that would love to be part of your 1000-mile journey. :o)
    Rock on! (Or, should that be "Walk on!"

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  9. Ricki, you are awe inspiring. The entire Florida contingent has been following your progress with bated breath. We all love you -

    Aunt Meri, Brendon, Ceci, Uncle Edmund, Aunt Susan, Jeffrey and Brian.

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  10. Ricki, you're an inspiration. I can't even imagine you staying pessimistic beyond one of those eensy fractions of time scientists use to measure atomic events. You are a force for good. As Aerosmith taught us: "Walk this way!"
    -- Scoopahooters

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  11. Looking forward to walking and talking with you soon. So happy (and lucky) to have such an amazing friend for the journey! You continue to inspire.....

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  12. You're my hero. I think this is awesome. I have a wonderful trail from Catonsville to Ellicott City here in lovely Bmore. I think you need to come walk it with me and Zak. Or we can come to you. :)

    I love you! xo

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  13. Thank you so much, everybody!! Please keep the comments coming and stay tuned for my first steps this weekend! And to ALL MY POTENTIAL WALKING BUDDIES, I'm taking notes, so expect a call soon :) Love ya!

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  14. Count me in, I'll try to keep up ! xoxo Amy

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  15. I'm in for the ride!
    Tinicum park is just minutes down I95- an unexpected oasis just outside philly!

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  16. A journey of a thousand miles can begin with one board (on the boardwalk). Let's walk the Ocean City boardwalk and get some yummy George's ice cream.

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  17. Ricki - you are an incredible,resilient woman. Wendy has continued to share your story with her family. I will walk with you from afar. I look forward to following you this wonderful, inspiring journey.

    Jackie.

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  18. Do you know what time you'll be walking on Saturday? Would love to start this journey with you with a simultaneous walk here in Chicago. Let me know and I'll try to step off with you here. :o)

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  19. Ricki-- I'm in.
    Didn't know you were a teacher. So am I :)
    Dierdre (Wendy's friend from Loyola)

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  20. Let's walk around campus or along the Lakefront together during our reunion weekend this fall! (Reunion? Bring a salt shaker!) Love ya!

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  21. Davey & I will walk with you. Let us know when and where you're walking.

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  22. Hi Ricki
    You don't know me, but I'm a friend of your sister Sam. I echo others who have posted when I say you are an inspiration.... 1000 miles will be a cinch! If you make it to VT to see Sam, head up Essex way - there are beautiful trails at Indian Brook Reservoir. Good luck in your journey!
    Marty, Katie, Maggie and Mickey

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  23. Ok, big sister, today is the day! Good luck as you start this great journey! Our Vermont trails are waiting for you whenever you are ready. Not to mention at least 20 dogs and your little niece! We love you!

    Sam, Gregg, and Riley

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  24. Love to you on the first day of your journey! We'll be walking with you wherever you go:)
    Cheers to you... Mom and Dad

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  25. Sounds like a good day to start. We'll be with you all the way!

    Remember:

    An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. Thoreau

    steve and patti

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  26. Count me in! I'm so excited about your project - so is Moe - he wants to be part of the walking as well!

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  27. Hey...just read entire blog...almost a weeks worth and enjoyed every word. You are way ahead of me...I only did 3 miles on the treadmill this week....but that's 3 more than last week...so you really did inspire me. Hope we can walk before or after our dinner next week. Well..off to bed...5am on the treadmill! Have a great weekend...can't wait to see you.

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  28. It's only 8:30am and I am already crying. I love your blog and your writing and the sharing. Great idea and beautifully done.

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