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!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lemonade

Mile Marker 95:

I think Lemonade must be the little sister of Angry Cookies.

Less than two minutes had elapsed on the treadmill yesterday when my adductor muscle knotted itself into a stiff rope down the inseam of my leg.  “See?!” I said, "This happened over the weekend!  Now I have to stop, and I’m not even at three minutes!”  

My PT Andrew reached over and turned down the speed of the treadmill.  “Let’s try this.” 

My rope became a rubber band again.

At this new pace of 2 mph, I walked for 15 more minutes and passed Mile Marker 95.  The slower speed was key.

My new socket is cut and aligned differently than my old one.  So it fits better but requires increased muscular control.   It'll make me a better walker.  But for now, I feel like a beginner swimmer dog-paddling through the deep end.  

Making lemonade is to focus on the small things.  Scooping sugar and ice.  Keeping seeds out of your straw.  Muscle strength.  Pacing.  Gait.

Later, as I do mat exercises, I watch people making lemonade all around me.

A mom gently places a stick of cinnamon gum into her son’s mouth.  A dad keeps up an ongoing conversation with his daughter even though she can’t (yet) answer him with words.   An athlete with imprecise hands unwraps a breakfast sandwich.  Another gentleman walks back and forth, back and forth, between the parallel bars.

This rehab gym is a LEMONADE FACTORY.


Even last weekend when anger took center stage, the lemonade was there, cooling patiently in the wings. 

It was lemonade that made my new leg into an excuse to go shoe shopping with my mom.   Then lemonade stopped us at Starbucks just because there was a parking space -- the kind with the little blue sign.  

Where there's lemonade, there's hope.

But making lemonade is not as easy as it looks. 

It takes strength to squeeze those lemons, to push the good out of difficult situations.  And it takes sweetness too, to hold close those that you love.   It’s a lot easier to beat up on a pile of dough.   Or to hide away.

Angry cookies do taste good some of the time.  Perhaps they’ll even make me a better baker. 

But just as important, I realized yesterday, are a few sips of lemonade to wash them down.

Happy Birthday to my sister Sam, who has helped me find lemonade -- and laughter -- everywhere!  Especially in doctor's office waiting rooms!  xo

Mileage so far:  98.52


5 comments:

  1. Hope I can continue to provide you with the lemonade you might need on the days you bake those angry cookies. You are the best sister and I am so glad you're mine! Thanks for the birthday wishes! I miss you!

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  2. ...Or should I say Nefertito...

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  3. You definitely should....An ancestor of the Jackson Five, perhaps?? I will always remember laughing for three hours straight in that waiting room -- And you're still making me laugh out loud in a room by myself! Happy last few minutes of your birthday!

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  4. Your words are an inspiration to many. I noticed that the lemonade was "Nathan's. I didn't know they made lemonade. Now I want to go to Coney Island and have a hot dog. We actually skated there once from Manhattan. And I never saw "Orangeade" before.

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  5. Look no further than the Garden State Parkway! My dad snapped the pic for me on his way to Vermont. Never underestimate a highway rest stop :)

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