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!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Do It Now

Mile Marker 600:

At Mile Marker 1, my friend Jeff suggested I post a column on the blog for upcoming walks.

What potential!  I thought.  People could join me!  The more the merrier!  There’s power (and fun) in numbers! 

I imagined the places we’d visit:  gardens, hiking trails, museums….  I looked forward to meeting new blog followers.  Traveling near and far.

I’ll do it soon, I thought, when I’m able to PLAN.

That was more than a year ago.  Back then, I'd just graduated from using a cane.  I was knee-deep in socket pain.  I concentrated intently on each and every step.

Learning to run
(well, kinda!)
600 miles later, a lot has changed.  

But I still CAN'T PLAN!

With Mile Marker 600, came more abdominal pain.  Wednesday night, it got so bad I summoned the troops (a.k.a. my parents).  Bag packed for the hospital, Mom sat in my bedroom until – hours later -- the pain subsided enough that we decided not to go.

For the next 2 days, I nourished myself with clear liquids and quiet activities. 

I organized 2 summers’ worth of France pictures.  I baked some magnifique mini-quiches -- which are now in the freezer because I can't eat them yet.

...not that!
Eat this...

I set up a calendar for the new school year.  And as I did, I was shocked by a disturbing trend: 

Over the past 600 miles, I’ve CANCELED more plans than I’ve kept.

Appointments, lunches, walks.  Meetings at work.  “Scratch that” has become my motto.

No, that's not me!  I think.  I'm organized.  I'm reliable.

It’s just temporary, I tell myself.  But it’s like trying to believe there’s no Greenhouse Effect in the midst of the hottest summer on record.

So at Mile Marker 600, it was blatantly obvious:  I needed a new slogan.  And during my "sick days," I had plenty of time to come up with one:


How does that sound?  It's my version of Nike’s Just Do It.   I’ve been inspired by Oscar Pistorius and the other Olympians.  They make me want to do it ALL now!  

But the toughest part is I never know when the pain’s going to strike.  These days, if I can do one small thing – wash the dishes, change the linens, walk around the block – I’m ahead of the game.

DO IT NOW  takes each moment as it comes.  It allows me to make the most of the times I'm feeling good.  It’s a split-second decision to get out there when I can -- with or without a plan.

I've MISSED a lot over the past 21 months -- planning vacations, going out at night, jumping on my bike to run an errand.  Reminders linger around every corner.  

For 15 years, I skated every Sunday morning.  Now, I miss jumping over potholes and cruising off curbs.  I miss dodging other skaters and climbing hills.  I miss the steamy exhaustion and the adrenaline rush that comes along with it.

My friends still skate.  Often, I meet them afterward for the post-skate brunch (on days when I can eat, anyway).   You might argue that I got the better end of the deal.  Food and company without all that sweat and hard work!

But last Sunday -- during that morning in NoLibs -- it occurred to me:  I had a place to go!  I had something to do!  It was an adventure, and it was so much FUN!

At Mile Marker 600, Jeff's suggestion from Mile 1 still rings in my ears.  I want to get out, walk, and explore.  I want YOU to come along.

But lately, my health has made it so difficult to plan!

DO IT NOW, my gut tells me.  (And the gut is a powerful thing!)  

So the "plans" will be come-as-you-are.  Spontaneous.  Easy.  And, yes, FUN!

Check out the new WALK WITH ME column in the upper right corner of the blog.  Watch for postings of adventures and outings.  Check the Facebook Page, too.

Comment and post your own ideas.  
Join me!  

We’ll walk together!  
There’s POWER and FUN in numbers!

It’s one small step, but isn't that what this journey's built on?

... Best of all, there's a last minute cancellation policy  :)


  1. Way to go Rebecca! I can make it to Old City after work on Thursday..... La prochaine fois on essaiera les quiches. Elles semblent délicieuses.

  2. I really love your “do it now” mantra. Seizing the moments, going with the flow, being spontaneous…..these are things that I THINK that I do, but truthfully these things scare the heck out of me. I like structure. I like planning things out. I like leadtime and agendas. I think somehow I feel more in control with planning—-but honestly this “control” thing is really just in my mind. I know too well that even with the best of planning that life gets in the way and disrupts my agenda. So, your blog is renewing my intention of living in the moments, seizing every good moment as it comes.
    Reading your blog gave me a vision of a “come as you are” walk (or skate or bike ride or whatever). When you find yourself energized for a walk, send a post to your blog and facebook for a “come as you are” walk--anyone who is able to join you must arrive wearing exactly what they are wearing when they read the post (e.g., bathrobe, 3-piece suit, etc), though I suppose we could bend the rules so they can put on walking shoes. :o)
    If only there weren’t so many miles between Philly and Chicago, I’d be jumping at the chance to traverse some miles by your side….
    Thinking of you all the time….
    Big Hug!

  3. Shelley makes some good points about "seizing every good moment". Its like an old cliche, but it seems to be more than just words lately. Its funny...we post, and text and hope you'll join us for brunch to inspire and motivate you, but I am now realizing that you inspire and motivate us too.

    I'm not a big cliche-er, but carpe diem seems to fit here. Oh, I can't carpe diem on Thursday (sorry), but keep posting.