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!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sneaky Spring

Mile Marker 2486:

It's sneaky spring!

Today's one of those days that pops up in the dead center of winter.  Out of nowhere, the biting wind turns into a cool breeze.  The sky lifts up high, an airy blue with the thinnest layer of cotton clouds.

It's a perfect walking day.

There's only one problem -- this little blister on my leg.  Yesterday, I admit I ignored the warning signs.  But winter clothes and school bathrooms aren't the best combination for making leg adjustments.  Plus there's always Murphy's Law (the prosthetic version):  A readjustment might make it worse.

So today, I'm spending a legless afternoon at home.  Insert sigh here.  At least the windows are open!

It's been a long, heavy winter, and it's only half over.  Earlier this week, that darn groundhog somehow saw his shadow.  (It must have been from the TV spotlights because on that dark rainy day, I sure couldn't see mine!)

Last night, when I watched the national news, I texted my brother Andy in Chicago.  "How are you guys doing in the snow?"  I asked.
..."Not bad."

He sent me back this photo, with a side of sarcasm...

We should take a lesson from Chicagoans, who have a funny, sunny way of facing winter.

Snow lips!
My friend Wendy shoveled out her family's backyard hockey rink, leaving a Valentine "kiss" for her husband Jim to find -- and finish!

...Don't mess with the Bumble!

And the weather may be abominable, but my friend Annie makes the most of it too...

With all the heart in that windy city, you'd think the snow would just melt already!

Despite the weight of the season -- and all the dismal things it brings with it -- Mother Nature still delivers a few surprises.

Here in Philly, we had our own snow day last week.  They'd predicted up to 22 inches with blizzard conditions, high winds, and deep drifts.  Schools were closed.  Appointments were cancelled.  The trains went on a Saturday schedule.

So I headed out, of course :)
Yet when I woke up in the morning to peer out the window, there was no snow on the ground.

By amputee standards, it was the BEST SNOW DAY ever!

I found the best parking space on the street.  I trekked the city on dry, empty sidewalks.  I tutored at Starbucks instead of the school library.  (Turns out, math is much easier to swallow with a Frappuccino!)

The dusting of snow stayed on the grass, and the crowds stayed at home.  It wasn't exactly spring -- temps hovered around 25 -- but the openness of it all felt refreshing.  There was space to breathe.

Winter's a season of confinement.  I usually stand at my windows and look skeptically at the white sidewalks.  I grind my teeth when I hear the whistling wind.  I don't dare set foot outside alone.

And instead, on our first snow day, I got a brisk walk under a hopeful pink sky.  It was my own sneaky spring.

So today, at Mile Marker 2486,  I don't mind staying in.  The windows are open.  The sun is shining.  Like winter, this leg stuff too shall pass.

Anyway, there's more snow predicted for tomorrow.  And probably for this weekend as well.  Go ahead, meteorologists.  Bring on the doom and gloom.  Because behind those weather forecasts is just the tiniest sliver of doubt.

If a blizzard can drift pass Philly with barely a dusting...
If the groundhog only sees his shadow in the light of TV crews..
If we just keep looking toward the sun...

Can spring be far away?

1 comment:

  1. It is so hard to remember that the "bad leg days" are usually only temporary (but they can be so dang draining!) I hope the blister isn't a bad one and you're back in the leg soon.

    Wish you could come here to WI for the climbing comp / clinic this weekend. (Ronnie will get a taste of our WI winters.) We're having some good luck here, and I think we'll laminate soon. (Fingers crossed!) Sending good leg energy out your way!