My road came to an unexpected halt on November 9, 2010.

That morning, I was bicycling to work when a garbage truck turned across a city bike lane. I was in that bike lane.

A team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my left leg. My body and life were forever changed.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

As I learned to walk again, I measured my recovery in steps and then miles. Over time that journey grew into something more -- a way of being in the world, wherever I go.

I am a person of ability and disability. I travel in the space between. These are my postcards.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Brick by Brick

Mile Marker 5,655:

When the going gets tough, the tough get small.

At least I do anyway.

On my morning walks -- which have been a struggle lately -- I focus on bricks.

Why bricks?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What Happened to You?

Mile Marker 5575:  

On a Saturday afternoon, my mom and I are running errands at the Montgomery Mall.  As I'm strolling through Macy's housewares department, a saleswoman turns to me unexpectedly.

"What happened to you?"  she says.

For a split-second, I have no idea what she's talking about.  What happened to me?  When?  Today?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bee You

Mile Marker 5479:

"That's not a SKIN leg!"

From across a cobblestone alley, I hear the most creative (and cutest) take on my prosthetic leg.

It comes from a 4-year-old girl with a shiny bob haircut.  She's pointing.  At me. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mountain Time

Mile Marker 5400:

Halfway between Woodstock and Thornton is a place that runs on mountain time.

When the sun rises, I'm awakened by real birds, not the artificial "birdsong" of my iPhone alarm.  And instead of walking to get coffee, I drive 9 miles. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Climb Anything

Mile Marker 5373:

I stand on the floor, fingers curled around the start holds.  Carabiners locked.  Leg locked.  

"Climbing!" I call.

And whoever's belaying me -- Sarah, or Sara, or Marian, or Jacki, or Peet, or Julia, or Carly, or Alyson, or Jake  -- calls back.

"Climb on!"

Those two small words launch me up the rock wall.

My goal this summer had nothing to do with climbing...

Monday, July 3, 2017

Unexpected Blessings

Mile Marker 5248:  

"Be sure to tell them about the challah," my dad says.

When I was in the hospital, every Friday afternoon, a challah -- the traditional Jewish Sabbath bread -- was delivered to my room.  From November through December, those loaves of bread measured the length of my stay more accurately than any calendar.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sweat Test 2.0

Mile Marker 5215:

It's called a Liner-Liner.

It reminds me of one of those "As Seen on TV" products -- like a prosthetic version of the "ShamWow."

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lucky 13

Mile Marker 5200:

My niece Brianna just turned 13.

At Mile Marker 5200, I trail behind her through the narrow aisles of Primark, her favorite store in the mall.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Team

Mile Marker 5177:

When the rain hits, it's good to be among your own.

At the Ossur Running and Mobility Clinic presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation, it's been drizzling all morning.  Now the skies open.  Heavy clouds release a steady stream of raindrops.

Incredibly the runners stand their ground, sprinting drills across the field.  Volunteers follow, holding fast to their gait belts.  No one seems to notice the weather.

But me?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

5 Ways to Escape (when you can't go to France)

Mile Marker 5042:

I live inside a construction zone.

My windows are coated with dust, and the air smells of exhaust.  The view from my balcony looks like feeding time at Jurassic Park.

And there's no escape...

Monday, April 17, 2017

So She Did

Mile Marker 5000:

Just like that, I land back in my happy place.

Well, "just like that" is a bit of an understatement.

What I mean is, after flying for 11 hours, trekking through 3 airports, adjusting to a 6 hour time change, pulling 44 pounds of luggage over cobblestones in the pouring rain, and wearing my leg for 22 hours straight...

The Limb Loss Lowdown - Week 2


Here are a few more fun facts about limb loss and being an amputee...

Friday, March 24, 2017

C'est La Vie!

Mile Marker 4946:

Your sorrow will become smaller, like a star in the daylight that you can't even see.  It's there, shining, but there is also a vast expanse of blue sky.

--Alice Hoffman, Survival Lessons

"You've been busy."

That's what my surgeons said when they walked into my hospital room the day my mom hung the article on the wall...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Day After

Mile Marker 4917:

I love a good snow day.

I love making coffee, lingering over breakfast, simmering soup in the crockpot, and mixing up a recipe for maple chocolate chip cookies.

By 11 a.m. I've made a mess so big it'll take the rest of the day to clean up.  But hey, it's a snow day.  I've got time!

The problem isn't the snowday...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Growing Up Flyers

Mile Marker 4735:

Let's Go Flyers! (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!)

When I was 6, I practiced that cheer while my mom dressed me in clothes warm enough for the nosebleed seats.  I'd smile a toothless smile, black and orange ribbons in my hair, as Dad and I drove downtown toward the Philadelphia Spectrum.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Next to Normal

Mile Marker 4847:

Hard to believe, but it's been nearly 100 miles since my last post!

During that time, not much has happened.  But don't get me wrong.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why I March

Mile 4760:

I almost didn't march today.

Here's why:  It was a busy work week.  On top of that, I rock climbed on Wednesday night, celebrated Deb's birthday on Thursday night, and went to a housewarming party on Friday night.  I expected this weekend to be jam-packed as well.

It was just too much leg time.  I was exhausted.  Just thinking about the Women's March pushed me over the edge.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

On A Good Leg Day

Mile Marker 4709:

On a good leg day, I walk through a metal detector at the Flyers Game.

It beeps, of course.  Dad glances at me; I glance at him.  No one else around seems to notice.  We keep going, and no one stops us.

We show our tickets to an attendant, step onto an escalator, and finally ascend a flight of stairs.  I suspect there's an elevator nearby, but today it doesn't matter.

It's a good leg day...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

Mile Marker 4700:

At 8 a.m. the fire alarm blasts.

It's our first one of the year -- a false alarm, thank goodness!

Still it's jarring, and heart pounding, and blaringly loud.  The siren echoes off the walls of my bedroom.  

At least I have my leg on.