How do we move forward?

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.

I was critically injured in the accident. A team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my left leg. I had a long road ahead of me, physically and emotionally, yet I was grateful to be alive.

An ending can be a beginning too. I started over.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Gradually I learned to walk again. So I began counting steps. Then miles.

Over time, that journey turned a corner. It became less about my own recovery and more about resilience -- the connection we all share.

Ten years later, I still take one step at a time. Yes, there are bumps in the road, but each step means rising to new challenges, adapting to change, and moving forward with hope.

Are you on your own journey?

WALK WITH ME.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Rise and Meet the Day

WOO-HOO from Mile Marker 10,000!

3 sets of feet, one with a prosthetic leg, gathered around a patch of sidewalk where it's written "Congrats 10,000!  Finish."

Guess who just walked 10,000 miles on a prosthetic leg??

Me standing with arms extended in front of a sidewalk with the words, "Mile 10,000 - You rock!"
This kid!

I'm gonna keep this postcard short, but I didn't want it to get lost in the mail.

Long story short, I almost missed 10,000...

Sunday, October 17, 2021

What's In Your Backpack?

At Mile Marker 9,950...

I carry a backpack.  Always.

The hike to Hawksbill Summit is no different.

Jasmine, me, and Mary lined up on the hiking trail.

As an amputee, I learned early on that backpacks were the way to go.  

Carrying anything while walking was a challenge.  I could do more, handle more, be more when I shouldered the weight squarely on my back.  

With a backpack, I returned to work.  Walked around the city on my own.

Mom and I in the basement doing laundry.
Lugged laundry down the basement stairs.

I believed that if I could just CARRY everything, I'd be able to balance whatever life handed me.  

It's like I always carried HOPE in the front pocket of the bag.

But there's something else about backpacks too...

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

What's in a New Socket?

Greetings from Mile Marker 9,559!

What's in a new socket? 

Me.

After a record 3 years (and 3,000 miles) in my old one, it's time.

Wait, you say, you got a new leg?

Nope, not quite...

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

What place gives you that "back-to-normal" feeling?

The outside of a bookstore with books in the window and an awning that reads "Eat. Sleep. Read."

At Mile Marker 9,525...

I shop.  

At a bookstore.

In person.

A trip to Inkwood Books is always a treat.  But after 14 months of browsing online, this feels like a luxury vacation!  

Just imagine...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Have Heroes

The glass bridge from the outside of the hospital, bearing the words "Alone you are strong.  Together we are stronger," in rainbow colors.

Long awaited greetings from Mile 9,449...

Ever have a moment where you just don't have the words?

Or possibly, a year??

At Mile 9,449, I take my first steps inside Jefferson Hospital since before the pandemic began...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Bench Barish (a.k.a. Take a Stand)

Greetings from Mile Marker 9,446...

It's time to take a stand.

This afternoon, I'm circling Old City with my neighbor and friend, Wendi.  

That's 2 Wendy(i)s in two days - if you're counting.

We're squeezing in a quick mile before the five (yes 5!!) Zoom meetings Wendi has lined up for this evening.  

If that sounds insurmountable, you don't know Wendi...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Talk It Out


Hello from Mile Marker 9,442...

Once upon a time, long before cell phones and Google, there was a low-tech college dorm.

And in that dorm, there were two rooms across the hall from each other.  

And in those rooms, there lived two just-turned-18-year-olds who (on paper at least) didn't have much in common...

Monday, April 12, 2021

Some Get Rained Out (and that's ok!)

Hello from the soggy sidewalks of Mile Marker 9,438...

I'll let you in on a secret:

Some get rained out.

Yep -- Throwin' it back to Mile 255.

Back then, I realized this rule applied to amputees and others with disabilities.  

But you know what?  

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Leave Footprints

Welcome to Mile Marker 9,436...

where a car horn on the streets of Philly scares two puppies in the woods of Vermont!

Crazy how we connect these days.

It's National Siblings Day.  And while I'm pretty sure that's a made-up holiday, it's a perfect excuse to walk with my sister Sam...  

Saturday, April 10, 2021

B.Y.O. Sunshine

Hi from Mile Marker 9,432...

where it's always sunny in Philadelphia!

Well, today it's overcast.  

But no worries...

Friday, April 9, 2021

Do a Morning Mile

Good morning from Mile Marker 9,427...

...and my favorite walk of the day!

Most mornings I head out alone.  But for this challenge, I need a traveling companion.  

Luckily, I know exactly who to text.

"Are you out running?" 

There aren't many people who are available at sunrise, but Donna is definitely one of them.  

In fact, she's just finished her morning run.  Coincidentally, right outside my building! 

Ok. It's not quite a coincidence. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cultivate Your Garden

Salut from Mile Marker 9,425...

...at Merion Botanical Park!

I'm here with mon amie Cécile - and we have nothing planned except to walk the garden.  

(And maybe find a bench long enough to share a snack from 6 feet apart.)

I cancelled our walk last week.  I was exhausted and overwhelmed.  Maybe it was raining too.  Honestly, I don't remember. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Be There

A lone cherry blossom in full bloom along the river.

Hello from Mile 9,422...

... on Kelly Drive! 

It's the most crowded place I've been in a year.  But with Rocco and Susan, I feel safe.  

That's why we call them my Secret Service :)

Long before the accident, we skated and biked together -- many times on this exact path.  We always watched out for each other.  Made sure none of us got hurt or left behind.

After my accident, they watched out for me even more...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Go for a "Ch-alk"

View of the blue sky above Arch Street, streaky with clouds in late afternoon
Greetings from Mile Marker 9417...

...What's a "ch-alk?" you say?

So glad you asked!

A "ch-alk" is a video chat + walk.  I made it up.

It's when you bounce along cobblestones trying to hold your phone steady in order to give a 300-mile-away-friend a tour of your neighborhood.

(Prosthetic leg optional.)

Monday, April 5, 2021

Take Sunday (or One Day) Off

Hello (and yawn) from Mile Marker 9,414...

...Be like Toby the Beagle.

Tradition says we rest on the 7th day, but already, on Day 4, I need a breather.

Did you know an above-knee amputee uses 60% more energy to walk than a person with two legs?  

Yep.  It's like driving a car with a half-size gas tank...

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Tour Your Old Block

Hi from Mile Marker 9410...

... my old stomping grounds!

(Back when I could actually stomp!)

I'd say it's been a while, but really it hasn't...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Trust Your "2nd"

Hello from Mile 9406 

...and a time warp!

Where were you in 1998?

I was in a classroom stocked with Mr. Sketch "smelly" markers, an overhead projector, and an endless supply of transparencies...

Friday, April 2, 2021

Plant an Idea

Greetings from Mile 9400 --

Where ideas take root in Washington Square!

Mônica and I always walk the same route.  

Fewer decisions about streets and sidewalks leaves space for other things - like talking about her children's books or my November novel, or even this next step on the blog...

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Monday, March 29, 2021

I'm Starting Again... Again! (How about you?)

Mile 9385:  

How do we move forward in uncertain times?

Yep, it's time to venture out again.

Mask?  Check.
Hand sanitizer?  Check.
Walking buddy?  Check.

At least, some things haven't changed...