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...

I mean, not the mile itself.  That would have happened anyway.  

But the moment of stepping over that threshold.

Noticing the mile.

Marking it.
Making time for it.
Celebrating it.

Honestly, I didn't even realize it was upon me until the afternoon before.  

It arrives in the midst of another difficult week -- on a day of even more setbacks for those I love most.  

All I want is to shoulder the weight for them.  Taking a step forward is the last thing on my mind.

At sunset, I tell my morning miles buddies, "I just don't know if I can walk tomorrow."

And then tomorrow comes.  Anyway.

And I get up.
And get my leg on.
And get dressed.  

And at 7 AM, I hit the sidewalk.  

Walking is a practice, kind of like hope.  We rise and meet each day.  Take one tentative step after another.

If we're lucky (like I am), we learn it from those who walk with us along the way.

At Mile 10,000, I step outside to find the only two people on Earth who can turn a walk around the block...

A selfie of my face with 2 friends in the background - along with a chalked sidewalk that reads "Mile 10,000."
...into a block party!


Me crouching down with a mask on, in front of a chalked happy face on the sidewalk, also wearing a mask.
Complete with signs of the times,

A sidewalk which reads "Happy Today."
and cheerful reminders,

A chalk heart drawn on a metal cellar door in the sidewalk.
and sidewalk hazards,

Sidewalk chalk over a curb cut, which reads "Down Hill" with an arrow pointing down the curb cut.
and helpful hints,

A crazy looking 6 foot high heel shoe outside a flower shop.
and our usual (unusual!) landmarks,

Sidewalk chalk that says "Coffee almost..."
and, of course, coffee!

Sidewalk chalk which reads, "If you're looking for a sign, this is it!!
I even add some designs of my own.

It's just a regular morning mile... 

A selfie of me with my friend Monica and her dog, who we just happened to meet on our walk.
...with even more friends sprinkled along the way!

Mile 10,000 is filled with small, quiet, unexpected joy.  

We're back home in a matter of minutes.  

(It reminds me of Mile 10, from my earliest walking days with Dad!)

In other words, it's just what I need.

Walking 10,000 miles on a prosthetic leg is a pretty big accomplishment.  But at this particular milestone, here's what will stick with me most:

I almost DIDN'T GO.

Moving forward is a practice too.  A leap of faith.  No matter how quiet, or unexpected, or small the steps are.

I want to notice them.
Celebrate them.
Make time for them. 

A crosswalk lit by the sunrise over the city buildings.
Even before sunrise.

Mile 10,000 isn't a finish line.  Like each new day, it's another chance to keep going.

My feet (one with prosthetic) on a sidewalk, where it's written "One step at a time!"


Thank you for 10,000 miles and so much more.

Walk on,
Rebecca

P.S.  Some steps find a soundtrack in my mind.  At Mile 10,000, it's a song from one of my favorite artists.  Click here to hear what's playing.  


2 comments:

  1. congratulations!!! love the inspirational and cautionary chalk messages :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! The messages were such a good surprise, and it was fun to see all the passersby noticing them too. We decided we're going to leave messages on a more regular basis :) Hope all is well in your world! xo

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