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Friday, February 24, 2012

With hard work, comes reward...

Today, Hillary and I treated ourselves to a day devoted to relaxing, and general mindfulness. The sun actually peeked through the clouds a bit, this morning. We took advantage of it, by lumbering along the bike path on the water. Absolutely gorgeous to be on the lake, albeit, slightly depressing, that there's not not a smidgen of ice anywhere. I can't necessarily complain, as it makes my life so much more difficult, cecause I'm already unstable. But, it's late February, in Vermont. The lake never froze, and we've yet to see a snow storm. I've heard people saying the wildlife is confused, as winter never really came this year. I'm more disappointed, than confused.

And, now that I'm totally off track here, back to the story I was telling... So pleased with my brain for coordinating my legs to run without the jogger. I feel so free now. Less stable, and just as slow, but so much less weight. :) After our run in the sun, we treated ourselves to massages. Having not had one in over a year, made me realize how much I put my body through everyday. You've most likely gathered, by now, that I don't let much get in my way. My motto is often, where there's a will, there's a way." But, my body takes a beating, no matter what I'm trying to do. I will always have the klutz chromosome to contend with. Although, I only landed in the dirt once today, making it a great day for my stability.
It's my theory that most of the tension, and tightness I experience, comes from actively looking down at the revolutionary iPad all the time. Like right now. And it's amazing, for the moment, as my neck isn't bothering me yet. And I can't ever post a blog entry without being concerned my beck could possibly be stuck in that position. Afterwards we headed to power yoga. Doesn't seem any more extreme than other classes, although, the yogi can clearly master many poses, I estimate not many others can. What I love about yoga, is that it teaches me to appreciate how you can work with your own body, and strengthen areas that give you difficulty. If I'm unable to support myself in one area, I know what I need to work on.
I've also been working on my running a lot to prepare for the half marathon I signed up for in August. My goal is to do it without the baby-less jogger. I can do 5 now without it, I'm not all that worried about strength training, but I am worried about getting tired on the course. I'm not really able to perceive normal signs of fatigue, and go until I miss a step and fall. And then repeat that until I hurt myself. So there you have it, my lengthy explanation of why I push myself to run.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rambling thoughts...

No idea what to write about today. I often get up early Saturday's, to go a spin class, that I often don't get there early enough to even get a bike. I forgot to call for a ride yesterday, so I opted to sleep the morning away instead. Later, I'll head downtown to check out the farmers market, and some kind of seed swap type-deal my roommate helped organize. I hadn't been able to figure out exactly what it was, and was curious. I wanted to check out the farmers market before hand, but sleeping all morning wasn't particularly conducive to that. I feel like my old , manic need to be busy at all times is slowly returning. Probably why I've made as much progress, as I have, though I now realize that is one of the reasons I come off as intimidating to others. It would be so nice if we could all admit that we get nervous, and why. It seems so asinine, because most people just avoid each-other, so as not to feel so awkward. Doing my rehab here has given me a really unique perspective on how other people see me. I always thought that people didn't like me, if they wouldn't talk to me, or somehow appeared nervous. Now that I no longer live in an enclave of college students, and am starting to re-enter the community, I'm finding people are so much more approachable, than I'd ever previously thought anyone was.
When I was a teenager, I remember hanging out with some of my closest friends, and my friend Val, in particular, would be stopped, and told how beautiful she was, pretty regularly. I will always remember, how she'd kindly thank then, but be blatantly annoyed that she had received this lovely compliment. I couldn't understand it, until it started happening to me. It seems like such z kind thing to say, but when stated in a impersonal manner, by someone that doesn't know you, it's totally weird, and a little freaky. Beauty , is in the eye of the beholder, yes, but I would want to know someone inside-out before I declared them beautiful. And yes, it's a lovely compliment, I'm just saying it also feels pretty awkward. Especially, when you're with other people. Maybe I'm the weirdo, cause being complimented freaks me out. But, in this instance it does. And I also don't get why having a disability seems to have made me more approachable. In college, I was really unsure of myself, and tended to think people liked me very much. I did everything I possibly could fit into my schedule, and never thought much about that. I think, maybe because I had so much energy, but I never really slowed down enough to realize that other people aren't as spastic. The more progress I make, the more inclined I feel, to go that route again.I feel this overwhelming need to make up for all the time I've 'lost' hanging out in my own little world all the time.
Well back to the seed swap, I went to find out what the deal was, and was beyond impressed. Such a unique idea, and really made Burlington feel more like a community, as opposed to the impersonal city, it often feels like now. Everyone from local citizens to larger scale farmers, and garden suppliers had donated seeds. There were half opened seed packets organized by plant group. Flowers, root veggies, leafy greens, herbs, etc. A really cool gathering, and a great way to make seeds available to the community. Just wish I lived somewhere I could grow plants. Always helps. Towards the end, there was a tasty little potluck, I partook in some delicious foods, before getting picked up to go over to a Flynn family gathering. I love how close that family is, and even more, I love that they still want to include me in their gatherings. I had my second dinner when we got there, and then partook in a curious game involving1 word hints and charades. I was kind of nervous I'd loose my balance getting carried away doing something. I managed to stay on my feet, somehow. It was so nice to be able to participate in a game like that, and feel ridiculously self-conscious.
And, now, it's Sunday, and I'm attempting to motivate myself to go troll around in the sun, with my jogger. Being, that's one of goals for the day, I'm going to wrap this up. Thank you for reading this!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love, love, love

I think today is what you make it. If you have people in your life, you love and appreciate, then taken show it! Is it scary? Sometimes, yes! But, the more you're able to put yourself out there and show your appreciation for others, the more appreciated, you, yourself will feel. I know this, because, before my injury, I tried to do everything, I had the slightest interest in, from painting and photography, to rock climbing and rugby (yup, rugby). Those are some things I've tried to rebuild into my life presently. Is it easy? Nope. But, why is it that when we watch others excel in their chosen disciplines, we often say,must be nice to have that skill? Or, how did they get so lucky? It's not luck or fortune that allows people to excel, it's perseverance and passion.
Today, in my opinion, is about celebrating the people in your life, for whom you care about more than words can express. I just want to share my love and gratitude-for everyone, whose touched my life on this long, frustrating, painful journey. And yes, brain injuries are tragic in all those ways, and countless others. Everyone has a different story,different struggles, different accomplishments. Learning to accept myself as who I am now, will be my biggest accomplishment, as I couldn't do it before, and now, I have all the more difficulties to be concerned about, though, I'm also am armed with a more wholesome appreciation for the people close to me.

In a world where everyone is fighting for inclusion on their own terms, it becomes so difficult to discern which path to follow. I'm sure that we all have different allegiances in terms of what we support, but the amount of choices of groups to support is staggering. We wonder why certain individuals 'suffer' fromADD, and various learning disabilities. Keep in nmind, these disorders, or treatments for them, didn't really exist 50 years ago. I never hear people in my parents age group discussing Ritalin, or who to get it from, should the need arise. I grew up with those discussions. Which leads me to yet another annoyance. But wait, this entry was supposed to be about love and appreciation...

Thank you to my amazing family, and friends, who've helped keep pushing to make anything possible!
Happy Valentines Day

Friday, February 3, 2012

Snow dance!!

Here we are on Sunday, I'm obviously at a loss for how to start today's entry. Had a nice, quiet, day to myself. In my opinion, I feel like I need time to be on my own, make my own decisions, re-figure out how I want to deal with life. Kind of complex right? Well, it is for me anyways.

I'm looking forward to an exciting week , I hope. Tomorrow, I'll be pretending I'm writing a grant, begging for money, for CHIPS, the teen center I'm interning with. Tuesday, I sporadically signed myself up for a trip to Montpelier, to share my story, and help keep the TBI waiver program (which entirely supports me) afloat. I always enjoy going to the state house, because it reminds me, how hard other people are working to help me progress, especially when I'm unimaginably angry, frustrated, and confused by what changes are made, and in what time frame. I feel that TBI is a giant umbrella term that addresses any possible damage a person, who may have sustained an injury to the brain. From concussions to strokes, or cracking your head open. It seems particularly unfair to put so many widely varying issues into one category. I go to one, if not, two support groups every month, and hear new, appalling stories about what different people have been through, in regards to their own TBI's. In the past 4 1/2 yrs. I've never met anyone with a condition like mine, in regards to anoxia. Definitely alone in that respect. Depending on what part of a persons brain sustains the most damage, reflects the types of difficulties they may fight with. Every situation is different, therefore every brain injury is different. Personally, I intensely dislike being considered in the same vein, as people who've endured concussions. By all means, I support prevention, but I also feel like we need to widen people's perspectives, in terms of how to approach getting the support the BIA needs, to continue offering their supports to survivors, like me. I'm hopeful, they're able to make themselves heard, in a way that is beneficial, in terms of funding, and raising awareness.

Wednesday, is appropriately the hump in my week. I'm holding out hope, that temps will drop, and snow will fall, so that I can do some snowboarding. I'm half convinced spring is already here. So bizarre to see the lake completely open, with mo ice, even on the shore areas. This no longer seems like a winter oriented location. I thought last year was sad, but this year is far worse. I want to play with my snowshoes, go snowboarding as often as possible. If only..

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rambling on...

Nothing too intriguing to report today. Reviewed my agenda for tomorrows team meeting with my case manager, realized I'd written the same person 2 x about an adaptive kayaking trip, (always good for the ego, when you realize you contacted the same person twice), felt like a crazy fool, when my last roommate stopped in for a visit, goes into the kitchen, and pulls out the 4 mugs, I've been looking for since she left. in my defense, I asked 2 different people to look and pulls the 4 mugs out of the cupboard, that I've been looking for them, lo over the past 2 weeks. Awesome. Though, in my defense, I asked 2 different people took for them last week, and they didn't see them either. Feel like I'm somewhat insane, when I have moments where what I'm looking for is directly in front of me. Fantastic. It was good to catch up though.
Also went to brain injury support group at the nearby rehab. hospital. I don't especially care for this group, as I rarely feel like I can relate to people there. I was drawn in tonight. because 'laughing yoga' was being held, and I was curious about what it entailed. Very unique, and way too much forced laughter, at least on my part. Not a bad thing though, as people seemed to get a kick out of my ridiculous laughter noises. My case manager did a wonderful job selling the idea to me, and many other attendees. Possibly, in a group where people have mostly, all been through serious, life-altering brain injuries, but don't have much else in common, its difficult to find common ground, in terms of comedic preference. It seemed like everyone had a good time though, I was happy I went, and can now endorse laughing yoga. Though, its really unclear to me, as to why yoga is in that statement. At best, it's laughter stretching.