A Life Without Limits

After reading Chrissie Wellington’s memoir I feel like I know her personally. The four time Ironman World Champion is candid about subjects that many people would be more comfortable avoiding (including eating disorders and diarrhea).

The amazing thing about her story is that she was much more of a bookworm than an athlete growing up. When I think of professional athletes I think of people with a natural ability who have been excelling from an early age. Chrissie Wellington did not pursue professional triathlons until she was thirty years old. Her humble  athletic background and late start give her a Cinderella-esque quality that I love`.

She talks in detail throughout the book about the mental toughness that it took to be able to make it through all aspects of the Ironman (training sessions, particular races when problems arose, missing her family, a less than receptive welcome). I can’t imagine anyone not respecting her mentality and I loved learning more about what she was thinking and feeling throughout her journey.

Overall, I thought this book was a great easy read, and I feel like I learned a lot from it. There were sections of the book that seemed a little irrelevant, but who am I to judge someone else’s experience.

Quotes:

“I will always remember my dad’s parting advice: ‘Just seize every opportunity you have, embrace every experience. Make a mark, for all the right reasons.’ I threw myself into it from the start, and I thrived.”

“Running day in, day out with somebody is the quickest way to forge a friendship…You see each other at your rawest, with no makeup or fancy clothes, just Lycra, sweat and sometimes tears.”

“Never imagine anything is impossible, and never stop trying out new things. My life has taken me to so many wonderful places and has truly enriched me. None of it would have been possible if I’d let timidity overcome the impulse to explore.”

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Eventful Evening: Kim’s Version

Hey Guys!

My post describing the accident has gotten ALOT of views (mainly from Kim’s concerned family and friends).  So, since it really is Kim’s story I only thought it would be appropriate for you to hear from her.

Layne invited me to do a guest post on her blog from my perspective of the accident on Monday, which was definitely a whirlwind.  It all began when we left the gym. The door of the clubhouse shut instantly, leaving Layne and myself outside in basically a pen. We could not get our key fob, which instantly should open the gates to work. This situation led us to make a quick decision, or we would have been stuck outside the entire night. Layne decided she would go first and hop over the fence. The picture makes it looks as though Layne moved effortless across it, but fear filled my mind as she propped up against the light post and finally landed on the other side. I knew though that my fate would probably not go as well. I was worried not as limber, and definitely not as quick on my feet. As it became my turn to get over the fence, I was worried and scared not knowing if I could maneuver over the fence. I sucked up the courage and went for it. When I was on top of the gate I could not find sufficient placing’s for both of my feet. The next thing I remember I could see a rod underneath the skin of my leg, though I did not feel any pain from the entry I knew something was not right. I had placed my right leg on the ground, with my left leg stuck on the post of the gate. I think Layne and I both thought it was just my workout leggings stuck, but deep  down I knew it was worse than that. We instantly decided to get my leggings off. As  I tried to pull my leggings up, layne had ripped the material. The next thing I knew I was on the ground. I was clinching my leg due to the blood that was flowing out.I was trying to think of a logical thing to say or do, but all I could do was realize that the situation was not just a cut, as a saw white moist pieces of my skin all over the ground and the gate. I knew it was not a good situation. I have anxiety as it is, so in seeing my own flesh on the ground I instantly started screaming and crying. The next 10 minutes felt like an eternity, I could see people coming out of their apartments to see what was going on, but no one was helping, I could also hear Layne on the phone, but she was far away from me because I was so upset, and causing a scene. The paramedics and fire department arrived, and I instantly became more upset, and anxious. I felt as though I was alone, and scared.  I had no idea if I would need surgery or what their plan of action was for me. As I moved from the ground to the ambulance, I was scared, shaken, and alone. I was having an anxiety attack in the ambulance and the paramedics did not seem to care or have any disregard as they stuck an 18-gauge needle in my hand to start and IV. As we made the ever long trip to Emergency Room, I cried, I could not breathe, I was too upset to think, I was so worried, and had no one to talk too. As we arrived at the hospital, I was rushed into a room of 30 people, which made my anxiety skyrocket. As my anxiety rose, the kindness from the hospital staff tried to assure my safety. I become grossed out easily so I did not want to hear about it. But I did hear about my 5 Inch gash that was in my leg and became concerned. They did X-rays on me , as they were stabilizing me. I knew that everything they were doing was for the better but it was ultimately one of the scariest things I had to undergo. They cut off my pants(well what was remaining of them). I felt as though those pants that helped me through my first 13.1 miles was strength that was leaving my body. It was one of the more emotional pieces of clothing I have held on too. Once the doctors had me stable enough, they allowed me to have my phone in which I contacted my family and Layne. Layne through this has been extremely helpful , and almost like a sister to me. I appreciate all that she has done for me. When Layne entered the trauma bay you could tell that she was concerned but wanted to ensure I was okay. It was somewhat fitting that when she entered the room they decided to irrigate my section of flesh that was missing. This they said would be vital in it healing properly. This was the most pain I have ever encountered. Even though I was on pain medication through my IV, it was like someone was ripping out my flesh. It felt awful, and the doctors had to stop twice, I could not breathe from the overwhelming pain. Once they dressed my wound, and Layne had passed out, which was due from a lack of grossness, and seeing the pain I was occurring I felt awful. All Layne was trying to do was to help me, and at this point I could tell the night was wearing on her. Once Layne and I were both taken care of, and I could sit up and chat with her and Nurse Charlotte, I felt assure I would be okay. As if the night was never ending, my prescription was messed up and we ended up back at the Emergency Room, 15 minutes after we had left. Layne though was so helpful and caring, it made me feel better, even though I was dehydrated and out of it. After I almost passed out in CVS, we made our way back to our apartment, where I was able to go to sleep at 4 in the morning. It was such a long night. Even though the bruising and swelling has not receded as much as I would have enjoyed from being 4 days later. The lessons I have learned are exponential. I have realized life is more about the simple things and helping others as they have helped me. I am still undergoing pain daily, and it is mentally exhausting, I will never be able to forget how strong I am. Layne even though she does not want to admit it, saved my life. IT could have been so much worse, if our actions were not done properly. I could have hit my head, or punctured through my leg, or even worse hit my femur, or tore a ligament in my knee. I want to thank Layne for letting me share my side of the event as well, as thank her for all the pain she endured for helping me from the fence. Thanks Layne!!!!

Thankful Things Thursday: Accident Edition

Well it’s Thankful Things Thursday; although these are normally the easiest posts to write, I have found myself procrastinating on this week’s edition. Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty to be thankful for, but I feel like following the accident I was involved with on Monday it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I am thankful. I just have this general feeling of relief.

  • I’m thankful for Charlotte, she was the amazing trauma nurse that was called in to take care of Kim. She did a great job of keeping my roommate calm (not easy to do), and caught me when I fainted. She was a great lady, and I am so glad she was there to take care of us.
  • I’m thankful for my friend Lacie. She is a nursing student and came over the first two days to help me with wound care. I don’t know what we would have done without her assistance!
  • I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am that I did not decide to go to nursing school myself. I hate this crap. I’m happy to do it for Kim, but would never ever ever want to make a career of it. OHMYGOD I am so thankful that I am not a nurse!
  • I’m thankful for paramedics who do not approach victims and ask them if they have been drinking before providing any sort of assistance. MAN! it would have been nice to have some of those around the other night.
  • Kim put gas in my car for being her chauffeur this week. Of course I did not mind driving her around one bit, but a little fuel is always helpful.
  • I’m thankful that there is a drug store open 24/7. I am still surprised. I had no idea that such a thing exists- IT DOES and it was very helpful.

I hope that you all have a weekend full of things to be thankful for as well!

Rainy Day Musings

It is storming like crazy complete with flooding and hail here. Of course I did not plan ahead, so my computer is dead and I’m too scared of a power surge to charge it.

The rooms is doing okay. She is still a little shaken up by the experience. Neither of us are able to look at the fences surrounding our apartment complex the same way. We’ve been able to patch up her wound without too much drama (no more fainting on my end), and she’s hanging in there.

We took a walk around our apartment complex today. This was obviously a little painful for her, but the doctors instructed her that movement would be beneficial.

GOOD NEWS: I have lost a little over six pounds since graduation. I had an inkling that I had lost some weight (otherwise I wouldn’t have stepped foot on that scale), but am surprised by how much. Without the stressors associated with school, I have been doing a lot less munching on the go and emotional eating. I’m really excited and definitely plan to keep it up!

My legs feel ridiculously sore. I think in part I’m having sympathy pains for poor Kim. The stadium workout on Monday obviously kicked my butt (or calves). I’ve been trying to keep my complaints to a minimum (the rooms threatens to smack me whenever I do), and have been going at them with tennis ball massages. I think that they are helping (I hope so anyways).

Happy Wednesday!

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Eventful Evening

Well my day yesterDAY continued going swimmingly, but that NIGHT all hell broke loose. Things went from this…

to this…

in a matter of minutes.

Here is what happened… The roommate and I went to the gym at our apartment complex for a late night workout. Our gym is open 24 hours, but you have to have a clicker to get into it. Our clicker was not working properly, so we just went into the gym by way of the clubhouse (no big deal). After our workout we exited the gym the same way that we initially attempted to enter because at that point the clubhouse was closed. What we did not anticipate was that the gate to the pool was locked, and we found ourselves trapped in this little alcove between the pool, gym and clubhouse. I know that this sounds confusing, so I drew you up a visual.

So, we moved some patio furniture around in order to get over the fence and out of our prison. I hopped over the fence no problem (I’m pretty good at climbing on things. I chalk it up to my cheerleading/ gymnastics days). Then Kim tried to climb over it. The table she used was wobbly and threw her off balance. She slipped and got her leg caught on the wrought iron fence. She was stuck with the fence cutting into her leg. I went into cheerleader mode and tried my best to lift her up. I had to rip her pants because they were caught. Then, while I was doing my best to continue hoisting her into the air I lifted her leg off of where it had been penetrated (the official medical terminology used) by the fence. She was screaming the whole time. She obviously could not walk at this point and we were still trapped in a fence with all of the gates locked (see diagram). I called 911; they sent an ambulance and a firetruck, busted into the gate and carried my roommate off to the hospital where we spent the next five hours.

Although I tried my best to be a brave supportive friend throughout the process I actually passed out in the ER while they were cleaning her wound (so embarrassing).

The whole evening was so traumatic (we spent a good portion of our night in the “trauma bay”) and scary. It really put things into perspective. Here I’ve been whining and crying about not knowing about graduate school when I should have just been thankful for my health and safety.

Although Kim is still in a lot of pain, and dressing her wound every day is not going to be fun, I am just so so so happy that she is okay, and that her leg was the only thing was hurt. She could have easily hit her head on the pavement and things could have ended up so much worse.

Here she is all patched up.

Waiting Game

Happy Monday! I’m currently blogging from my iPhone at the pool so my apologizes if this post seems a bit thrown together.

Yes, I am at the pool. Apparently that’s what all underemployed recent college graduates do in their free time. I am pretending like I am on a tropical vacation rather than in the thick of graduate school purgatory.

At this point it’s just a waiting game. I’ve done everything that I can to submit a strong application, now it’s a matter of my final recommendation letter being submitted and being officially notified.

I met with faculty from my potential program last week and they said all kinds of positive things like,
“excellent student” “very strong application” “great fit for the program” and my all time favorite”I don’t see why you wouldn’t get in”.

But all of those compliments aside…nothing has been decided yet and I feel like I am about to explode!

Seeing as how I am now a mature adult I decided to channel this anxiety in a positive way by exhausting my legs this morning at the football stadium. I ran up the stairs and then walked down them… Every row all the way from A to DDD! I did a whole section of the stadium. I planned to do another set but by the time I was finished my legs were shaking uncontrollably. It actually felt great! I was scared that it was going to be sketchy and that someone from maintenance would yell at me for trespassing on Dowdy Ficklen property, but the only other person I saw was working out also. It made for a great morning.

I can only hope that the rest of the week pans out as nicely.

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Thankful Things Thursday

Well it’s Thursday again, and y’all know what that means… It has been way too long since my last thankful post!

  • Finally being on board with technology- I LOVE my iPhone. Love it. Love it. Love it. Don’t believe me? Check out this tweet!

Told Ya!

I’m also thankful for all of the clever apps that I now have at my disposal. Calorie Counters, Mileage Trackers, and games are great.

Anyone need a portrait painted? I’d be happy to put my artistic skills to use!

But my FAVORITE thing about the iPhone is Twitter! Twitter is fun! Using words like tweet and tweedos is fun. Inserting #s and @s is fun. Having more direct communication with my blog friends (is it okay for me to call you guys that or am I being too forward here?) is exciting! Want to follow me??? 

  • I’m thankful for incredibly accommodating and helpful faculty members. I’ve been chatting with people all week about graduate school opportunities. Although I am still waiting for a few things to go through before I have a definitive answer I am feeling pretty pumped and confident.
  • The sweet cards and gifts I have received for graduation- Maybe it’s tacky for me to mention these on the blog, but I can’t help myself. It is just so thoughtful of people to send me their congratulations and notes. It’s touching how many people are proud of me and want to share in the excitement of all that is happening.
  • Books- and time to read them. I made the mistake of beginning the Hunger Games Trilogy right before exams. That could have been terrible! Luckily, I got through them pretty quickly and was able to get back into study mode. Now I am thoroughly enjoying some leisurely reading materials.
  • Last and probably most importantly, I am thankful for my mom. Today is her birthday! Everyone always thinks that their mom is the best, but they are all wrong. MY MOM IS THE BEST!