A Tuesday Quote

“The best part of falling is picking yourself up and climbing back up.” -Manuel

I am starting from the bottom (or very close to it) with running, as I was venting to Manuel about how out of shape I am, he texted me the above quote.

Everyone has setbacks in running (and in life), they make us stronger, keep us humble and help us appreciate the good things when they happen.

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Winter Cabin-ing

Due to my injury this winter, I haven’t had a chance to participate in all the ‘fun’ winter activities in the Yukon. (Fun is very subjective because how much fun can one reaaaaallly have in -30?) The long Easter week-end was the first time I really got out and enjoyed the beauty of the North.

Travel: Manuel, myself and our friends Shelly and Gil rented a cabin through Cabin Fever Adventures for the weekend.Image

We parked about 35 minutes out of town and hiked in 6.3km to an AWESOME cabin in the woods. It was seriously so perfect! Like a secret gem we had discovered.

The walk into the cabin was fun… for me.Image

Poor Manuel, had to carry our sled in and the first 2km were straight up-hill and on really un-even terrian. The sled kept tipping over and I was supposed to be watching to warn him but uhh, the scenery was really pretty and I am very easily distracted. It was a miracle we didn’t break up on the way out.

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The cabin was secluded on a lake that’s stocked with Arctic Char. The family who runs Cabin Fever Adventures used to live out there so it was fully stocked with everything you would ever need. I loved rubbing this in Manuel’s face because he insisted on bringing our own camping supplies and therefore he had to lug an even heavier sled.

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Our strenuous weekend activities included ice fishing, snow shoeing and practicing our sling shot aim. (Discovered I have none, shocking.)

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Plus, melting snow for water. You have this huge pot of snow and it melts to about 1 cup. Worst! We had to re-fill like every 5 minutes.

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Eat: We ate delicious food all weekend, lots of bacon!

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One of the highlights was an Italian meatball recipe that Manuel found from watching Best Recipes Ever.

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Run: I tried snow shoe running for >100m. It’s really hard especially with a drink in hand.

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All in all, a very fun and successful weekend away from the ‘city’ and my back felt great the whole time. I think this will become an Easter tradition.

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PS: I know it’s spring in most places but it’s winter in the Yukon until at least May.

Mexico- Whitehorse- Vancouver: Part 3

I don’t know why I am taking 10 years to write about my injury. I am going to speed this whole injury re-cap process up because I want to post about happier subjects like recovery and new goals. Also, I get really emotional thinking about it and that’s not fun. I also get really emotional during The Amazing Race (the dad and son team!!) and The Biggest Loser (don’t even look at me when Bob is telling a contestant how amazing they are) so maybe I am just overly sensitive lately.

Let’s break it DOWN.

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- Went back to the resort with my ‘muscle spasms’ after the Mexico hospital and everyone gave me advice on what to do. Felt like huge wimp because a pulled back muscle was causing me so much pain.

- Forced myself to lay out and try swimming to ‘loosen’ up.

- Tried pain killers, herbal meds, muscle relaxers, ice, creams, (ice cream, har har) EVERYTHING! I would think for a minute that maybe it was helping but it wasn’t.

- 2 days later, we head out. Sitting in a plane for 4+ hours was not fun. I just tried to knock myself out with pain meds so I could sleep.  I knew something was really wrong when I had left my family and was on my way back to Whitehorse and couldn’t stand up anymore. My luggage was also over-weight so that was fun.

- Arrive home  at 1am and collapse in bed. The next morning, Manuel takes me to the ER.

- When the doctor looked at my x-rays from Mexico, right away he said that it looked like it was broken. I went and took more x-rays and afterwards the doctor told me to lay down and not move at all. My back was severely broken.

- I was stuck in this strange spinal board since the other boards were being used.It was like a cone that clipped underneath. It kept pinching me!

-  I was given a CAT scan. When the doctor came back with the results he asked me if I was ready to see it. Umm ya, sure?! My vertebrae was shattered and there were bone fragments everywhere.

- So now I can’t stop crying. Even though I could walk this whole time when the doctor told me I may become paralyzed I was so scared. All my doctors and nurses were so, so kind and sweet to me. This was the first time I had ever broken anything/ been in the hospital for an extended period and I cannot say enough good things about these people.

- Then, I was medevac to Vancouver. The only thing I can really remember about that was that my butt was too big for the spinal board and it was a very uncomfortable 3.5 hour flight.

- I hung out in the ER for a while with my family (so lucky they live in Vancouver) and had a lot of tests done. Lots of movement and circulation tests were done. Push your foot up, now down, etc. Then I got to sleep on the spinal floor with really comfy pillows.

- First thing, Monday morning I had surgery. My doctors were AMAZING. My head doctor was a neurologist and spinal surgeon. He fused together the 2 vertebrae above and below T7 so that it was secure.  IMG_2862

- I’ve been told so many times how lucky I am and I really feel that way. My bone had been shattered and there were little bone flakes everywhere.  The fact that they didn’t cut into my spinal cord and cause neurological damage is amazing.

- Also, I have the best friends and family in.the.world. I can’t get over how lucky I am.

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So that is what I went through 3+ months ago! Now it’s recovery time.

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Feed Me!

I interrupt the injury recap to talk about FOOD…

Exercising took up a large part of my life before I was injured. Between working two jobs and crossfit, running and yoga, I didn’t have much extra time to cook nor did I really like too. Some people find it relaxing and therapeutic, I just want to stuff food in my face as fast as I can when I am hungry.  Thankfully, I live with a guy that loves and has the patience to make delicious meals otherwise I would live off hummus, carrot sticks and chocolate.

Sing it, sista

Sing it, sista.

While I was recovering in the hospital, I made goals about all the new hobbies I would take up since I wouldn’t be able to exercise and would have a lot more free time.  I figured I would learn to knit, read new books, cook, take up crafting, you know, become a total renaissance women. In reality, I read one book. You would judge me if you knew how many episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians I watched. People always asked me if I was really bored, but honestly, I don’t remember ever being bored! I valued my ‘Amelia’ time.

I did get into the show Homeland which was SO good (must watch) but other than that I watched a lot of reality TV and organized my email folders.

However, my cooking dream did not die! (Mostly because Manuel reminded me every day that I was going to start cooking once I was better.) So I read a lot of food blogs and bookmarked recipes but when the time came to make dinner, I was too impatient to prep or wait for a recipe to cook. I decided that if I really wanted to start cooking more, buying a cookbook would help. So I ‘researched’ (read amazon reviews) my options and decided on Jamie Oliver’s- Cook.  It sounded like a good starting point.

Umm, this book is too difficult!  The book is huge which I find over-whelming and the recipes are a lot more complicated and time intensive than I thought they would be. They also have ingredients that I don’t use and cannot find in the Yukon. Fail. Haven’t used it once. Re-gift?

Sad day for me too, Jamie.

Sad day for me too, Jamie.

HOWEVER, this was just a long-winded way of saying that I have started cooking and here are a few EASY recipes that I have tried and liked if you’re in the market to start cooking!

-Paleo Pumpkin Granola- My friend Sam introduced me to this granola and I make it all the time now. It’s a delicious snack. (There is a great recipe for an oatmeal bake on her blog now!)

- Cauliflower Pizza Crust – Made this for girl’s night once and I was surprised how tasty it turned out.

- Life- Changing Loaf of Bread-  I think this is my favourite new recipe! It is SO easy and the only weird ingredient is psyllium husks but that can be found at most health food stores. It tastes great toasted with almond butter or nutella! Yum. img_0171

- Quinoa Chicken Balls- I loosely followed this recipe but substituted bacon with chicken and swapped a few of the veggies. Next time, I think I would add hot peppers.

- Maple Sweet Potato Hash- I made this tonight and about to eat it all! I substituted the breakfast sausage with grouse that Manuel caught. Living off the land here peeps.

That’s all I’ve got. Five recipes in 3 months… it’s a start!

San Jose Hospital: Part 2

Wow, it takes a long time for me to recap something that happened 3 months ago.

Continuing on…

So, how I broke my back was pretty un-climatic but my story doesn’t end there. The guys from Edmonton who rescued me, thought I was just having muscle spasms because when they touched my back i didn’t feel any extra pain. I have had muscle spasms before and I know they are painful (but not like this) but I just went with it. When the EMS arrived, they felt up and down my spine and didn’t think it was broken either. I don’t think anyone knew how much pain I was in.  Since the EMS didn’t think it was broken, they were not that gentle putting me on the spinal board!

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My sister and I rode together to the hospital. She was really helpful and took pictures. Memories!! Thanks sissy.

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At the hospital, I was placed in a room (duh) with another man who had the grossest story. He had ulcers inside his body  and they had burst and he started bleeding out of everything!! He also owned a really nice restaurant and knew our good friend, George Clooney and Ange and had been Princess Diane’s private chef. So that made up for the gross story he told us. Even when in pain, I love me some celebrity gossip. Another thing he told us, was that this was the best hospital in Mexico… umm foreshadowing… I think that was a lie.

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Anyway, I get wheeled away and into the x-ray room where they have to move me onto the x-ray table. I think there were only 3 people working that day, one being an 80 pound girl. That was a struggle. They would go away, come back, lift an arm, take an x-ray and leave. Finally, the x-ray technician (I think) came back and told me not to worry. My back wasn’t broken. Yay! I was very relieved. They wheeled me back into the room with my main man, Princess Diane’s Chef (who was having a freak-out because he needed to use his computer, probably to email George). The doctor came in and told me that I was just having muscle spasms and I would be back on the beach tomorrow. (!!!???) He put me on an IV of muscle relaxant and pain killers. The IV drip was SO slow, I was there for 6+ hours.  During this time, my poor cousin  her new husband came rushing to the hospital because Paige had called the hotel trying to find someone to tell. Not the best way to spend the day after your wedding, love you guys! My parents eventually came  (they had snorkelled in Cabos) and hung out with me while I watched the IV drip, so slowly. I wanted them to jack that thing up!

Eventually it was time to go, I knew when I sat up (with a lot of help) that this wasn’t  just a muscle spasm… (This story is so not suspenseful at all.)

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How I Broke My Back In Mexico: Part 1

They say that everyone has one moment in their lives that changes them forever and they are never the same. (That sounds super dramatic but that’s what ‘they’ say. PS: No idea who ‘they’ is.) So far in my life, I think the moment by back hit the sand on the beaches of Los Cabos was my moment. Here is my story for anyone who cares or wonders why I had so many friends telling me to get better on Facebook. (You guys are the best!)

I was with my family in Mexico for my beautiful cousin’s wedding. Luckily, the wedding was earlier in the week and I got to enjoy the majority of the celebration before I hurt myself.

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We stayed at Dreams Los Cabos and weren’t allowed to swim on the beach in front of our hotel. I went to an information session about the resort and a worker mentioned that it was just recommended that we don’t swim but if we were strong swimmers we would probably be fine. Me, being the ex-swimmer that I am totally commented that I could swim there, ha. Famous last words. I didn’t end up swimming at our resort but I’m sure if someone had suggested it, I would have.

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On Friday, my sister and I walked down the beach because George Clooney was staying 400m away!! Stalkers in da house.

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After a quick dip with George, we continued on our way to go swimming.

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I am just kidding. We didn’t swim with George. We didn’t even seem him or Stace. Next time, Gerogie Poo. Kiss, kiss.

So, there was a section of the beach about 20 mins away that was safe for swimming. The waves were big but not crazy scary and it was fun to ride them in. I actually hate riding waves all the way to the shore because all the sand gets in your bathing suit and it hurts. I end up finding sand for days! Anyway, we are getting hungry and it was tequila-o-clock so I decided to ride one more wave in. It was huge and I caught the break at the perfect time, I switched over to ride in on my back to prevent sand chafing and flashing my lady bits to the beach and my timing was off. I turned onto my back as the wave was crashing and slammed down onto the sand. I remember feeling a crack and then bouncing into the shore. Little did I know. vertebrae #7= Shattered.

The scariest part was that I couldn’t breathe at all. I was waving one hand, trying to get someone’s attention but I looked like I was coughing up water. I couldn’t move out of cat’s pose. My sister and a couple of guys came to help me since I was still in the surf. I couldn’t straighten my body so the guys had the idea to put me on a boogie board and carry me up to a beach chair.  I remember wishing that I could just pass out because the pain was so strong. I also remember telling my sister that I thought my back was broken but being really happy I could move my legs. I’m so lucky they were there and I could hold my sister’s hand. The EMS came and put me on a spinal board and we headed to the hospital in San Jose. That was the opposite of fun.

Broken Back= Back to Blogging

Today, I received one of those WordPress blogger statistic emails that compares your blog views to how many people died on the Titanic (not really but it was something about a boat).  Anyway, it got me thinking about this ol’ blog of mine which I mainly avoid because I HATE reading what I wrote (it is so embarrassing) and the fact that I recently broke my back. This means I have a lot of free time and am slowly going crazy. It also means I constantly read about other people’s injuries and recovery and become paranoid that I will be in pain forever and never run again. I do realize that reading about how a 60 year old man recovered from a back fusion on a completely different part of his back is not how I will recover but I can’t stop! 

 I want to start blogging again so that I can document my recovery to keep family and friends informed.  I also hope that my experience will either help someone going through a similar injury or be a huge DO NOT DO WHAT I DID. Everyone cross their fingers for me. 

That’s all for now. It’s +1 in the Yukon today. I have to go stand outside without 14 layers on and soak in the darkness. 

Next, I will tell you all about what it is like to break your back while on vacation in Mexico.