Well, I was really hoping to have time to sit down at my computer and write a couple of blog posts this week as I was getting ready to go into surgery, but it's been a very difficult week, so here's going to be kind of the long version and then I'm going to sign off for a couple of days and I will have a friend give you guys updates on how I am doing if you're interested.
So let's see. Andy came up to me a couple of, let's see, what was it three weeks ago, (this is my friend who and my boss who just had a single-level fusion done last year on his neck)... and you know what? I was not supportive enough of him before he had it done. He seemed so together and like it was going to be fine and so, and like I'd heard about other people doing it and he's so strong. It did not occur to me that he might be scared. He hides it really well, and going through this now, looking back at that I think, like I asked him if he needed anything and I asked him if he wanted me to come by, but I never just took the initiative and came by and I wish that I had because looking at it from this end he went through some really tough stuff, and I know he had people supporting him but wow, I wish I had done more.
He's been amazing as I've been heading into this surgery. He has always had a very uncanny insight into when to be brutally honest. It's something I really love and admire about him and I'm so grateful for his friendship because of that quality. Andy always tells me the truth and that's a rare thing, so he had neck fused and a couple of weeks ago he came up to me and he said, "Kate, you are way more depressed and way more scared than you even know right now."
And I looked at him and I was like "What?"
"No, I'm actually doing okay, like I'm handling this."
But you know what? He was, of course, absolutely right. Every evening I sort of have to do this kind of systems check and I realize how stressful this is to, and I want...
Here's the thing.
I want to record what is real about this. I feel like I ought to put up some sort of post that says:
"Okay, going into surgery, feeling really good about it." Which is partially true, but this whole blog was always meant to be some sort of exercise in reality, a log of what it's like to go through the life experiences that get thrown at and kind of what my emotional responses are.
I'm sort of wondering if they're similar to what other people go through. I guess the reason that I write from my own perspective and talk so much about how I'm feeling as I experience the things that happen in my life is because I feel like there's probably a bunch of other people out there that go through a lot of similar things because I do get a lot of emails back from you guys even though there's not a lot of posting commentary.
I feel like that is true, that it's more of a conversation about: Lets be Honest. So I am scared.
At first I was scared of stupid things. At first I was scared that I would be... no, before I was scared I was angry. I was angry because Curt and I were supposed to go to Ushuaia to train for three weeks, and I felt like I had four or five opportunities to go south and train for Chile and then I kept feeling like well, that one didn't pan out but that's okay, you know, we have all of September and all of October, so it's not a big deal.
And then I was really grateful to get to interview with Robin for a job in Portillo and it didn't happen. I didn't end up getting to go, but my best friend did get to go and I was so super psyched for Cindy and I got to kind of live vicariously through her posts and her beautiful pictures. And i got to hear from my friend, Andrew Rumpf, who got hired over there.
Between the two of them to just like experience their joy and how cool it was to be in that community and have that job and learn to speak another language better, like it was, that was a very, very cool thing.
I was so stoked for Cindy and she's such a beautiful person, she has a just a beautiful smile and such a beautiful spirit and watching her really grow into herself over the summer was just rad, and I was really, really excited to see that and when she came back we had lunch and I was like, oh my God, tell me all about it, you know, tell me everything.
And she had grown and become and it was awesome to see. It felt like this is so good, you know, like however it's meant to be, it's meant to be. I mean I don't really believe in fate but I do believe in acceptance.
I believe In accepting what comes toward you and then looking for the next lesson or path out of that, so for that reason I don't really believe in blame or judgment or criticism or jealousy or using somebody else's life experiences to reflect against your own and say, like when Cindy got hired I didn't feel like oh, you know, goddamn it, I didn't feel jealous of Cindy.
I felt really happy for Cindy, so I thought to myself like okay, well now, you know, this is Cindy's time so let's see what I can learn from her experience there and then I will make my own experience at another place, like clearly it just wasn't meant to happen in Portillo this year, so it was great to enjoy her experience and then and Andrew's experience and to talk to Robin a little about the season was going just briefly.
They're so busy, but to get to connect a little bit with those folks there. I was hoping to go out there with some clients and then that didn't pan out, but I'm sure that they had a great time with whoever they ended up skiing with because the Portillo ski school is well done, so, and I was like, you know when that didn't happen I just felt like well, you know, all right, no worries, so that's not how that was meant to happen, and I need practice putting together overseas trips and how to take clients on them and over time I'm sure I'll learn how to do that, because it's something that I'm interested in doing.
but anyway, I know this is rambly and I'm not going to get to edit it, so welcome to Kate's brain, like a little bit stressed out the day before surgery, but there are some things I want to say so thanks for sticking with me.
Anyway, so then I was like okay, well let's go to Portillo and then Kurt said why don't we go to Ushuaia, which is this wonderful really little place that nobody really knows about. It's the farthest south you can go and still have a chair lift and it's near Patagonia, which is dear to my heart.
I was fortunate enough to go see the premiere of 180 Degrees South and get to meet Yvon Chouinard and I went with Bill Briggs. I was his date for the premiere there and got to go and talk to Yvon and Bill and stand there, before the movie in this little group of people and hear the two of them talk about how life changes and how opportunities change, and I heard Yvon say to Bill: "well I don't climb anymore. It hurts my hands too much and so now I fish."
and I was thinking about what it would be like for somebody like Yvon to have his passion go away, and then while I was listening to them I was thinking about what it was like for Bill when he was going to, he was the first guy to ski Mount Rainier and he thought that it was going to be the last thing he ever skied, because of his injury.
He was born with a piece missing in his hip and in that year, I think it was 1976, 1971, 1976 something like that, he was in so much pain that he had to stop skiing, so he had a surgery planned to have his hip fused together and so his friends took him up Rainier and he skied it, and he skied it thinking it was going to be his last ski ever.
He had to climb the mountain and then ski back down it and it was a first descent with a group of people of like 10 or 12 of his friends and then had to cross some crevasses and they were really worried about him, and he was roped to another skier and he jumped a crevasse and the rope wasn't long enough and they almost lost him down the crevasse, and he's such a beautiful and excellent skier still to this day even though he has had his hip fused.
when Bill was going through this he thought to himself, this is the last time I'll ever do my favorite thing. They didn't think he'd walk let alone ski, they just were trying to take him out of pain and, of course, after he recovered.
He met a yoga instructor in New York who also practiced Scientology, and Bill started doing yoga and got strong and started to develop a deep belief in Scientology and his faith and his yoga practice helped him to find some inner strength that changed his understanding and his life.
He got strong again, and of course became the first man ever to ski the Grand Teton and he did it by himself, he climbed it and he skied it, but anyway, so I'm standing there at this premiere and I'm watching these two legends talk about loss and about what it's like to know that the thing that has inspired you and fired you and fueled you is gone.
I didn't really know what the movie 180 Degrees South was about that time because I hadn't seen it yet. I was in town to see Bill and have lunch and spend some time with him and get to know him better, and so it was just sort of a happy accident that I ended up standing in this group of people beforehand, and of course I made some sort of ridiculous comment to Yvon.
(you know as I'm fishing frantically in my head, I think honestly it's the first time ever in my life I've ever been starstruck, when I was like: this is the guy that lived in his camper and ate rates and lived in Camp 4 and invented, like put curved tips on ice axes so we can climb over hanging ice and like ooooohhh my God what do you say to this man,)
and so I asked him when I found out that he couldn't climb anymore, that he had stopped climbing years ago because his hands hurt too much. I asked him oh well, have you ever been helicopter fishing? and I've never been helicopter fishing, I have no desire to go helicopter fishing.
First of all, I'm a vegetarian. And I think I have all of the same values that this eco-friendly, eco-conscious company that I really admire does and he looks at me and he's like "nope, that's too rich for my blood" and I'm thinking to myself as soon as I say it I'm like
"oh my God, like Kate, you moron, like how could you say something like that to a person who's like: we should use less fuel, but anyway, so that was my moment of ultimate stupidity because I don't know anything about fishing, so I didn't know what else to tell him, like isn't fishing fun, yea!"
so then I just stopped talking which was a gift because I got to listen to these two old friends talk about loss. I feel right now like I am facing loss, but it's not nearly of that scale, but it feels deeper than I ever thought that it would for several reasons.
First of all, I've been training for six years to see if I could do this experiment, like can a normal person with a normal amount of money, and sometimes less than a normal amount of money, train hard enough to make their body strong enough and gain a deep enough technical understanding and foundation to do something extraordinary with their body, like compete against the top, whatever, 50 ski instructors in the country and have a viable physical ability to do it, and I feel so very much like that possibility for me was robbed by this car accident and I feel like I've spent the last three years fighting that feeling as hard as I can so that I don't blame somebody else, or I don't live in the what if, but I just live in the okay here's where we are now, now what. Let's move forward, let's be proactive, let's be intelligent, let's be strong, all of those kinds of things.
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