Friday, October 7, 2011

The Desire to Win means the Desire to Work. Thoughts on Healing and the Future.


Hardware. Feels good!

Hi, guys! Its been a bit since I've written, there's been lots of drooling and lots of sleeping. I've had a couple of long walks and hikes and my first post op exam.

The surgery was really succesful, as far as we can tell. My motor nerve seems to have come back 100%, but until I regain hand strength, we won't be able to tell. I can't start doing massage until after November 1, when I'm fully fused, and it will take about 6 weeks of massage to get my hand strength back, so by mid December, we'll know if I got my whole motor nerve back or not.

In the meantime, the headache that I've had for the last three years is GONE. WHAT? Yup. Gone. Wow. That is an unreal and awesome sensation.

Most of the time, the pain I've been living with in my neck, spine, back, shoulder and left arm is gone, but I'm still taking a lot of muscle relaxants and pain killers, so again, we'll have to wait and see. But it feels really promising.

I also am not having Fibro symptoms right now, but Fibro can by knocked out by narcotic drugs, so again, as we wean off the drugs, we'll see.

Woke up on night 2 in the hospital to this beautiful gift sleeping
in the Lazy Boy next to me.
I'm weaning off the collar now since the xrays look so good, I'm trying to be patient, but wow it is hard because I feel strong and I want to get after it.

I'm very lucky to have some folks in my life who have been through this themselves and who remind me to take it slow. The most important thing right now is that in the next four weeks, the fusion happens completely. As soon as I am fused, I  can start getting strong.

So I have this mantra running through my head right now, fuse first strong after, fuse first strong after... can't be strong if you aren't fused.

I'm sleeping as much as I can to aid healing, walking twice a day when I feel strong and resting a lot. I'm trying hard to get off the pain killers, but not so hard that I'm suffering.


Today, I realized that to some extent I've been repressing my stoke for skiing this winter, and toning down my internal hope that I will get invited to tryouts and my internal hope that I'll be able to get my feet where they need to be.

I felt as my condition worsened over the summer that this probably meant that it just wasn't meant to be for me. That the journey had been about the journey and that to some extent the surgery meant the end.

All done, and glad for it!
I felt as I was preparing for surgery like I was preparing to give up on this dream, like I was preparing for the end of my life as I knew it. It had never been about "making" the team, although of course that would be lovely, but just about going to tryouts.

Tryouts became an invitation event, making it one step harder to get to (although I think it will get them a nice field of candidates to chose from). But the consiquence of that change is I can't just go and ski my best.

I was pretty sure that I'd end up going through the motions this fall, getting rejected because I would be weak and have missed summer training, and that would be the sort of anti climactic end to this very educational journey.

Well, let the lessons continue.

I came out of surgery feeling so good! State Farm ponied up some money for a down payment on the surgery, and with that cash, I was able to hire my friend Janice to make nutrient dense vegitarian food that I've been living on.

As a result, I haven't gained weight, I haven't lost THAT much muscle, and I feel really healthy and strong. It occurred to me as I walked into town from the ranch last week, about 7 days out of surgery, that I was way stronger than I had expected.

I relized that my friend Andy had been right, I had been wearing fear for a long time about the unknown of the surgery, and it had been slowly pushing me into the ground.

Now that the surgery was over, no one was going to come and get me and say, "okay, we are ready to take you back" and wheel me into the operating room, I was free.

Free to wake back up, to look up at the mountains, and to remove the restrictions of fear. Free to dream again.

 So I'm applying .There's a piece of me that feels like this may be the most fun year I've had training and playing so far. I'm excited to be a trainer for the ski school. I looked up at Aspen Mountain today at the snow on the top and was thrilled to my toes. I could feel the turns coming on, feel the comeraderie of the locker room, of my skiing family, of all the folks who help each other learn and grow every day.

Unexpected family. The best win so far.
Its such an amazing family to be a part of. A big part of me feels like I've let out a huge breath, like I get to let go and just play and ski and the training will be the result. I feel like I've found my home, found my voice, and that it doesn't want or need to be a loud voice.

I feel like I've found a way to help, and that feels good. I feel like my body didn't let me down, and that feels good. I feel like I get to slow down in intensity and focus hard in work, which I love.

I am so grateful for this process, for the path that's taken me through all of these lessons, some of them over and over and over.


Today, I turned 40.

That seems unreal and ridiculous, but appropriate. I'm not worried or concerned about it, the last 10 years were way more fun than the 10 before it, so I'm expecting things to become more interesting, and I'm excited for the lessons that are on the way for me. I like the process of becoming, even though sometimes in the midst of it I really wish I was done.

Today, I spent the day with Tom, my ex, who is now living in Aspen, and who is now my housemate, and our two boys. We had a birthday breakfast, went to the bookstore, walked to the movies and saw Real Steele, an awesomely cheezy underdog movie that the boys loved.

Aspen Mountain promising fun this year!
I looked at how far we had come, Tom and I, to become good friends again, good enough to live together and be supportive of eachother as we hit bumps and dificulties in our other relationships, and I was just, once again, grateful and amazed that life works this way.

We've talked a lot on this blog about the fact that success is often about the wanting. To want it bad, the will to win, and also that wanting is the easy part.

Tonight, I realized, looking at the success of Tom and I, working through divorce, financial hardship and fear, and being able to beceome close, trusting, respectful friends who share a home, that the Will to Win means the will to work hard enough to win. The desire to win means the desire to fight, to train, to learn, to listen, to put in the hours and hours of hard work in order to acomplish something. You have to have the desire. Not for the prize, but for the work that manifests the prize.

Guess what? I have the will to tryout. I really hope I get invited, I'm excited to share that experience. And if I don't, man, the desire to work hard enough to get there will have been worth it.


Thanks for sharing my birthday with me!!

2 comments:

Liat said...

What a beautiful post! Happy birthday!!

Kate Howe said...

Thanks, Liat! You are such an inspiration to me!