Monday, November 20, 2017

Honesty ... for now

I am.
I am so many things.

I am frustrated, sad, regretful, pissed, confused, pissed-- pissed again.  Sometimes I am depressed, wonder if I should be here.  Its true.  Its sad.  Especially given our communities recent crazy-in-our- face losses and near misses.  We have all dealt with loss, I guess this loss is one I am unfamiliar with coupled with the terrible losses we are familiar with.

These thoughts are not generally my demeanor.  Here we are now.

I laugh, hard core belly chuckles.

I have snorted again.  Will I handstand again?

I can't believe that this is where I am at.  My decision to not fully listen to myself.  My decision to push it a little bit, reflecting back, push it for me even.  I told Josie I wanted to try hard this day, get us closer to our projected/needed time for future endeavors.

I usually place 2 cams and crack jummar up the Boot Flake.  Free climbing some, back cleaning the whole thing but using cams.  This day, once through the techy start, I used one red camelot attached to my daisy.   I even removed it for a minute and thought, "I shouldn't do that."  A few minutes later I fell.  No memory yet of the exact moment.  Obviously a failure.

I hesitated climbing off of Texas Flake, feeling a little off.  My decision to drive to Yosemite given the end of my work season at RMNP,  my woes with climbing and personal life.  Karla told me I shouldn't' "run away" to Yosemite.  My body wanted to go to Indian Creek and just soak up some sun.  Go mountain biking and running.   I promised people I would come to Yosemite, I booked campsites, my ego wanted to see about certain ideas I had been scheming.  EGO needed to keep pushing.


I don't know if I will stand on top of Longs Peak again.  I loved my job as a climbing ranger, my co-workers and my easy comfortable amazing lifestyle.

Will I ever walk hand in hand with Max again...WALK hand in hand. BE with MAX?  Live a life without diapers and worrying about shitting in the middle of the night because I have no control?

I am not used to leaning on others.  Nor do I like it.  Asking for help, like for the rest of my life?  I have never been in the hospital.  I liked living simply and under the radar.  Bills, future needs like changing my car so I can drive it without usable legs, remodeling my home so I can shower and shit or moving to a home that is more conducive.  It is beyond the scope of Quinn Brett's desire for a simple existence.  For now.

I keep saying that phrase lately.  For now.

Work, what will I do for work?  Will the National Park Service have me and help me create something meaningful?  Will Remote Medical and I continue to meld a solution?  Will I be able to write for money, public speak for money?  What about my Dovetail Retreats and desire to keep pushing others to their limits mentally and physically, inspire them.

Thought I would share something.  Its not the usual positive "I got this" sort of vibe.  Sorry for that.  I am tearful every day but laugh everyday.

Tomorrow I leave Modesto and head to the Craig Hospital in Denver.

I am scared.

I am sorry.

I am overwhelmed.

I am incredibly appreciative to everyone for their support, monetarily and emotionally.  I need every last one of you and can't keep on without you.  Please keep me in your thoughts, text me, email me, reach out.  Strangers and friends alike.  I need you all.  


Jim Harris said...

"For now" is great for the hope and conviction it implies. "Yet" is one that I've used constantly over the nearly 3 years since my injury. As in "I can't do ____. Yet."

Hope the transition to Craig goes smoothly

Sean said...

Your words here are awesome! It is kind of a very twisty path with a lot of manzanita bushes to get stuck on so take your time. I think often putting words on things is a large step. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing. !!!!!!!

Casey said...

Quinn, thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been following you since you instructed the WFR with Phil and you and Nick jumped in the Sound in your skivvies off Discovery Park in December. Now, I’m on the road to nursing and work in the hospital. Every time I put a gown on a thirty something, I think, “will this be me one day? Will this be my friend? Who will wipe my ass and clean my shit off me? Who will be there with me if I fall— and make— it and weep myself dry for a long, long time?”

Then I see you, in updates and this post, and know that is the most we could ever do for each other. To be there in physical pain and loss and grief and embarrassment. You must feel so lost. But I am also so happy to see you still with us, broken and changed, while the love your community has for you shines and handstands.
And I see you’re still there. Thank you.

Alix Morris said...

This is really beautiful Quinn. Thanks for your honesty and keep shining. Good things will manifest.

libby said...

Woman, you are so many things. Amazing, first and foremost. Honest, inspirational, talented, driven, capable. You are also still here. And for that I am grateful every moment of the day. I miss you already.

Teal said...

Love you and thinking of you, Quinn. You are my inspiration.

Unknown said...

Hi Quinn,

I don't know you, but I know someone like you. She has lived with these feelings and this reality for over 20 years. She is the most amazing woman I know. She has completed marathons and inspired celebrities. Her daughter volunteers to help other people like you enjoy snow Sports and horseback riding.

You have so many gifts. You can be the crossroads between the paraplegic community and the pursuits you love so much. It's not fair, and it won't be easy. But you seem like the kind of person who doesn't like it the easy way anyway. I feel in my gut that you will make something awesome out of this situation.

Best wishes.

Amber said...

You can cry, and rage, and shit your pants, and all of these wonderful people who adore you will still be right by your side, doing their best to help you through this. That's because even an angry Quinn with a full diaper still shines a light so bright that people are drawn to it. I know you're strong enough to do this. Let us help you. And don't be afraid to be honest and authentic all the way through this. We'll still be here.

Love you.


Anonymous said...

You have always been an inspiration to everyone around you and now that inspiration is even more apparent and stronger than ever. So when you feel like you have lost part of your functions as a human, remember your strength doesn't start with your muscles, your bones, or your back. It starts with your spirit, your smile and your laughter. Your stronger everyday by taking on these new challenges and adapting and overcoming. Hand stands you will do again, maybe by a different means but you will figure it out. And you have millions of friends to help. Look up, stand still, breath.

Scott Wayland said...

We have never met, and I guess it's unlikely we ever will, but like so many in the climbing community, I've been deeply moved by you and your story. It is clear your fierce spirit is undimmed. Live in that.

the doodle gallery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sibylle said...

I'll be there in Craig hospital to visit you.

Truth Hound said...

This post is brave and profound. Thanks for sharing the current state of your body, mind, and soul with such raw honesty. Jon K.

Unknown said...

I have two friends who have suffered similar accidents. My neighbor loved to jump his motorcycle, but after a bad crash he was paralyzed from the waist down. 17 years later he is still a great guy. He drives, works at a desk, and has a bunch of cool hobbies out in his garage. His kids and grandchildren visit and, while his life is not the same, he seems happy. My climbing partner Paul took a bad fall without a helmet and landed on his forehead, crushing his optic nerve. He has been blind since the accident, going on 6 years. I've stayed in touch, and he has also adapted to his new normal. We are very adaptable creatures. In both of my friends, the desire to live, even with their "new normal", has been inspiring to watch. I love climbing, but I also have other hobbies. I enjoy creative pursuits, such as painting, photography, making things, working with my hands, and writing. If I ever have to give up climbing, I hope that I can still find satisfaction doing the other things that make me happy. Life is a fragile thing. Glad you are still with us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this refreshingly honest read. You and your voice are very needed in this community. You said that you need all of us, but we all need you too. Thanks for being here and sharing these thoughts with us. This is a brave blog post and I admire you.

Unknown said...

Hi Quinn! Just know you are in my heart! You are an inspiration.....and you have so much more of your story to share! Let your light shine and we all benefit!

Brittany Goris said...

Thank you for the honesty, transparency, and vulnerability. May the fire inside you continue to burn brighter than the one you are surrounded by each day, and you will be able to turn this difficult journey into something amazing both for yourself and for the community you care so much about. Thoughts with you.

Unknown said...

Stay strong, Quinn. Crossing off the days seems like a perfect goal for now. Until some peace and and goodness come from it all, which I know it will. Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

Your are sharing your real feelings- and most people can identify with this. Wish it didn't happen, for sure. On the positive side, you've got your mind. That is obvious and everyone is thankful for that! You are also starting at Craig as soon as you are able to, and that is a good thing as it increases liklihood of success. You've also got family and close friends who have been there with you and for you and will continue to do so. Take this one or two steps at a time, focusing on the most important stuff first. Get to Craig and make the most headway you can. Then you can think about your next steps- getting your home ready for you. Friends will help with that, or whatever your future plans hold. I wish you the best outcome!

JB said...

My heart aches for you even though I don't know you. The whole situation sucks. I will keep thinking of you and praying for you, and I will follow along as you improve and things get better. And they will get better.

Unknown said...

Quinn - You are constantly on my mind and in my heart and I commend your vulnerability. Although many have faced tragedy, no one knows the depths and the darkness of what you have, are, and will continue to go through. Keep being honest and know that you are a beacon of light for more people than you know.

I had a premonition of a possible future career for you - going around and speaking about your story. You are so charismatic and courageous and I can see you being an inspiration in that capacity. For now, keep staying strong, keep snorting, and embrace the dark places because eventually they will lead to light.

Much love - Erin Walton (Nickel)

Rocky50 said...

You will find your path, you will find your peace, you will succeed in so many ways you haven't thought of yet. THIS is yet another rock. You will study this like you've studied the others. The route is there. Waiting for you to explore it, test it, conquer it. See you at the top.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I don’t know you but I truly hope to meet you one day. Your story is so incredibly heartbreaking, yet so unbelievably inspiring. I will continue to follow you and support you in the ways I know how. I do not know you but I believe in you. Keep shinning like the incredible, beautiful, inspirational star you are, and will always be. You are a true hero and you give hope to sooooo many out there.

Anonymous said...

Mary Manachi had four children. Three out of the four had Cooley's Anemia. With this condition, you die before you reach twenty. One died when she was 12, one lasted to 15, and the last one made it to 17. They all knew they would die that young, but they rejoiced in each day they were given. Afterward, a friend asked her how she could still be happy, and she said that since her kids rejoiced in each day, she could not dishonor them by doing less. Along with the frustration and bewilderment, I hope you will find ways to rejoice in each little victory you win. All those who love you are so grateful that you are alive, and that you have a mind that can express what you are going through with such honesty and authenticity. That in itself is something I find beautiful.

Unknown said...

Thanks for being honset Quinn! Cant imagine what you are going through, I dont know much about these things, but I think honesty is probably very important for healing. Glad to hear you are coming home.

Jen. M. said...

You got this Q-diddy. As a life-long stalker (i.e. admiring friend) of yours, the qualities that make you such a badass human being have always centered around your infectious laugh, profound kindness, impermeable optimism and dogged determination (among a million others!) Those well-honed attributes are sure to get a full flexing as you face challenges and setbacks, but you are surrounded by so many fine folks (of questionable character ) who love you so very much and will cheer you on when setbacks occur and celebrate with you for each glorious, magnificent feat that lies ahead. I've never known such a passionate, all-in person as you. All your goodness and encouragement that you have shown to others, in every walk of life, will boomerang back to you. Hang in there! I can’t begin to imagine what you are going through; I’m so thankful you are here, and so excited to see the wonders that wonderful YOU are sure to realize! Love you lots, Jen. M.

Unknown said...

I was in the Valley during your rescue and I've been thinking about you a lot. I was competing in a freeskiing comp last March and watched a 18 year old break his back and we thought he was paralyzed from the waist down. here is an inspiring video of him learning how to walk again. Best of recovery to you sister!

Teresa Harmala said...

Thinking of you often, Quinn, as you’re facing an entirely different kind of “hard” than you’re used to. Celebrate every victory, even the seemingly small ones. They can be just as glorious as the more obvious ones. You are still you inside, still an inspiration. I’m thankful you’re here this Thanksgiving. Our turn to cheer you on, to tell you you can make it. I’m sure you believed it when you’ve said that to others; believe it for yourself now. You’re building new kinds of muscles now, you can do this! <3

Chris Bangs said...

Hi Quinn, Thanks for writing your thoughts down for us to read. I'm a friend of Josie's, having camped and climbed with her for a few months in J-tree back in '07. This must be very difficult for you. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Are you a skier? I have been a volunteer ski instructor for people with disabilities for over 10 years. And I have many friends who now ski in a mono-ski, because of their injuries, and they are able to ski black diamonds no problem, and one friend was in the XGames. I hope this message finds you in good spirits, and that there are many more great adventures to be had. Stay strong.

Unknown said...

Thanks for being real Quinn.
Just shows that you're superhuman and human.

Outdoor recreation, testing oneself, soaking up the moment has always driven me and inspired others.

I am in the midst of my own struggles that brewed up very similar thoughts and emotions. A bunch of 'how will this' and 'how will thats' now appear where there was previously no thoughts, just action. I am discovering a whole new world, people. Selfless souls that came second to adventure before. Love and compassion. Finding out about the struggles others face and supporting them.

I had the opportunity to meet Jeff Lowe while hosting Lyons Film Fest at Red Fox. We watched the film Metanoia (change in ones way of life...) In a wheelchair, hardly able to speak, Jeff displayed an energy, a positivity about this unknown new adventure he is on.
I recommend looking him up and possibly connecting. (Connie 208-630-4477)

One final note. I know it's difficult to rely on others, especially when your passionate and driven. I'm learning the necessity of community. As a human, we all need it. "Give and receive"

You'll always be Quinn Brett no matter what!

Thanks for sharing.
Mark Kneisel

PowerMundo said...

Hi Quinn
I wish you strength and courage as you recover. I and many others are thinking of you and sending you healing thoughts and support.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and challenges with the recovery. Also thank you for asking for help from friends and strangers alike. I would not have written had I not seen your request for help from strangers. It seems we have a mutual friend in common, Carolynn Pino (Davidson) , and I coincidentally saw your post via her Facebook feed.
Seems we’re connected in several ways. I was in the field below El Cap in Yosemite the day you were rescued. I had never heard of the Texas Boot Flake until that day. I spoke with person in the field below who saw the fall. I saw the amazing rescue effort. The choreography of the rangers, first responders, and helicopter pilots was incredible. It was an unbelievable feat to see the courage and skill of the rescuers. I was very relieved to learn that everyone survived.
Seems we were once neighbors in Colorado, I lived in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Golden before moving to Honolulu and now in San Diego. I can understand a little bit of your background in RMNP, climbing, and love of the outdoors. While I can’t imagine the depth and level of emotions you feel, you will recover and go on to great things. Your attitude and mantra of “I got this” will return.
On Friday, I read about an amazing outdoor leader who have overcome enormous challenges to inspire and lead people in new ways. Have you heard of Bruno Hansen? He is a ‘Champion of the World Adaptive Surfing Championship paraplegic surfer, sailor, ocean lover, mechanical engineer and motivational speaker with a super hungry zest for life.’ He is just one example of the amazing resiliency of humans.
Given your background in RMNP and climbing accolades, it seems you’re an amazing person who has already accomplished more than many people could ever imagine. The details may be not clear yet, but you’re on to great new adventures! From the helicopter pilot, medical staff, friends and even strangers like me, we’re all pulling for you. YOU GOT THIS!
I am sending you good thoughts, hope, and happiness as you become an even more amazing person. Please continue to let us know how we can help.
Best wishes,

Dave said...


Stay strong in your recovery. I know they are simple words, but everything does happen for a reason. We aren't always sure in the moment what reason, but it will hopefully reveal itself. I'm a Firefighter for my full time job and witness death, heartbreak and emotional distress on a daily basis. Us humans are a very resilient group. You are part of that resiliency. Wishing you the best from Omaha, stay strong.

Post a Comment