Tuesday, May 29, 2018


I have returned to Estes Park, more or less full time.  The 7 month unexpected road trip has come to a close.  To be home is lovely, the fresh air (that I still can't smell), the view and the community that I love.  I am still down in Denver at least once a week for PT etc.  A friend up here has offered up time to do PT and another to massage. I also try to swim 2-3 times a week at the community center and st(roll) around some local trails that are accessible. 

It was, and still is, incredible difficult knowing the Climbing Ranger staff has returned and is back frolicking and assisting others in the mountains I love.  I have climbed Longs Peak so many freeking times, but staring at it down here...all I want to do is climb it again.  Lumpy Ridge brings the same sentiment.  Old habits die hard.

Geez.  It makes me wonder how I will do here.  If this is home?  I love it here, I love my community here.  I have developed these friendships and extensive knowledge of these mountains in the sixteen years that I have been here.  
Difficult imagining anything different.  This accident has proven though, that sometimes we are thrust into difficult decisions.  Maybe none of the options are good choices, but we make one and must deal with outcome regardless.  

I feel guilty for choosing my fall adventures as I did, given my head wasn't in the game.  I feel angry for not listening to myself.  I feel embarrassed to have made a mistake.  I feel like a failure.  I feel overwhelmed that my accident has affected so many.  Only I am in control of these negative emotions.  Only I can choose to move on.    

I feel lucky to be back in Estes Park.  
I have started work with the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.  A non-profit that supports the National Park through project funding and educational experiences in the public land its mission is to support.  I think it will evolve into a lovely fit.  

Things will keep changing.  I will keep breathing for a little while longer.  I am learning many new ways of coping.  Coping with the nerve pain that persists in my body on a daily basis.  Coping with a new life of sitting, where I could run- climb- swim - hike - move to resolve difficult emotional times.  Coping with a new body that I am slightly ashamed of.    Next step.  Accepting.


Tanya said...

I definitely identify with your situation. I was never a climber, my husband is so I hang with the crowd. I have muscular dystrophy which has slowly deteriorated my muscles, going from an avid hiker to now almost wheelchair. Last summer we lived in Boulder and I drove to Longmont Hospital every day to use their therapy pool. I highly recommend it for easy access (has a ramp and a lift). It was a community I really enjoyed- the gym workers and the pool users. It’s not designed for lap swimming but the high temp is good for pain relief and stretching.

gking said...

I wish you luck Brett but being a good bit older than you I have come to know that it will only depend a bit on luck (we all have luck, good, bad, and everything in between). Acceptance, whatever that means to you in your situation, will carry you (literally and figuratively) much further than luck will. And you are clearly already on the cusp of that decision parabola. Keep writing; I want to know how you're doing, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Unknown said...

I read your lovely post from just after the accident on Outside magazine, a publication that I devour for its thorough and faceted assessment of the outdoors community. I don't have first hand knowledge of your injuries, but I have traveled extensively with my husband's best college friend, paralyzed from a snowboarding accident nearly a decade ago. His company is a reminder of my mobile privilege, and he grants me a perspective of my health that I value and respect more than ever because of his tangible reminder that it is only fleeting. I don't know how you cope with your new reality but humans are resilient and powerful and your commitment to finding a new joyful reality will lead you to a happier path. I believe that. Keep writing, I would like to keep reading. Your story is one we all need to hear.

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Markus said...

Dont be ashamed of your body! You are wonderful as you are!

yawningreyhound said...

if you haven't discovered him yet, Joe Dispenza is a world reknown brain changer; his books, including You Are the Placebo, as inspiring and perhaps in your situation, helpful. He was hit during a competitive bike race, ruining his back, and he healed his back to walk again. Something to it. I'm using his methods to heal from cancer. Good Luck to you. I survived 20 years of tech rock climbing, just to be taken out by other things!

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