Saturday, June 16, 2018


Climbing one-and one.  Climbed Petit, Saber,  Sharkstooth this day.  Dropped one shoe between Petit and Saber.  Carry-on

It seems ridiculous that I haven't used my legs in half of a year.  What an odd phenomenon this injury is.  Legs, still in tact... still having muscles that respond to stimulation, muscles that even move on their own involuntarily.

My brain and its positivity are directly associated with my nerve pain.  When that shits off the hook so are my emotions.  I am not as engaged in conversation, grumpier.  I think my physical coping mechanisms are getting stronger but imagining another 20-30 years of this is is beyond me, on those days.

My legs sit idle.  Something I, as an athlete and spaz, struggled with doing it's unreal.

My brain is also paralyzed at times.  I feel I am stuck on the past, dwelling.

I have extended myself, as per usual.  Filling my time time with people, travel, writing and habitually attempting to keep the twirling game on ... that I was exceptionally good at before.  I am finding, though, that a slower pace is actually preferred.  I am exhausted mentally and physically (don't tell anyone.) 

Friendships have changed, are still changing.  I was known as the "yes "girl to adventures.... I am no longer capable of plunging into the mountains or the ocean like I used to.  Not yet anyway.  So, some friends have become distant.  Some haven't renewed the lease on our friendship since my accident.  Perhaps unsure what or how to deal with me.  Perhaps afraid.  Perhaps angry at me.  Perhaps trying to give me space to ... to... to ...?

This accident, I am well aware, has affected more then just me.  More then my family.  For some reason my accident touched my local community, my climbing community, and strangers alike.  I am grateful for the new friends I have made, given the circumstances of our new predicament.  A reminder of how much we take for granted.  Our lives, my life, even now.  Life.  To be alive.  Geez, it could have lights-out in an instant.  I wouldn't have even known.  I would be---could be gone.  Same for you.

I have been forced to reflect upon that lately.  I release my anguish on you with writing, hoping, spraying, reminding myself.  I am afraid of myself, my vanity.  I am lonely.  I am hurt.  My heart aches.  My ego is paralyzed with feeling embarrassed, of my mistake, my failure, my moaning.


avocado aficionado said...
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Markus said...

Thankx for your honest words. I cant imagine how hard it must be - but I do appreciate every honest word you are willing to share! And that I know is not easy. Every post touches me and reminds me that the time is limited and nothing is for granted. And friends that turn away because you cant do the same things you were doing in the past are not true friends! I understand that you are tired and thats totally ok! Take your time and do everything you do in your own speed! It's your life!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing so much, Quinn. I honestly have no words but am truly inspired by everything you write. You seem like such a strong person. Markus has some really great words that I couldn't write myself. Good luck. Sending you positive vibes.

ChefNick said...
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ChefNick said...
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ChefNick said...

(Sorry, I tried to post this but got the error saying it was too long, so I'm reposting it in four parts)

Part 1

Quinn, I for one have been reading your posts since the accident was reported on Outside, but I haven't commented till now. It's inconceivable how much your life changed on that day on the rock but as you pointed out, it could have been lights out; you wouldn’t have known, this blog would not be, I would not be typing these words and everyone would have gone home long, long ago. Your bedroom would probably now be a shrine by your parents and even now, your atoms would be dispersing throughout the soil, or wherever your remains would dwell. At least . . . it’s not that.

But no words I say—anyone says—can quell those thoughts that infect your mind when you are alone, and I can well imagine what those thoughts are.

They say about someone who is grieving, as you are, for the you who is now gone, don't try to compare their misfortune with one of your own—it’s always going to be completely different and you're just going to make the person bitter and resentful, because, well, they are not the misfortune that is yours; they are THEIR misfortune, and you can't compare them.

ChefNick said...

Part 2 (of 4)

But my elder brother had muscular dystrophy, but it was back in the 50s. The doctors misdiagnosed it as polio but they really had no idea what to do for him.

He could walk, but painfully, until he turned 18. Then a cruel twist of fate intervened: he was in France hanging out with his best friend and somehow they ended up in a car going too fast and they crashed. Chris broke his thigh clean in two; he was the only one injured.

But that meant a wheelchair, and he never recovered. If he hadn't had the accident he MIGHT have been able to walk for a few more years, but he would have ended up in a wheelchair eventually.

But he was the nicest guy you can imagine; everyone who knew him and the rest of us siblings (we were four altogether) always said that Chris was the angel, and what had happened to us? (my other brother, sister and me).

So, that was his life. He really did well for many years, living way past the mid-20s the doctors had said he wouldn't reach, and only started getting depressed towards the end . . . it was weird because I couldn't talk to him, I had no words to express the horror I felt about what he was going through—the Chris who had sat at the table after my parents had gone to bed with my sister and me, smoking dope and then getting supremely fucked up, going outside to look at the stars (we lived in the Congo so there was no TV, no radio, no nothing) or maybe turning on Dark Side of the Moon, which had just come out, and just tripping.

ChefNick said...

Part 3 (of 4)

Those were his happiest years but towards the end, he was hospitalised and there he stayed for two years until his death at age 48.

See? I don't really have anything to say because I can't compare Chris to you on any level . . . it didn't happen to him suddenly (except maybe the accident) so he experienced it slowly . . .

And funnily enough, now my wife is dying, slowly, of Idiopathic Interstitial Lung Disease, probably caused by side effects from medication she was taking for rheumatoid arthritis but also partly because of the 30+ years that she smoked.

But we have no idea how long she'll last; could be one year, could be three. So far, so good, but I'm now a caregiver, and I sometimes feel that I'm paying the dues that I didn't pay when Chris was alive. I was hardly around towards his end (I lived in Montreal, he was in Oakland).

ChefNick said...

Part 4

So maybe now it’s my karma to take care of Brigitte until she goes . . . of course I know that in reality there is no "karma" and I'm not paying"dues" but it’s helpful for our superstitious brains to think that way sometimes.

Anyway, I have no particular insight or incredible words of support, just that you might think that you're alone but there are people, like me, a complete stranger who's never climbed a rock in my life (well, maybe one, at Big Sur, but it’s the LAST rock I'll ever climb; I was terrified) . . . so . . . there you go, you have an audience. You write well, you always have something interesting to say even though it’s incredibly horrific (I won't use that stupid word du jour, "heartbreaking") to contemplate going through what you're going through . . .

But whatever happens, don't close up shop. In your worst moments, think of us, your silent friends, who just want to hear the only words that matter: that you're all right.

Take care, Quinn

From Montreal


ChefNick said...

I'm sure you've heard this many times, but if not . . . a song from my youth.

Unknown said...

Hi Quinn, I've been meaning to write this and finally I'm here. Everything that you're going through at the moment is normal. Your reactionas, feelings, doubts, probably "what if" questions. I believe that there's something that could help. The lady who founded this company had an accident in her 20's and ended up in a wheelchair,in constant pain. Mindfulness has been her life saver! If you want a chat about it my email address is Take it'll be ok x

Unknown said... Just take a look Quinn. Read this womans story and I think you'll see the similarities to what's happened to you. Yes, your life has changed but you can still live a wonderful life and the knowledge you have now, that you can pass on to others is immense! If you want a chat sometime, I'm here. I've got my own story too of big challenges,a different kind of life opening up. Just remember that it's possibl to be matter what's happened to us. X Carol

Markus said...

Very strong words - thankx for sharing. Cant image how hard this must be - you are a total badass!!! never give up! And although it might feel like it - but you are not alone!

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