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Who is the most motivated person you know?

Can we KISS, please?  ;)

 

Wait, what?!  Don’t worry, I’m not being creepy, I swear. ;)

 

I just want to Keep It Simple, Silly.

 

Today I have one, simple question for you: Who is the most motivated person you know?

  

 

Please post your answer below because sharing stories or even simple words about those who have motivated you really does motivate others.  Feel free to elaborate a bit, if ya want… Tell me what motivates and drives that particular person, and how they inspire you because of their determination. If you’re more of the Facebook type of person, you can even pop onto the Semper Sarah page and post an answer there.

 

I look forward to hearing your responses. :)

 

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Because I Love You – Just Roll With It Bootcamp coming to DC 11 May 2013

You know what? I want to live in a world where people are authentically happy, healthy, successful and goin’ with the flow even after they’ve been through the ringer! Where $hit happens and we don’t get stuck in that place forever.  Maybe it’s combat, divorce, injury, dislocation, losing a friend or loved one, or even sexual assault that’s caused you to feel stuck.

We’ve all been through trauma or love someone who has.

I’ve certainly seen my share of it, and besides what I’ve been through personally – from being struck by lightening, hit by a car, suffering a mini-stroke, battling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and having a laundry list of inexplicable medical issues –  where I’m seriously heart-broken, is in seeing incredible people not moving forward with their dreams, or being sick, tired, in pain, angry, or depressed forevermore because they can’t figure out what really works to get them out of their slump. Since I’ve been such a mess myself in the past yet gone on to build a life I truly love, I know that you can, too!

Because I love you, I want you to have the tools to actually be healthy again – heck! to become healthier than you were before that crappy thing or things happened to you – and create a life you’re freaking excited about, to have sustainable health on all levels.  Maybe your life isn’t a “mess,” but we can all always learn something new about how to be even healthier or happier.

But I can’t save the world alone. ;-p I need you, I need community, and you all need each other.

So, I’ve created  a ridiculously awesome workshop called the Just Roll With It Bootcamp.  It’s a seminar series all about taking a mind-body-spirit approach to true, whole health, happiness, fitness, and success and translating it into tangible “take-homes” which empower you to create a positive ripple effect with your family, friends, and community.  It’s about living the life of purpose you’ve always wanted and being able to go with the flow, have more energy, reduce stress, create better fitness, and get more joy out of life.

Semper Sarah's Just Roll With It Bootcamp San Diego December 1 2013 with Team Red White & Blue attendees

Semper Sarah’s Just Roll With It Bootcamp San Diego December, 1 2013 with Team Red White & Blue attendees

Listen, I’ve spent the last decade of my life in a constant state of evaluation, education, and growth.  I’ve done the After-Action-Report for you!  I’m shortening  your learning curve and connecting the dots for you.  It will be up to you to translate that knowledge into power through action.

The longest journey in the world still starts with just one step…and the Just Roll With It Bootcamp is the perfect step for you to take to help yourself and others move toward a better life.

Put one boot in front of the other – now.

I warmly invite you to claim a spot at one of my popular, empowering, and transformative 2013 workshops.  They are filling up fast and locations are in DC, TX, CO, and CA. The next one is May 11th in Arlington, VA.

There’s even a week-long version of the seminar called the Just Roll With It Yoga&Adventure Retreat in breath-taking COSTA RICA in July. Awesomeness, right?! :) Well, I’m only taking 16 people for that full-immersion international excursion, and the price goes up $200 May 1st, so register as soon as you can.

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It all begins this spring, but now is the time to CHOOSE to live the life you love and love the life you live.  Not only is it absolutely possible, it’s sitting right in front of you.

* If you’re interested in sponsoring a veteran or otherwise supporting these events, please reach out to my lovely Business Manager, Valerie Rosalie, at Contact@SemperSarah.com. Additionally, I am immensely appreciative that scholarships are available for veterans and their spouses through our “General” Level Sponsor, the non-profit group, Team Red White & Blue.

TAKE ACTION! Join me and my guest-speaker friends, who are experts in their respective health&wellness fields yet down to earth real people who speak your language, at the next Bootcamp or Retreat! We can’t wait to meet you there! :)

With all my love,

 smallersigtransConnect with me

Buy my book, Just Roll With It!, on Amazon.com

FACEBOOK it up!

Tweet with me!

Learn more about my holistic health and lifestyle coaching programs HERE.  * You get a FREE 50 minute consultation when you mention my newsletter.


 

Dates for my Just Roll With It Bootcamp for Transitioning Warriors in 2013 are:

11 May – Washington DC – registration is open!

1 June – Houston TX

24 August – San Diego CA

21 September (projected date) – Denver CO

October/November – Columbus OH and/or Syracuse NY

 

 

The Just Roll With It Yoga&Adventure Retreat in COSTA RICA is now open for registration

+ 20-26 July 2013

+ Mind-Body-Spirit Full Immersion Excursion

+ Yoga, holistic health, lifestyle and wellness coaching, hiking, surfing, zip-lining, oh my!

+ Email Contact@SemperSarah.com to register

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What Deepak Chopra Thinks About the “S” in SEMPER and Why You Should Care

1. Ok ok, so I didn’t talk to Deepak Chopra, a man who many consider a worldwide spiritual leader, in person about this….but I did read his book, Reinventing the Body Resurrecting the Soul, and a lot of what he says closely ties into what I teach are the 7 character traits required to create a ridiculously happy, healthy, and successful life of purpose that the SEMPER philosophy and Just Roll With It method encompasses.  If you haven’t read his book yet, though, I highly recommend it as it will likely change your view on a lot of things.  He basically explains how we can change our DNA.  Ya, check it out.

To review: Faith is our foundation, and SEMPER stands for always being Sincere, Empathetic, Motivated, Perseverant, Engaged and Excited, and Resilient.  Then Just Roll With It is the method for embodying these traits, characteristics, and mindsets.  We’re going to barely skim the surface on “Sincere” today.

2. Deepak – ya, we’re on a first name basis – says that in order to know that you are “tuned-in” (aka: connected and aware, and well, I believe self-awareness is a prerequisite for sincerity) you must associate with at least one of the following statements:
a. I feel inspired
b. I see the truth of spiritual teaching
c. I sense that I have a higher self
d. A deeper reality is dawning
e. My inner life brings satisfaction
f. I understand things in a new way
g. I greet each day with fresh energy
h. My life feels more whole

Ruminate over these for a minute.

Seriously, breathe.  Give it a sec. :)

I’ve found that these statements are a pretty good guideline for helping me “check-in” with me when I start to feel off kilter.  Asking myself “Am I any of “a” through “h”?” helps me identify where I’ve lost touch with the meaningful areas of my life.  I like that he puts “I feel inspired” first, because I believe you cannot feel inspired, or likewise be inspiring, if you are not living sincerely.  Time and time again, I see examples that prove to me that most of the time, you don’t have to “do” anything; simply living an authentic, genuine life is inspiring in and of itself.  From a place of sincerity, so much of the rest of all the important, good stuff about life flows.  You’ll be energized, you’ll greet the day with joy, your life will feel more whole, you’ll sense your higher self, and you’ll have quality relationships.  People around you pick up on that genuine enthusiasm and zest for life, and end up being inspired by it, too.  So, if nothing else, check-in with yourself and try to stay “in-tune” so that you may live a sincere life as well as have a positive impact on others.

3.  “Chopra” kind of sounds like “chakra.”  Remember when I wrote about faith, yoga, and the physical and mental strengths and weakness of the first chakra two weeks ago in this newsletter: September is National Yoga Month but What’s In It For You?  Well, I wanted to expand on the first chakra insofar as how it relates to being sincere.  Keep in mind, we’re still only skimming the surface here…

The muladhara or root chakra represents our “tribal culture.”  We can also think about this as our family or societal beliefs and norms, “group think,” or peer pressure.  As mature adults, we should have progressed past the very basics aspects of the first chakra — where you accept tribal culture as the end-all be-all — and begin thinking for ourselves.  Although it’s challenging to evaluate our personal beliefs when they are ones that effectively separate us from our “tribe,” it’s something we simply must do to move onto another stage in life; however, many people stay rooted in the group-think mindset because the responsibility of owning your individual thoughts, belief, and honor is just too daunting.  If we are still in tribal group-think mode, then we deflect personal accountability to the group.  I hope you realize, though, that “without honor, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for an individual to stand up for himself with pride and dignity, because he lacks a frame of reference for his behavior and choices and thus cannot trust himself or others.” (Dr. Myss).  Knowing who you are is paramount because even if what you believe goes against what your tribe or family believes, you have to cultivate a sense of honor about it and be willing to stand up for yourself. And when the first chakra is stable, balanced, and rooted to a deep sense of who we really are, we are – in essence – more in tune with our sincerity.

If you’d like to do some yoga to help build strength in your first chakra, I recommend a few easy poses:
·         Tadasana – mountain pose – connected and rooted through our feet
·         Lunges – strength and stability in our legs
·         baddha konasana – bound angle or Butterfly pose – a very grounded position

The root chakra is a guide and a doorway to all of our other chakras, so if it is not grounded and well-adjusted, it is impossible for us to have good relationships with ourselves, our families, and a connection to the earth, to the people that we love, and to positive energy.

Watch this short video I made for you if you’d like to practice working on your first chakra: Yogic Slow Stretch for Strength and Stability in the First Chakra.  Ideally, you will feel calm, connected, safe, steady, and secure after this short series.

Not related to Chopra, chakras, or chopsticks (huh?) but CHOCOLATE

4. Bonus goodie blog for today—> Super busy but want a healthy, nutrient-packed, ridiculously tasty, chocolate-strawberry spirulina smoothie pick-me-up? Try THIS! :)

5. If you missed last week’s newsletter about some sweet, sweet yoga moves you can bust out in the airport – or anywhere- check it out HERE.  As an ESPN correspondent who travels more than half the year, Kim Tessean speaks with authority when she says, “I loved the airport tips!!!   Flying over 100k a year I see fair share of airport misery… Gonna do all these things Monday when there for my flight to my next college football game.”

6. UPDATES - Because of the awesome feedback I’ve been getting, my training seminar, the Just Roll With It Bootcamp is now going to be delivered to you in one incredible, energized, inspiring day on December 1st in SAN DIEGO. Registration for this live event is not open yet, but will be soon. In the meantime, please feel free to spread the word to people who could benefit from some inspired instruction.  Holy Crap Cereal, Nutrex Hawaii Spirulina, Papa Steves No Junk Protein Bars, YOR Health supplements, and Jade Yoga Mats are just a handful of the awesome sponsors already on board for the sunny San Diego Semper Sarah event! :)  Plus, we are blessed to have the incredibly inspirational, former Army Green Beret, and award-winning serial entrepreneur and best-selling author, Larry Broughton, as a guest speaker, as well.   This class will be deeply discounted for VETERANS and is geared toward helping trauma victims or anyone who’s experienced difficulty ranging from combat to heartbreak get unstuck and moving forward in their life again.  After attending, you will have learned how to create a ridiculously happy, healthy, successful life of purpose.  Believe me, you can do it! :)

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Front Porch Newspaper, Stapleton, Denver CO – Sarah Plummer Wins Random Acts of Fusion Contest

Sarah Plummer, a former Marine Corps Captain and disabled veteran, won a Ford Motor Company promotional contest as part of their Random Acts of Fusion program.  She submitted the photo and explained why she needed a break: “Observe my upside down wacky staff pose :) I need a break – gimme a break! gimme a break! break me off a piece of that Canyon Ranch because…  (click on image of article to read the whole post)

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Just Rolling With It Back-Flip Style

Want just a taste of my adventures at Canyon Ranch in Lenox MA this past weekend?  Check out this fun video :)  SarahBackFlip_2.MOV

 

 

 

and to see more pics and vids, or details on the contest I won, check out http://www.randomactsoffusion.com/big_acts/spa_spa_away

 

Check out the awesome guides doin’ a bit of work, as well ;)

Russ’s World Turning Around
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John getting Split Wide Open
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Chalis, Feelin’ Alright
ChalisBackFlipper.MOV

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Getting Unstuck After Military Sexual Trauma – Living A Life You Love Even After Trauma

On 1 August 2012, I was honored to be a guest on the Dr. Laura Ciel radio show, On the Edge of Exceptional.  You can listen to segments 1 and 2 of the show and/or see more on my press page at http://www.SemperSarah.com/media.

 

Below, you can read a bit of our “Q&A” session.  These were not my answers verbatim, but the ones Laura posed to me ahead of time.  Her questions were thought-provoking and intelligent, spurring me to re-think through some aspects of my experience with being raped by a fellow Marine nine years ago.

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  • What does the word “trauma” mean to you?  A jarring, violent, or disruptive event – this can be literal/physical or emotional.

 

  • How has trauma played a role in your life? It has done more than play a role; it has been a constant presence in my life.  Even from a young age, whether it was the abusive household in which I grew up, broken bones I suffered, or constantly moving, from events in my adulthood such as more physical injuries, assault, rape, illness, and combat.

 

  • After the rape, was there a moment when you realized that you needed to take action? Describe what that moment was like for you? What did you decide to do? Yes.  It was months after the assault, when I sat in The Basic School orientation brief and heard the JAG (the Military Legal Officer) describe other incidents of rape and sexual assault that had occurred in that training environment.  I hadn’t reported the rape right after it happened because I was so confused. I couldn’t decipher up from down, and on top of it was simply trying to take my finals, finish up school, graduate, and get commissioned.  I told myself to push it down – “suck it up” – and focus on school, moving, getting married, and beginning my career in the Marines.  I went to my Marine Officer Instructor at school the day after the rape, with the intent of telling him what had happened, but I didn’t.  All I could do was cry.  (see story here)Anyway, my then-fiancé and I (thought we) worked through things, got married, and began our Marine Corps careers.  So several months later, there I found myself at The Basic School, listening to a JAG talk about Marines raping Marines.  Although she belittled the victims and told the stories sarcastically, a lot of the stories sounded a lot like mine.  And it hit me. What if the guy who raped me comes here and does that to someone else?  I will never be able to live with myself. I knew the military was notorious for mishandling rape cases, so I didn’t dare think anything good would come of reporting the rape.  My husband already knew about it, my family knew about it, my closest friends knew. It wasn’t a matter of sharing it for the first time in the hopes of getting anything out of it, but rather reporting it to the Marine Corps in the hopes that they would take appropriate action.  I simply felt like it was a duty to report it to protect any potential future victims.  So, I reported it to the JAG and it was all downhill from there for a while.

 

  • Can you describe your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and fears about life after your rape? I suppose you could say I was hyper vigilant for a little while.  And I was definitely angry for a long time.  Angry at my “friend” who did it, angry at the other “friends” who seemed to simply retreat when things got difficult, and really angry at my new husband who I felt effectively abandoned me after the rape.  Then, after reporting, I was deeply disappointed with and utterly wounded by the institution which not only let me down, but continued to punish me in one way or another for years afterwards for having reported the rape. A lot of people talk about losing trust in others after a rape, but thank God, for some reason, I don’t feel like I ever really lost trust. I just felt disenchanted in people and institutions from which I expected support but which provided none.  If anything I felt sad, and made mental notes to myself to learn from the failures of others.

 

  • Do you remember a moment when you realized that you had a choice about how you could respond, live, act? Yes, because I definitely didn’t feel that power of choice for a couple years after my experience reporting rape in the military.  Granted, I was ensconced in an institution (the Marine Corps) that paralyzed my ability to choose most things, but I began to see beyond it.  I’ve had a series of epiphanies when dealing with the PTSD from the rape, but the most poignant one came when I was in Iraq the second time and one morning I realized that yoga was saving my life.  The days I got on the mat, I could actually breathe.  Even if it was only for a few minutes at a time it was a life-saver, because the rest of the time I literally felt suffocated. I was also blessed with a few very important and perfectly, God-placed people in my life at that time (two Navy doctors and a best friend), which no doubt was key to my survival as well.

 

  • In the beginning, what were your biggest obstacles to moving forward?  The divorce that resulted from the rape colored my relationships for years.  I carried all of it around like baggage for a long time.  Now it seems silly to me that I ever did that, but I sure did!  I also battled with depression off and on for years which, of course, colored my perception of everything.

 

  • Do you believe it is possible to experience trauma and move forward to embrace joy, love and happiness in life? Yes, of course! :)This is the philosophy by which I live my life and serve my clients when I speak, write, or coach.  No one wants to be in a relationship  – personally or professionally – with someone who is angry or bitter.  Heck, you don’t want to be in a relationship with yourself when you’re in that state of mind and state of heart. I don’t say this to make light of my own or others’ traumas, but it really does boil down to choice insofar as how you will live your life.  Some say courage isn’t the absence of fear but action despite that fear.  Living a full happy life after trauma is sort of like that. To me, choosing to live out of love instead of fear or anger is not due to an absence of trauma, but in spite of it.

 

  • What strengths of yours most helped you move from this EDGE (this moment)? What most helped you to start healing?  Faith, resiliency, creativity/curiosity, and health.

 

  • Even though you are in a good place now, is there anything you’re still afraid of? Complacency: in relationships, education, health, EVERYTHING.  In the Marines, we say “complacency kills;” and we mean that in a combat zone,  if you’re not aware all the time, you could get shot in the back of the head or step on an IED.  Interestingly, it’s not framed in the yogic sense of deeper awareness, but as I’ve deepened my yoga practice and become a teacher, I get it now on another whole level. Being aware means consciously choosing everything you feel, say and do.

 

  • What would you say to someone who has experienced a similar trauma in his/her life? I promise you that your life is not over. More than that – it’s not ruined.  You can still have the amazing life you want to have, and more than that - see it as an opportunity to grow and inspire others through your example of LIVING.

 

  • What was the most unexpected outcome of this experience? The joy it’s brought me now. The joy I get out of being able to help others, sometimes through simply sharing my stories, other times more deliberately with coaching and instructing. And selfishly, I appreciate the resiliency I’ve built within myself as well as the depth the trauma took me to with my faith and my relationship with the Divine.
    Ironically, because of my disabilities, the physical and mental injuries I suffered while in the Marines, I’m now equipped to help others. Ironic or divine?? :)

 

  • When you look back on your life, does this experience inform you on which direction to go/what your mission is?  Yes, all my experiences do.  I have two incredible mentors, Lainie and Daniel Allen, who basically workshopped my life with me a few years ago and it was impossible NOT to see God’s hand in everything.  Not that He wants horrible things to happen to his kiddos, but even through – especially through – the hardships, He was crafting my gifts, building me for something – this mission I’m on now.

 

  • What is your mission? What is the one thing you want listeners to hear from you today? Ultimately my mission is to inspire and empower survivors of any kind of trauma to get “unstuck” after a difficult life event so that they can go from victim to victor, turn tragedies into triumphs, and move from survivor mode to thrival mode  (I know “thrival” isn’t a word, but I love it! :)) in order to create the life of their dreams!People often get stuck for weeks, months, or years after a trauma, and that breaks my heart to see.  I help show people that they REALLY can turn obstacles into opportunities so they can create the beautiful life they want and deserve – and I have a lot of different ways to do so. :)Bigger picture, I see trauma and assault as a leadership issue.  Therefore, my message has evolved to be not just about sexual assault and MST in general, but about how sexual assault and date rape are the hidden thieves of our girls’ and women’s self-esteem, and how that effectively threatens to rob us of our next greatest generation of female leaders.  This leadership piece is especially applicable within the military as women’s careers are unjustly cut short by such a tragic event and then usually worsened by the (mis)handling of the crime afterwards. Part two of my message is to emphasize the power of choice, to remind survivors that they really CAN move to the level of life where they are building the one for which they were created.  Thirdly, I incorporate the health and wellness piece (yoga, nutrition, relationships, and fitness) because in order to transform in a significant and lasting way, one must be healthy in order to heal.Simply put, I am on a MISSION to prevent the sexual assault and date rape of our young women, as well as empower girls to whom it has already happened to move beyond survival mode into to thrival mode.  Also, I am driven to change the culture away from rape acceptance and victim-blaming to accountability for those who perpetrate such crimes.

 

  • Can you describe what drives and motivates you now? Total health for myself and others.  I was so unhealthy for so long.  I was this incredibly active person who ate well and had lots of friends, an active faith life, boyfriends, and was by all accounts very healthy. Then, I became mysteriously sick all the time from IBS to tumors to even having a mini-stroke…it was all about stress. So for me, being healthy means living calmly.  Being outdoors, doing yoga, playing sports, and being active is HUGE for me. Equally huge is doing my best to have peace with all the people in my life.  Of course, like any journey, there are good days and bad days, but I am happier now than I was even two years ago and certainly happier than I was when I was still in the Marines. I feel like I get happier every day…and most people would say I was a pretty happy person to begin with! :)One more thing :)… I believe the primary element of health is relationships, and I care about those above all else: relationships with God, my family, my friends, my teammates, my audience, my students, and myself.

 

  • If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be? The obsession that many people have with outdoing one another.  That ego drive is what controls most of us and it’s a shame…I think that root insecurity is the cause for a lot of pain people inflict on one another.  If everyone was at peace with themselves and where they were, there’d be a lot less fighting on the micro and macro level.  If there was a heck of a lot more acceptance in the world, things would be a lot calmer, less violent, and less stressful.  So, I guess I wish for world peace! Haha.

 

  • How can listeners learn more about your work?  I have a website www.SemperSarah.com and a Facebook page www.Facebook.com/SemperSarah as well as a forthcoming series of books this year the first of which has a working title of Just Roll With It. From Victim to Victor: How To Live a Happy, Healthy, Kick-Ass Life After Sexual Assault. The message is really “It’s your life to live and you get to decide how to live it.  Be brave. Look at the light side of survival! :)”  Also, I understand that the specific topic of sexual assault is better suited for older, and veteran, audiences. I do have wonderful programs for younger girls about good decision making, leadership, teamwork as well.

 

“Most of the time you don’t have to make any special effort to ‘do’ anything, because simply living authentically is inspiring in and of itself.”
-Sarah Plummer

View article directly on Service Women’s Action Network’s page here

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Stephen Covey Passes Away, and Sarah Talks about Life, Mountain-Biking, and Resilience

“Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.” -Stephen Covey

The world lost a wise spirit today.  Many were shocked to hear that the beloved author was 79 years old at the time of his death since many fans – myself included – assumed he was younger than that.  Why?  Was it his youthful aura and timeless smile on the cover of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?  Was it the sage and simple advice given in countless books and articles? Or was it his deep love of family and friends (with 9 children and 52 grandchildren surviving him) that kept him young at heart?

Not knowing the man personally, I can only presume it was a combination of all of the above and a lot of other stuff I do not know about him.

But what does the “highly effective” author have to do with mountain biking?

Furthermore, what does he have to do with my previous declaration (via blog, of course) that mountain biking is a metaphor for life?

Moreover, what do Stephen Covey, mountain biking, and dying all have to do with one another?

Read on…

My sister forwarded me an article this morning which explained that Stephen Covey died from complications from a bicycling accident that happened this April.  Besides the fact that I am a Covey admirer, there is another good reason why my sister sent me this article today and it has to do with my sister being very concerned about me.

A week ago, on my birthday, (ya, I’m flashing a “31″ in the photo above) I spent about ten hours in the Emergency Room after taking a nasty spill in the Ohio woods on my – you guessed it – mountain bike.  I suffered a concussion, sprained neck, multiple contusions, and had to get seven stitches sewn into my right calf.

Instead of being pissed that I spent a sunny birthday afternoon inside a windowless ER ward, I found the event as entertaining as my friends did.  When I posted a couple pictures on Facebook displaying the aftermath of my accident, comments looked a little something like this: You don’t mess around when celebrating, OMG, Damn Marines, You do realize you are mortal right?, Holy crap, Comes with the territory of living to the fullest, You are one wild living girl, You are truly a champ, Love your attitude, You are one tough cookie, and Normal people check into bars and restaurants for their birthdays but normal is boring.  Of course there were expressions of concern and sympathy, too, but even those were light-hearted.  All in all, despite a little alarm and shock, I thought it was funny…mostly.

The thing is, it really could have been worse. Even the post-CTscan, brief scare of “we see a subdural hematoma (aka: a small amount of bleeding) in your brain” didn’t feel like a “scare” to me.  Ask Pete, I literally laughed when the doctor told me this news and then asked me if I wanted to stay for an MRI just to be sure.

“Oh just a little bleeding on my brain? Sure, let’s get a second look at that, doc!”

When Doogie Houser told me it would probably be another three hours until my spin on the MRI wheel of fortune, I settled into my hospital bed, asked for another glass of water, and had Pete pass me my book.

Turns out, the bleeding they thought they saw, was not bleeding.  Phew!

Honestly, I felt ok.  Ya, just ok, not great, but not awful either.  I was released and allowed to go home.  It was nearly midnight.  I was a little loopy, and definitely doped up on the meds they administered in the ER, but all in one piece so to speak ;-p.  I was happy to be alive, grateful to go home, and I kept telling Pete how much I loved him and wouldn’t stop holding his hand and hugging him.

Monday (the next day) I was supposed to be on the road to Kansas (a fourteen hour drive) by around 8:00am. I decided against it and allowed myself to sleep in a bit instead.  I had been prescribed a heavy dose of narcotic pain killers, but I never picked the meds up.  I opted for a couple Advil, taking it easy, and a massage that afternoon.

Tuesday I drove 14 hours to Kansas.

Wednesday I had a headache and felt like I’d been hit by a car (and yes, I actually know what that feels like).

Thursday morning I drove 6.5 hours to Colorado and moved into my new apartment.  After dinner that evening, I felt the worst I’d felt since my accident.  Let’s just say, I had the sensation of a flaming ferret trying to crawl out of my skull (and no, I don’t actually know what that feels like).  Ok, a smidge on the exaggerating side – “there were a thousand fire fighters in that house, Dane!” – but I didn’t feel right.  Thankfully, by Friday afternoon, I felt a bit better, and by Saturday I felt good.

Speaking of Saturday, as my welcome-to-Denver present to myself, I played in two Gaelic football games that afternoon.  I’m not sure if it was the altitude, heat, or the fact that I was probably still mildly concussed, but I wouldn’t say it was one of my best performances.  I did have a blast, though, because I was in my element.  To say that I love fresh air, sunshine, sports, and new friends would be an understatement.  I feel FULLY ALIVE when I am outside, moving, and socializing.  The Denver Gaels (and Bulldogs (Aussie Footy gals)) are straight-up great, by the way! I am super-duper stoked to get to know these stud-horse girls and play tons of Irish and Australian footy with them all summer and fall.

[Pause]

Where was I going with this post?

Oh ya, I just wanted to state something for the record: I’d rather die living my life to the fullest than die wishing I had.

I know I worry my family sick sometimes.  Last Sunday was my 13th concussion. On top of car accidents (both being in one, and being hit by one), getting struck by lightening, and suffering a mysterious “mini-aneurysm” or “min-stroke” (docs never gave me a straight answer) almost two years ago, this fall in the woods was cause for at least some brief concern.  My family sends me articles about football players, soldiers, and – now – famous authors dying from some form of TBI (traumatic brain injury).  They furrow their brow and tell me “The is serious, Sarah” when I chuckle and say “ok ok, I know I know, but I’ll be alright.”

I have continued to laugh about my accident from last Sunday.  It’s not really funny, per se, but why would I chose to stop living my life and enjoying what I do because of it?

Maybe some people think I am reckless.  Maybe I think some people are boring and scared of life.

This past weekend, the football girls probably thought I was a whack-o for playing in a contact sport 5 days after a concussion with 7 stitches still in my leg.  (A few girls called me a “bad-ass,” but me thinks they might have really meant “craaaaazy” ;-p).

Ok, do I think it would be funny to die young, with a bleed-out in my brain in the middle of the night?  No.  Of course not, and I sincerely hope that does not happen to me.  But I refuse to stop living my life the way that I do.  I am not reckless (I had a helmet on) and I do what I can to prepare for the events in which I place myself.  But I will not stop running because of scoliosis, arthritis, and herniated discs; I will not stop riding my bike because of multiple accidents; and I will not stop pushing the limits just because I “should take it easy.”… The same way I did not stop serving in the Marine Corps after being betrayed by friends and an institution I trusted, or stop laughing when told to pipe down, or stop loving after having my heart broken.  Perhaps you will scoff as you read this and mutter “cliché” but it rings true that it’s all connected.  It’s not a coincidence that I’ve been broken physically and keep getting back up – I’ve been broken emotionally and rallied just the same.  Because it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down; just get up one times many more ;)

I wrecked on my bike last week because I was having a good ride and got excited and ambitious. I wanted to push my limits.  I wanted to grow.  I tried to scale an obstacle on the Alum Creek advanced course that I’ve never taken on before. I lost my balance, and fell head first about eight feet off a platform and down a hill, with my heavy metal mountain bike crashing on top of me.

Did I make it over the obstacle that day?  No.

Did I fall and get severely banged up because of it? Yes.

Will I try it again and hope things go better the next time? Yes.

Like one of previous posts stated: Mountain-biking is a metaphor for life.  If you fall down, get back up.  In the literal sense, we get the metaphor; it’s clear.  But can you apply it to the mental or emotional areas of your life, as well?  If you want more resilience in one area of your life, can you start practicing it in another? 

 

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September 19, 2012

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