Well, Nicks birthday has come and gone. He’s 35 now. He says he’s at the half way point now, but I recon he’s more than half way done. I can be so mean, huh!
Since Fener doesn’t like to make a big deal about his birthday I decided to finally honor his wishes and keep it low key for him. He wanted so badly to jump but the weather wouldn’t cooperate, so we raced go karts instead. Only this time I didn’t let him win!
We also enjoyed dinner at one of his favorites: Red Lobster! I couldn’t believe he didn’t save room for dessert. I mean, he turned down the free dessert! Crazy!
He also tried his foot at an old hobby for the first time at Threshold climbing gym.
Scaling a wall was not easy for him. He didn’t get too high, but he gave every ounce of effort. One issue he faced was lack of leg strength. This means he was hanging on his arms and shoulders too much which exhausted him even quicker than expected. He also can’t flex or rotate his ankles to get good placement on the climbing wall holds and pegs. But even so, he somehow crammed those rigid plastic feet of his into some tight climbing shoes and went for it.
My favorite part was observing the reaction of the other climbers. They watched intently as Nick struggled and slipped his way up. I could feel their respect.
The manager of Threshold, Doug, personally assisted us with a refresher and helped to get us on the wall. He does a lot of work with adaptive programs that help amputees and other disabled people rock climb, and gave us some killer local resources we hadn’t heard of before. And to top it off, Nick got an unexpected email from him a few days later offering to take us outdoor climbing in Joshua Tree this spring. Thanks Doug!
Nick tried to do lunges for the first time today, propped between two wood thingies. It didn’t work, and we realized lunging is not a good idea. Lesson learned. And part of that lesson is that you can’t find your limits unless you test them. Or something like that.
Ignore: mesh Madonna gloves.
Nick finally stood up a landing! It was pretty windy, but dang, were were excited!
Seconds after touching down… giving each other a high five for standing up his landing.
Nick’s trainer is out of town this week, so I’ve been kicking his butt instead.
I’m really proud of his persistence. Today I could see he really wanted to quit after the second round of exercises, but he pushed through. It was tough, and he kept up at a good pace.
He’s exhausted though. I asked him what kind of internal monologue he had going on in those moments of wanting to quit. He told me he kept reminding himself that he had worked so hard just to be able to move around and be stable on his feet, that if he quit the workout early he would just be laying down doing what he used to do back when he was wishing he could be working out. Did that come out right?
We’ve been doing multiple circuits of weight lifting with short bursts of cardio, him on the stationary bike, me on the treadmill. You know what they say: a family that sweats together, stays together.
Happy New Year y’all!
I’m officially naming 2012 The ComeBack Year! Going into 2013, I can’t help but feel like we’ve arrived!
Nick and I aren’t setting “resolutions” per se, but we are going to sit down and write out our goals for the year. Likely, goals that don’t include things like “walk again” or “go a full day without the wheelchair” or “balance for 25 seconds unassisted.”
2013 will be about moving forward, not catching up. And since Nick’s already back to jumping, I think we’ve got a pretty good start.
We ended the year with working out today and spending time with friends, and we will welcome the new year with the same thing tomorrow on the 1st.
Health and happiness.
When you break down the complexities of everyday life, doesn’t it all boil down to these two things anyway?
I’m at a crossroads right now. I know that, regarding life, I can go in whatever direction I choose. But I suffer from womanhood; I can’t seem to make a decision. At least not about anything truly important.
This leads me to The New Year. This year I want to make decisions more quickly, more definitively, and with more guts. I’m tired of him-hawing around. I’m 32 and in the prime of my life. Opportunities abound, I just need to figure out which ones to take and which ones to let go of. I didn’t “waste” the last year and a half, but I certainly did diverge from my life plan. Shit, I didn’t just diverge from it, I stomped it to oblivion. The old plan is gone, and similar to my childhood, it’s fun to think about at times until I realize it’s gone forever, maturity robbing it of it’s magic.
I’ve been so caught up in Nick’s world that I haven’t spent much time in my own. Even now, three weeks after his first jump back, I’m still tangled in the mess of discovering who I am and what I want from life now. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I know it’s not the same as it used to be. How could it be? The events of the last year and a half have skewed my view of life and love and mortality and value and purpose and passion and happiness so much so that I sometimes get lost in all the new ideas and attitudes I have developed. And what does that mean moving forward? How can I make the most of life? How can I make it count? Like REALLY count. How can I give the most? Live the most? Love the most? Connect and care the most? Experience and learn the most? How? How? How?
Analysis paralysis. I just don’t know where to start, and that’s the basis for my New Years Resolution: to shit, or get off the pot. Reorganize. Prioritize. And take action! Vague, I know, but this is the first step, to no longer settle for lengthy spans of indecision.
Christmas 2012 was truly fantastic. We started with a leisurely wake up and surprise visit from my Dad. We had no idea he was coming. In fact, he specifically told me we would not be seeing him this Christmas because he had several other places to go. Well, when he walked in our front door that morning he startled the shit out of us. He only stayed for 11 minutes before he hit the road again. It was like a drive-by. Wham Bam Thank You Dad!
After Dad took off we both worked out separately, but each worked our legs. Nick did the home workout Bri gave him and even used my 5lb ankle weights on his stumps for some of the moves. It was a great warm up for the fun day (and for the apple cobbler Nick later ate).
At Mom Fener’s house we spent hours laughing, hanging out, eating her amazing food, and playing cards. Somehow I managed to bypass the sweets, even when Seth brought the tray of fudge over and sat it down right in front of me! Mom’s holiday hospitality was warm and jolly as usual.
Despite the great time I had on Christmas eve and day, I am thrilled it’s over. I am ready to move on. I’m ready for 2013.
The Fener boys chillin’ on Christmas Day.