Tag: adaptive

What’s Your Story with Christy Gardner

What’s Your Story with Christy Gardner

 US Army Veteran, USA Sled Hockey Teammate, Therapy Dog Trainer, Special Olympics Coach, Bilateral Below Knee Amputee

Christy does it all! She is amazing, inspiring, and constantly pushing her limits to see what is possible!

As I wrap up my interviews for Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness month (April), I have to say I am renewed, Inspired, and ready to take on the world!

Christy was planning on serving our country for the maximum number of years, until one fateful day she was hit by a local strike in an undisclosed area she was serving as a MP Sergeant. She ended up with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord damage which ultimately led to her double amputation.  She was distraught and had been told that she would never talk or walk again and would never be able to live on her own.

What saved her? How did she go from that “diagnoses” to becoming an alternate to the US Paralympic Track and Field team, a member of the women’s US Sled Hockey team, therapy/service dog trainer, and living alone?  Well, you need to listen in to hear her tell her story. Hear how a friend at the VA kept inviting her to come see what sports were available, how a dog named Moxie changed her life forever for the best, and how her unrelenting desire to be better and achieve the impossible, made everything possible once again!

 

Don’t miss this episode and an opportunity to find your own strength in Christy’s story.

Thank you, Christy, for spending time with me and blessing us with your story of hardship and triumph, and how you were able to overcome such large obstacles. You are a true warrior and such an inspiration! Best wishes in all you do.

 

Competition is such a powerful motivator for Christy…

 

But then again, so was Moxie!🐾

 

Make sure you watch the YouTube episode of my interview with Christy, as well! You can find my YouTube channel by search BAWarrior360

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

What’s Your Story with Noah Elliott

What’s Your Story with Noah Elliott

2x Paralympic Medalist, Father, and Cancer Survivor-Noah Elliott

 

Wow! Do you need some inspiration? Make sure you listen in today! Noah Elliott shares the journey he has been on since the age of 15, and how he went from becoming a teen father to cancer diagnoses to 2x Olympic medalist!  I mean, WOW!!!

2022 Winter Olympics

 

 Noah doing what he does!

 

Doing what he loves and his personality shines through the heaviest of winter clothing!😎

 

I am honored to call him a friend and am inspired beyond words at the grit and determination he has shown throughout his young life.

If you are struggling in your own journey and find it hard to be positive then consider this interview a huge dose of positivity made just for you.

Noah’s story will inspire, empower and lift you up.

Remember, we all go through hard times and Noah is just a person, like you and me. Listen and see if you can hear what makes him stand out from the crowd. Listen and hear what took him from what could have been a life of impossibilities to him doing the impossible.

See what you can learn from this interview, and the others from the past month, that set these individuals with limb loss/limb difference apart from the crowd. What do they have that you can adopt and use to achieve your goals. Remember, anything is possible with the right mindset, attitude, and faith in yourself.

Remember to like, subscribe and share so you don’t miss an episode!

 

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

And as always:

 

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Tell Me Your Story: Andrew Hauser

Tell Me Your Story: Andrew Hauser

Andrew Hauser: Athletic Trainer/Strength Coach to the MLB and NFL players

I am so excited to share amazing stories all month, interviewing people from all over, who have gone through losing a limb or have limb difference, and letting them share their story and how they have risen from and conquered the challenges in their lives.

This week’s interview is with Andrew Hauser, athletic trainer/strength coach in the MLB and with NFL players, who lost his leg in a scary and tragic accident at 18 years old.  He was a baseball player and getting ready to head off to college to a whole new world when this took place. Can you even imagine being 18 years old with whole world in your reach, only to have your life turned upside down in a heartbeat?!?!

Andrew’s positive outlook, and his ability to be introspective and calm, was not only astonishing at such a young age, but it probably was the key to him bouncing back and living an amazing life, full of adventure and helping others strive to reach their highest potential in the field he works in.

Listen in as you hear Andrew talk about his journey, the hurdles he had to jump through, finding a wife to love and be loved by, and embarking on a career that he hadn’t dreamed of as an 18 year old.  Hear what took place, in his own words, and how he ended up reconnecting with his identity as an athlete and having an incredible job, doing what he loves.

Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your story, your journey, and the struggles and triumphs you experienced along the way!

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much Love,

Angie

 

A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

Let’s Take a Peek

Hi! My name is Angie and I am an above knee amputee and a skin fit socket wearer.

There are many struggles you might first think about when you see an amputee, the most obvious is walking (if they are a leg amputee), but there are so many daily, little (and big) struggles that you might never know about unless you are an amputee.

Did you know that most of us don’t shower with our leg on? Just getting in and out of a shower is a chore in and of itself!

We don’t sleep with it on, either, which means if and when we get up in the middle of the night we have to have other ways to get around, such as walker, crutches, wheelchairs.

And as a skin fit socket wearer, I have to be careful of my weight and what I consume. Lose too much weight and my socket won’t stay on. Gain even 4 pounds and it won’t even fit!

If I drink alcohol or consume too much salt the night before, I pay for it in the morning with a leg that won’t fit properly in the socket!

With Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness month coming in April I decided to share with you this week what a day in the life of a skin fit socket wearer looks like.  I hope my journey helps you embrace yours, help someone who is going through this too, or educates you on the inner workings of an above knee amputee.

Please make sure you stay tuned the next month as I have special guests all lined up during April that can share their stories of limb loss, limb difference, and how they traverse their life to find success. 2 of my guests are Paralympians who just competed in Bejing!! Trust me, you don’t want to miss April!!

 

 

This week, reach out to someone going through amputation, preparing to go through amputation, or is struggling with their own journey.

If you really want to make a difference then check out ROMP Global, HERE, where you can donate and get involved in helping get prosthesis into the hands of people in desperate need of them.  There is nothing more gratifying than helping someone find freedom of mobility through giving.  This group of people at ROMP do amazing work!!

 

I wish you an amazing week, make sure you don’t judge a book by the cover, and understand there is more to amputees than just learning to walk again.

As always, until next time,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Me being me😁
Somebody’s Watching Me

Somebody’s Watching Me

….. And They’re Watching You, Too.

I know, that sounds creepy but it’s not what you think.  Did you know that you influence and impact more people daily than you realize?

As a parent I knew right away that my boys were watching me, my every move, even when it appeared that they were enthralled in a movie, game, or activity! They’d say something, or repeat me, or act the way I did. Wow! What an eye opener that was for me as a mom. Now as an amputee I am realizing that people are watching, every move feels like it’s being monitored.

At first you might think they are just being rude and it makes you feel uncomfortable, almost paralyzing, afraid of stumbling or looking weak and incapable; at least that’s how I felt.  Then I decided to make eye contact and smile….and you know what?  People started opening up!  They’d ask if it was rude to ask what happened, if I was a vet, if I’m comfortable in a prosthetic.  Some people would tell me about their journey and rough patches they were going through. Some even asked my thoughts on amputation because they were at that juncture in their own life.  I mean, wow!

Connection. Comradery. Compassion.

People are curious, they have questions and want to understand what it’s like to be an amputee and what makes us tick.

After my journey from injury to amputation, and now beyond, I feel it is my purpose, and obligation, to help others. If I have experiences that can help someone else through their trials then I need to share my experiences, good and bad. I have found that talking with others, sharing my story, my journey, not only gives them insight and a foundation to help them along their path, it also fills my bucket up, motivates me, and puts a spring in my step that day.

I love sharing my story with anyone who asks. I love showing curious children my leg and helping their parents understand that it’s ok for their children to be curious and ask questions.  I wished more amputees were so open, but the reality is that some are hurting inside, struggling to make sense of what they are going through, wondering if they can carry on.  If that’s you, I’m sorry you are going through that, but know you are not alone and you don’t have to be stuck in that mental space.

Break free from those mental and physical confines by sharing your experience, you’ll be surprised how healing that can be.  When you share your story, you let go of some of those hard emotions by allowing others to absorb them, listening to you, and validating your feelings and struggles.  And when they share their own struggles in reply you’ll realize you AREN’T alone after all, which is such a load off your heart.

I’m telling you, it is an AMAZING feeling to share your journey, your struggles, your successes with people who are strangers that become invested and lift you up with their words.

Embrace that you are different. Share your story, you may help someone along the way. I know you’ll be helping yourself when you do.

 

 

This week I challenge you to make eye contact, smile and see what relationships you create, and who’s lives you’ll touch with your story. It’s time to face the fears you have about your circumstance. It won’t be easy for some of you but I can tell you that I haven’t met a person who hasn’t made a difference in my life when I’ve made those connections.  I love telling people what I went through. I’m proud of the courage it took me to get here. I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to get over being self-conscience, and how hard I’ve worked to achieve things some people never thought I could do as an amputee.  Be proud of your story and the scars you have, and share it with who ever is curious. You will feel liberated and find healing in opening up.

Get out there and be brave. Share your journey.  You have so much to offer this world.

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Much love,

Angie

 

 

Rise to the Challenge

Rise to the Challenge

In a Sink or Swim World, Become a Gold Medalist in the Breaststroke

 

Each one of us struggles at one time or another. No one goes through life without challenges, even those who look like they have it “all together”, don’t go unscathed, they have just figured it out how to swim. They tackle the situation, use positivity, and keep pushing forward until they make it through the other side of pain and tribulation.  Through our challenges we are given the chance to grow and find ourselves. We build character and an appreciation of the good times.

Challenges don’t pick and choose the time they come into our lives, we need to be ready to rock and roll with them when they show up. We need to be in our top form, mentally, emotionally, and physically, so we can handle them with strength, confidence, and grace.

 

In today’s podcast I share my journey about the most recent physical challenge that turned mental and how I pushed through and rose to the occasion. As hard as today was, I made it!  While I struggled, I got a glimpse of my character and my weakness in my armor. It was then that I had to dig deep to find myself and the power I held to compete, and win.

What are you struggling with right now?  What has you on your knees, begging for help?  Whatever it is, know that you are not alone and that you CAN swim.

 

 

Odd as it may seem, when you’re struggling sometimes the best medicine is to redirect your attention elsewhere and do something that makes you feel good.

This week I want you to find something to challenge yourself with, something attainable but tough. Find a non-profit you believe in and go to work at helping them by raising funds and/or awareness while challenging yourself to get out and get active.

There’s nothing better than exercise and fresh air to make you feel better and alive.

So, get after it. You are a rockstar and ready to shine!

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

 

Fear

Fear

Everything you want in life is on the other side of fear.  To be able to accomplish those goals you will have to face those things that scare you or stand down and not accomplish them.  The choice is yours, every single time.

You may have also heard the saying that fear can either represent:

Forget Everything And Run

or

Face Everything And Rise

 

I understand fear, and the chance that I may not succeed. The fear of failure, or looking “stupid” trying and failing, is real. I hate NOT being able to do something that I set out to do and have really had to dig down deep to push through the fear of failing at it. Losing my leg has definitely made me face that fear every single day. It became a thrive and survive situation for me with no way out except through.  I have learned a lot about me, learned to control my emotions as I face fearful situations, and grace when I don’t succeed on the first try. I pick myself back up and try again, and again, and again, until I get it done, and done right.

The reality is that every day we all face something that can stop us in our tracks or push us to rise and conquer, and each day we have a choice on how we will handle the situations that confront us.  What will you choose? How will you handle the fears that challenge you?

I know that each of our stories is different, but fear is fear. What I have realized from overcoming amputation is that when I choose to push through the challenges and fears in my life, I am richly rewarded with success, which then helps me drive through the next situation.

This can be your story too! Don’t let fear take hold of you and dictate your life. Grab the bull by the horns and take charge. You only get this one life, you deserve to find happiness, live well, and be healthy.

 

I am still learning to function in my running blade. It isn’t easy and I have a lot of fear associated with it, as I often trip and fall hard. The past few days I have worn it into the gym and gotten on the treadmill and worked out in it. I have been pushing past the fear that people are watching and if I fall and get hurt, I would be mortified, and yet I continue to wear it and work through it, at my own pace. My stress levels are a bit higher than if I went into the gym with my normal leg, but I wouldn’t learn to rise from this fear and overcome it.  The only way to winning this war is straight through. I must have patience and grace with myself as I learn to function with this leg, so I will continue on this path until I don’t feel this way anymore.

 

Now it’s your turn:

Start now. What are you most fearful of right now in your life? Start small, if you must, fear is fear. Your goal this week is to face your fear head on and push through. You may get burned, you may stumble and fall-metaphorically or literally like in my case, but work at it. Each day spend time facing it, dealing with it, instead of pushing it aside for “another day”. This is the day to rise up and feel great about yourself. By completing something difficult or challenging yourself to something you fear you grow. You build character and come out a little stronger, and a little wiser, ready to take on the next roadblock that appears in your life.

Best of luck at kicking fear aside and rise from the situation this week. Attack and don’t give up. Have grace with yourself if you fall down, pick yourself up by the bootstraps, and go at it again, until you find success. You can do it, I have faith in you!

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

The look of facing fear and coming out on top! 💪
Hit the Pause Button

Hit the Pause Button

Now is the time. You deserve it and you probably need it, too.  It’s time to slow down, breathe, and enjoy your life.

If you can spare 5-10 minutes each day to stop what’s on your schedule, slow yourself down, and put aside your to-do list you can reap the benefits.  Set down your phone, eliminate distractions, and make time for YOU!

It’s not always easy to find the time, I get it, but start small and build on it.

I feel like I spend all day working on this thing or that.  I don’t slow down, and my list grows and grows on what needs to be done. I find myself always on the next step while doing the previous task, telling myself that if I get X, Y, Z done then I will sit down and rest for a moment…. but you know those times never come, right?  Can you relate?

What I HAVE figured out is that it takes time to work out the schedule that fits your life. I know people who have set their routines up and have told me to just do it “first thing in the morning”, like them. or at lunch break or right before bed, but the truth of the matter is, you need to figure out what works for you.

As a mom and wife, I have felt that even certain years in my life there was no time for me, and that’s unfortunate, because those moments when I was a new wife or a mommy to my babies, I probably needed “me” time more than ever. I guess that’s just part of the journey, better late than never.

I want you to know and learn to do this, spending time for yourself, earlier than I did, if you can. I want to help you make the most of your life, wherever you are at in it. There are so many benefits to slowing down and learning to breathe correctly, no matter how old you are, or what you are going through.

 

 

To my surprise this week, as I began taking my mornings to be still and outside in our Arizona sun, feeling the fresh air go deep in my lungs, quieting my thoughts, and shutting down my phone, my dogs let me know we had an unusual visitor.  A large mule deer, a buck, was laying out in our backyard. He, too, was enjoying our warm sun.  What a gift it was to watch him, photograph him and be present and enjoy his beauty.  Any other day, I would have missed him, and that got me thinking. What else have I missed?

Well, no more! I plan to make a moment in my day, each day, all about disconnecting with my regularly scheduled programming, to connect with nature, breathe, silence my mind, and listen to the sounds of the world…. even if only for 5-10 minutes a day.

How about you? What do you have to lose? I challenge you to give it a try and see what benefits you see in your day to day thinking, emotions, and health.

 

This week I want you to figure out what works for you, make time for yourself, where can you afford to take a 5-10 minute break.  I get it, it won’t be easy to find the time, but YOU A WORTH IT! Make it happen. Leave your phone off, stop all actions. Find a place where you won’t be tempted to do ANYTHING, a place, preferably outside.  Even if it’s still wintery cold where you live, poke your head or body outside for 5 minutes and breathe slow, dep breathes. Feel the air enter your lungs and clear your head.  If you struggle letting go of your thoughts then practice counting while you breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold.  Count to 10, slowly, as you breathe in.  Hold your breathe for 4 seconds then breathe out, slowly, as you count to ten again, then hold.

Do this for at least 5-10 minutes a day for the next week.  See what happens from it. How do you feel afterward? How productive are you this week because of that time you spent on yourself?

You might be surprised at the results, even if you are just a bit happier, isn’t your mental well-being worth it? I think it is, and so are you!

 

Give it a try and let me know how it’s going.

Have an amazing week,

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Fluid, Flexible, but Ferocious

Fluid, Flexible, but Ferocious

Managing Expectations

 

Sometimes we just feel like nothing is going right, we can get down on ourselves, or worse,  OTHERS, because of what we are going through.  When we expect certain things to go a certain way we can be setting ourselves up for a let down of epic proportions.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for your best, or to set those types of expectations/goals for yourselves. You should always work at achieving something greater than where you are at now, for example, if you want to walk to your mailbox, with your prosthetic, but have only gotten to the end of your driveway, then go for it. It’s achievable but will take hard work, time, and positive attitude.  What I am referring to is how you feel in your prosthetic or what you are expecting from your prosthetist.

My prosthetists: Randy and David
The Limb Center

Teamwork!

The work room where Randy does all his magic!

Be forewarned, you need to know the difference between a prosthetist who is giving his or her all to you and those who aren’t. You also need to know if you are just expecting too much. Remember, you lost your limb, nothing can replace the real thing. What you ARE looking for is something that will be doable to get around on and is comfortable enough NOT to cause any other issues, such as: blisters, infection, bruising, etc.  YOU have to know the difference between when you are expecting too much or when your prosthetist isn’t giving enough. And that, my friends, takes time and listening to your gut.

 

You can best determine if you are getting the best care possible if your questions are being addressed, your concerns are being heard, and actions are being taken to assure your best interests are being met.  If in your gut you feel you aren’t being heard, or given proper time to address issues you are having, then you probably aren’t in the right office.  However, you also need to understand that no practitioner is going to be able to give you ‘perfect’.  There is no such thing, and you need to manage THOSE expectations and find a common ground, one where you feel good enough about your fit, and aren’t in major pain.  My leg I have right now, after almost three years, feels the best….but it’s not perfect.  I can deal with what I have to deal with because it’s better than it’s ever been.  I have to know that this is a good thing, I lowered my expectations to an 80-90% pain free, versus looking for 100% pain free.  And I’m ok with that. I am also a better, happier, thus healthier ME, because I have come to terms with not feeling perfect.

Catch my drift?

You don’t need to settle, that’s not what I am saying, but know the difference of getting good, quality health care versus high expectations that NO ONE could possibly supply you.

I’m the lucky one. I had an amazing doctor who directed me to two of the most kind, caring and talented prosthetists around.  They care about me, my lifestyle, and making my life the best they can give.  I ask questions, tell them my symptoms and they work with me to achieve that. I don’t complain or blame them for ill-fitting sockets, I just ask for their help to make it better. I communicate clearly about what’s going on and they do the rest.  We work together and make it a “give and take” relationship that works. After all, it’s going to be a long ride with these guys.

 

 

Work on journaling your feeling and where you are struggling.  Try to keep track of and acknowledge the time of day, weather, and other factors that could be causing you issues. Is there a common thread? Can you work around that or fix it yourself? Is it your mindset holding you back or is it a true issue with your fit?

Practice being flexible and patient.

Understand and communicate with your practitioner about what you are going through, dealing with, and what you need. Pay attention to your body so you CAN communicate clearly.  These small things will help you give them the best shot of actually helping you, after all, you are the only one who can feel what you feel and describe what’s going right and wrong. It’s our job to communicate clearly and accurately so they can help us to the best of their ability.

Let go off perfection. It won’t ever get there but those thoughts will make you grumpy and frustrated with everything going WRONG that you’ll forget to focus on what is going right. Be positive!

 

You can do this, I believe in you!

Change your mindset,

Stay positive,

Find a level of comfort you CAN live with and

Get out and live your life!!!

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Giving the Gift of Activity

Giving the Gift of Activity

Staying Active Through the Hard times…and Making it FUN!

Me out hiking on a “good” day….

However, you may ask,  “How about those bad days, Angie? How do you stay active and in a good place when you’re struggling?”

 

I have found ways to alleviate the pain I feel in a socket that’s not fitting properly (which happens every few months, the first couple of years after becoming an amputee, as your limb changes) or if I’m just bruised and sore from a hard workout the day before.  I like to have fun and the activities I use get me out and active, but also allow me to forget, for however briefly, that I am an amputee and let’s me play and enjoy time with my family or on my own.

 

These are just a few ideas I wanted to share, that I use often, and have found to be a great workout while having fun.  Please know, that I didn’t just accomplish doing some of these activities. Some took time and practice, practice, practice.  That was where the fun, for me, came in. I found activities that I thought would be a challenge, or ones that people would tell me would be impossible for an above knee amputee.  There is nothing more fun or rewarding, to me, than proving people wrong!

Listen in to my podcast and take a look at the list provided below of the company’s I have used.  All of these company’s I am using are only because they are what I found, liked and pricing worked for me.  IndoBoard is the only company that I am representing and I have a code you can use to get a discount when checking out.

Take a peek!⤵

Wavestorm Surfboards

 

 

IndoBoard

 

 

MagLock Bike Pedals

 

 

Kahuna Creations

 

 

 

**When you click on the IndoBoard link, above,  it will take you to my affliate link where you will recieve a discount upon checkout.

I don’t have a particular scooter I like or prefer but here’s me enjoying myself on my scooter, too!

 

Enjoy this podcast whether you are an amputee looking for ways to stay active during hard times, or if you know someone who could use a fun way to get in shape.

Disclaimer: Please know that with any of these exercises you can get hurt. Please take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and always, start slowly and work your way up.

 

 

 

Best wishes and as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie