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Abracadabra

Abracadabra

Phantoms and Serving Others: How do they fit together?

 

Ok, so maybe it’s not THAT easy to rid yourself of phantom pains, but it does help.

 

SERVING.

When we distract our minds then we can free ourselves, even temporarily, from pain.  So why not help others while you help yourself?  I can’t think of anything better than serving where I’m needed, helping someone else out, while I get an opportunity to keep so busy that I don’t think about my own problems.

Six years ago my oldest son started to go part-time to a Christian school here in the valley. I found out that they go up to Williams, AZ to Lost Canyon Young Life camp every Fall and always need parent volunteers and I thought I could help.  I knew no one and I was actually already struggling with knee pain and surgeries, but I thought what better way to meet new people and distract myself from my own misery.

To say that this was life-changing for me would be an understatement!  I meant fantastic new people, made great friends, grew in my Faith (which proved to be invaluable as amputation time came), and I helped the school fill a need.  Did my knee hurt? You betcha!  Did I notice it while I served? Not as much as if I had sat around and felt sorry for myself.

You see, when we sit around with an idle mind we, as humans, tend to dwell on our hardships.  We let that inner voice go from positive to negative in a heartbeat.  Who needs that?  It doesn’t help your situation or circumstance and actually makes you miserable to be around.

As the years passed, and so did my years of being at this retreat, I learned something about myself.  I use activity to take my mind off my own problems, pains, and worries.  Retreat became more of a saving grace for me, while I blessed our students.  Who would’ve know? And then that became the key to me pushing through pain, and eventually phantom pain. You see, phantom pain is not “real, physical” pain but nerves that don’t know what to do with the signals being sent out.  In this case there isn’t a lot we can do  to “physically” curb those feelings, we must dig deeper and address them through our mind.  Training our brain to function differently now that we are missing a limb.

If I find myself being active, in a new place with beautiful surroundings, I am more apt to move past my pains and focus on the good around me.  Take a look at where I was this past week in the pictures below:

Iron Horse Worship Center

 

The grounds are so clean and beautiful, and the weather is so much cooler than Phoenix.

 

The magnificent dining hall I have served in for the past 6 years.
This year was my last as my youngest is a senior. It was hard to say good-bye.😥

In a world were there is so much need for servers, and volunteers, why not get out and do something good while you reap the benefits of distracting yourself from your own pain AND doing good?  Also, whenever I spend time serving others I notice that I am riding on a cloud for weeks following my serving.  There is something so magical about helping others through our own valleys.  Try it!  You may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

 

Oh, by the way, did I mention the night skies?  Awe-inspiring is all I can say!

 

 

 

It’s simple, like magic and a slight of the hand:

 

Serve others before yourself.

Give of yourself and watch how God work in and through you.

 

Abracadabra, let your pain go, use distraction, and like magic, you can have some peace from your pain.

Find a way to get involved in your community. Give to someone else that’s hurting or worse of then you, believe me, there is always someone who is struggling with more than what you are. Find what’s good about your life, your circumstance, and then use that fuel to help others. You will be glad you did.

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

When The Going Gets Tough

When The Going Gets Tough

How do you deal when hard times come a knockin’?

 

Do you throw your hands up in defeat or do you reach deep down and find the strength to carry on?

Do you belittle yourself into an out of control spin or do you use words of affirmation and pull yourself up by the bootstraps?

 

I have been realizing, of late, that I am struggling with motivation. I think the move did me in and I’m still recuperating from the physical battles I had to overcome with packing and unpacking a home.  My body has been aching more and my residual limb, well, let’s just say we are trying to come to terms with what I want to do and what it is capable of doing.

I have pushing myself to get out the door and put my walks and exercise time in, only to find that my physical game is struggling, which then plays into my mental game. This past weekend I went for a long walk with my husband, only to find that my limb really didn’t have it in it to walk as long as I wanted to… but I pushed myself and my mind won.  However, that wasn’t the only win that day.  I walked the longest I had walked in my new socket- 2 miles, but I also pushed myself into an opportunity to see where my mental fortitude lay.  This is how this podcast came about. I realized how much I talk to myself in the “heat of the battle”.  My mind was speaking to my heart and my leg.  I then asked myself why I go through this pain and hurt.  What was I getting out of doing this to myself?

I learned a lot about myself as I walked in the 98 degree Arizona summer sun, pushing myself to go farther, to not turn around, and not to give up.  I find that this is beneficial for me to see what I am made of, to work out the kinks in my prosthesis, and build my character and create positive moments in my life.  Is it easy? Was it easy?  Absolutely NOT!  But as the saying goes, nothing worth earning comes from “easy”.  We benefit more from a situation that is hard to get through because when we rise out on the other side we claim victory, and this is great for self motivation and helps us deal with the next hard moment, which is sure to come.

 

This was a moment of finding out what I was made of.
A 10K race just 1 year after amputation.

 

The question is, how are you handling those tough moments? Do you want to do better? Feel better? Look better? Then it comes down to your mindset and the way you talk to yourself.  Positive self-talk is so important. We tell our kids to not put themselves down, when they screw up, but are we beating ourselves up when we fall short? It’s easy to say this to people when you realize what they are doing to themselves, but to practice what you preach can be tough and a hard pill to swallow.  I realized the day after I did this walk that I had a really hard time with the pain and my usual exercise, and I started to get angry with myself, using negative words and being frustrated…. so easy to fall into that pattern. I saw that I was doing exactly what I said NOT to do and instantly changed my inner voice to a positive tone. Did it make it easier to finish, not necessarily, but I was better for it, and learned a lot about myself that day.  I know that I can be physically strong but mentally weak and will struggle.  These two go hand in hand.  It’s time to change how you treat yourself and how you talk to yourself.

Listen in to this week’s podcast to hear how that day went for me, as I recorded in the midst of that moment. It’s raw emotion and the reality of that struggle and hear what you can do to help yourself the next time doubt and fear creep in to your mind.

 

 

This week I want you to really listen  to your inner voice.

Are you speaking negatively to yourself? Putting yourself down and beating yourself up?  Be honest.  Nothing good will come from lying to yourself or being in denial.

Listen to your mind when you realize you’re battling something. What do you hear?  More than likely you are negative. It’s really common to do that. We hate making mistakes, and sometimes we feel unworthy of where we are. Stop! Give yourself grace to fall, talk kindly to yourself and pick yourself back up.

This week practice positive self-talk. It’s time to ramp up your mental game so you can go out with confidence into this world and kick butt.  There is no room for negativity. Love yourself for where you are now, set goals to where you want to be, and speak kindly and positively. You just might find yourself reach those goals quicker than you imagined you ever could.

You can do this!  Believe in yourself, I do!

 

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!! (You deserve that!)

 

Much love,

Angie

Attitude is Everything
Shop Talk with Randy West

Shop Talk with Randy West

How about that fit, though?

Randy, my prosthetist, with the cast of my residual limb

 

This is the first step, for some prosthetists, when it comes to making their patient’s next socket. There are many steps, and it can be frustrating with how long it can take, only to realize you may need to make a bunch of corrections to the final socket over the course of the following weeks of receiving it.  It is a process, like everything in life, and can test your resolve and patience.  But  stay the course, my friend!  If you have an amazing prosthetist, like I do, then let them work their magic and make the adjustments.  It’ll be a better fit in the long run and you’ll be a better, well-adjusted person conquering the world once again.

Adjustments need to be made, over and over again! Thanks, Randy!

 

But what if you don’t feel like you’re being heard or, better yet, being blamed for the fit not working for you?  That’s when you may need to seek outside help and opinions….and NOT from strangers on social media but from practicing professionals.  It may take some time and effort on your part but it’s ok to shop around and talk with other prosthetists. Having a new set of eyes on the issues you may be having with your fitting is your prerogative and your right.  This is YOUR life after all.

Teamwork makes the dream work!
And even professionals will ask for a new set of eyes to help them make it right for you…or at least they should-It’s called humility.

 

Communication and listening are two qualities you should look for in a prosthetist. they should be willing to take the time that is needed, not allotted, to talk with you and understand your pains, concerns and issues with your fit.  If they can’t do that, listen to your gut and find someplace else to go.

Listen in to today’s podcast where I talk with my prosthetist about the types of sockets, how to handle office visits and reassuring you that it’s ok to move on if the relationship isn’t working out. We also jump into what you can do to help yourself and getting out of your own way when working with your professional.

He makes some really good points that you really should hear especially if you’re struggling right now with your fit and/or your prosthetist.

 

You can also find the interview on my YouTube channel: Angie Heuser-BAWarrior360

 

Time to get real.

I believe there are 3 components to your success with fitting and then succeeding as an amputee:

Physical, Emotional, Mental

First, get past the amputation-or with whatever you are struggling. This is the mental component and it might be taking you in the wrong direction. If you are still struggling with being an amputee then you need to figure out how to right this or you won’t be able to move on. Stop looking into the past, at what you had, or how you were wronged. To be successful at anything, not just being an amputee, you need to embrace where you are NOW.  Find someone to talk to, create a journal, add to your vision board, do something to get you to look forward and not in the past.

Make time for you and embrace the journey YOU are on.

 

 

Second, it’s ok to be sad, angry, disappointed at where you are. Express that emotion and then move on. It’s not ok to dwell in that negativity, it will only lead to other issues such as health issues. Your body isn’t designed to stay in a stressed, angry phase for long periods of time and it will eventually start to react to the negativity. You don’t need more issues on top of what you are already dealing with, so deal with your emotions- now!  Use the above ideas to help you get started.

Finally, the physical aspect. As amputees we need to get a great fitting socket or life can get harder than it already is. You need to be in the right office, with the right prosthetist, who listens to you and takes your scenario to heart. But you are responsible for communicating well,  and giving him/her your best. if the above two aspects are a struggle for you then this physical aspect is going to be tough. Your mind has to be in the right place because the physical side of amputation is demanding. We must be strong, courageous, willing to push through some hard stuff, just to get exactly what we need to live a full and healthy life.

It is an uphill battle some days, but the view from the top is amazing! Get after it!

 

You can do this!

Don’t give up. Ask questions, get help, talk it out with people who love you and listen.

You will get through this, and when you do, you’ll be all the more stronger and badass for it!!

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Fit As A Fiddle-Ha!

Fit As A Fiddle-Ha!

Prosthetics 101-Part 2  Fitting

Getting my fitting checked with Randy. (@limbmaster)

 

No matter how many questions I asked and how many people I talked to prior to amputation, no one can help you understand the things you don’t even know to ask in the first place…. for example, I knew it would take time, about 2 years, for my residual limb to shrink, change, and mature. What I didn’t know was that what I ate the day before may make my socket not fit the next morning, or that losing weight and gaining weight can be detrimental to a good fitting socket!  Oh, I’m learning that now, boy am I ever!! But it’s these moments that I hope my journey will help someone else navigate their own. It’s not something I would have even thought about asking someone before my amputation, but it’s definitely a factor in why so many amputees are struggling to fit well into their sockets.

My newest socket that’s almost ready for pick up! No more excuses!💪🏼

 

This socket is one of the many I have had made for me and my ever-changing limb. It truly is a journey, and one that you need to embrace and wrap your head around. Once you go through an amputation you won’t be problem or pain free. You will have ups and downs, good days and bad. It’s how you handle them that counts, and understanding your own body is vitally important for you to get the best fit for your socket.  Being able to accurately communicate what is going on with your fit, to your prosthetist, will help him or her make the best socket, and adjustments, for you. Also, if you know where you want your body weight to be, and hold yourself accountable, that will also help eliminate issues with fitting into your leg as well.

I wish I had known that in the beginning, but I’m glad I understand that now. I am more aware of changes to my body and therefore able to comprehend what’s going on with my fit. Sometimes it’s just what it is, and my limb is changing and maturing the further out from surgery I get. Other times, it’s on me and whether I’m eating well, or exercising too much or not enough. Self-awareness is vital to your fit, and your fit is vital to your overall health. If you aren’t fitting well into your socket then you’ll be more apt to give up and not wear it, thus causing you to become more unhealthy and that in turn can really bring you down, emotionally.  See how your fit can effect the other areas of your life?

Check out this podcast as I delve into some issues I’ve been having and how I am correcting them. Also, you can check out my You Tube channel for my video podcasts and other videos on exercise,

Before you go, subscribe to my site so you won’t miss an episode!

 

This week I want you to start making goals and sticking to them.

*Set a specific day AND time to weigh yourself, weekly.

*Decide where you want to be with your weight and start working towards that.

*Baby steps- start making good habits with exercise. Maybe start with simple pushups and do what you can. The next day do the same if not one more, and so on. Also, don’t forget about your core! A strong core will make walking easier and help you avoid other issues like a bad back or sore hip.

*Track what you eat! work on having a calorie deficit, if you want to lose weight, or set a calorie intake for the day and stick to it. It’s ok to have something you love, once in a while. Total restriction isn’t fun nor beneficial. This is NOT a diet but a change in your thinking. Accountability is key to seeing this through. Use an app for calorie counting, it’s so much easier that way. I use the app Lose It! and have for several years now.

*Remember, it’s a journey. It won’t happen over night and give yourself some grace when you fall down. Get back up and continue to move forward. You can do this!!

Reach out to me if you have any questions. I’m happy to help and here for you.

Follow me on Instagram at @BAWarrior360

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love and happy exercising,

Angie

Prosthetics 101: Part 1

Prosthetics 101: Part 1

In the beginning….

This is me, with Randy West, in my first prosthetic and 50 lbs heavier! Yikes!!

 

This picture is hard for me to look at. I had been through years of surgeries and being laid up. I wasn’t active at all because I couldn’t. I was either in surgery, elevating my knee from surgery, in PT, or in just too much pain. Sadly, my mental game took as big of a hit as my physical game. I was starting to worry that my physical health was going to continue to decline and never be good again, but my prosthetist, Randy, knew that I wanted more out of life and so he and I worked so very hard to get the best fitting socket I could get so I could get out and become active once again…after all, I hurt myself going for my 2nd degree black belt. I was actually in great shape when I got hurt.

Deciding on amputation wasn’t an easy decision but I am so glad I did it. Not only did it save me from becoming even heavier and more unhealthy, it saved my mental and emotional life, as well.  I am so very happy now, even when my days are long and hard, even when my socket isn’t fitting just right, and even through phantom pain, I can say, without a doubt I made the right choice, for me, and I am stronger, healthier and happier then I had been.

Me now.  What a huge difference, and I was able to achieve a healthier physique as an amputee!

 

I want that for you, too! And you can have that kind of life. You can find happiness and joy, peace and health, laughter and activity. It really does come down to just a few key things to get you on your way. Attitude, perseverance, choices.  These key elements can turn a lot around for you and me. No, it won’t take away your challenges and struggles, but it WILL help you cope and rise above them.

Listen in today as I talk about the first 2 years of my amputation journey and what you might not expect to happen and how I’ve dealt with those low moments so I can continue to rise everyday and make my life worth living.

You can also watch my podcasts on my YouTube channel HERE.

 

 

This week I want you to LAUGH! Find ways to make laughter part of your healthy routine. Watch a funny movie, hang out with fun friends, read cartoons or watch silly, short animal videos on your phone with your family. I know you’ll feel better about yourself and your situation if you make time to relax and enjoy life. Give yourself that. Allow yourself to be happy.

Have an amazing week… and on that note,

This was the very first day I brought my leg home! My boys have such great sense of humor!🤣

 

Until next week:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love and happiness,

Angie

 

 

 

 

The Journey Called Life

The Journey Called Life

Have Grace With Yourself Through Life’s Ups and Downs

The valleys in life allow us to see the beauty of the mountain tops

 

Moving has been the focus of my every moment this past 3-4 weeks and it has been exhausting. I have pushed myself to the max to get things unpacked and to make our new house look like a home. I have rubbed my residual limb raw, created some serious pains that have taken my breathe away, and made my “good leg” ache with all the work it has done to compensate for the lack of not having another limb. With all the craziness of life I have ignored the fit of my socket, until now. I am finally getting fit for a new socket and am excited with the idea of a closer fit, but anxious with having to cope with a new fit that will inevitably cause pains as I adapt to it.

With the good comes the bad. With the highs come the lows, and life is a journey. We must always remember that life isn’t a sprint but a marathon. I need to remember that. I can get impatient at times, and frustrated by the problems and set backs I encounter on a day to day/week to week basis.

I need to remember to stop and smell the roses( or in my case, today, sunflowers), and enjoy the journey. Today was one of those days when everything just came to a head for me, emotionally, and I got so angry and frustrated. You know, the kind of emotion that makes you want to give up and take a nap…. or stress eat!

I’m proud of myself, I did neither! Instead I went through with recording my podcast. Take a listen to hear what happened today that put me in a tail spin. As I spoke to you all about it, I realized that I am truly blessed with my life and that “this too, shall pass”.  I must learn to have grace with the world, the people around me, and myself.  I believe we have these moments to remind ourselves of all the good that is in our life. Without the valleys how can we appreciate the mountain tops? I sometimes forget how good my life is and how blessed I am. I need to remind myself to be grateful, even through the problems.

I hope you can see how blessed you are with who and what you have in your life, even when things aren’t so perfect. If we can just see the positives we can eliminate stressors that can harm our health.  Our attitude and outlook on our life can create a healthy life or make us sick.  Being unhappy, grouchy, and angry can really harm our health and  destroy our recovery from sickness or surgery. Try positivity. You might be surprised on how great you’ll start feeling AND you’ll also see the world change, for the better, all around you, all because of how you carry yourself. I don’t see myself as disabled or handicapped. I like to smile at people who look at me, staring at my leg. When I smile and they smile back then I know they see me for ME, then a chain  reaction occurs, of happy vibes…. at least in my life and at my house.  Try it!! The world needs more positive vibes- why not be the person who starts it? Be the change!

 

 

Today’s Call to Action:
Write down 5 things that you are grateful for. Maybe it’s people in your life, or your pet. Maybe its the health you DO enjoy, or a memory. Maybe it’s simply that cup of coffee with a friend or that moment you had to watch the sunset. Just be thankful! Then post your list somewhere that you can see it everyday. Maybe on your mirror in your bathroom, or next to your bed at night.

Better yet, can you write 5 things for which you are grateful for 7 days in a row?

Send me a message and tell me what you are grateful for. Our gratefulness is contagious!

I am grateful for each of you!! Thank you for reading, listening, and following my journey!

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

A little bit of sunshine to make me smile

 

Much love and admiration,

Angie

 

I’m Back and All Moved In!

I’m Back and All Moved In!

Moving is Tough Work!

Even my dog is exhausted!!

 

I am BACK!!! I have missed being here and recording my podcast. So sorry for the temporary interruption in the broadcast but my family has been in the midst of a big move! I never thought we’d leave the amazing house we had but times change and new chapters begin.

Our old house held so many memories for me and my family with family visiting, college students spending weekends, our Chocolate lab passing away during the pandemic, to years of homeschooling. So many good (and hard) memories to let go of but change is inevitable.  The perfect house caught our attention, and then WHAM! we were in the middle of 4 weeks of purging, packing, showing, closing, and unpacking. To say that June was a blur and a whirlwind is an understatement!

While we did all that we also had a trip to Chicago planned…not knowing we were going to be buying a house. Chicago was amazing, we celebrated my husband’s birthday with all of our family and went downtown to watch our Cubbies play and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city we grew up in. Oh how I had missed that this past year and a half.

Downtown Chicago, Michigan Avenue😍

 

Cubbies for the win!!!

 

As an amputee I have had concerns about a big move, after all, I am a packrat and 12 years in a home means there was a LOT of stuff to go through that wasn’t needed. Also, I have to say that unpacking was so very hard on my good leg, especially my hip. There was a lot of bending over to get stuff off the ground or out of boxes. After a while my hip would just ache as I laid in bed every night.  My suggestion for anyone moving, who is an amputee, get some help. Even if a few friends can come over and pull stuff out of boxes and place them up on a counter, it’ll save you from overworking your good joints.  I say this but I didn’t elicit any help that was offered….I’m stubborn that way, and I paid the price. I’m still unpacking and making this place “home”, and my hip is sore.

 

My Podcast/Craft room: Before

 

My Podcast/Craft room: After
(And Bella, my shadow, hanging out with me)

 

As you can see, I’ve come a long way. It’s not complete but getting there. So grateful that I’m totally unboxed.

Moving is hard to do, physically and emotionally.  We closed on our home yesterday so the night before we headed over one last time.  It’s so hard to say good-bye to a place you’ve raised your family and made amazing memories in, but as my friends have said, there are new memories to be made, and thankfully you can take memories wherever you go. I loved our home. It served us well, and it will be missed.

Our final good-bye to our home

I hope you know that finding a home that will suit your life and your journey is very important, I mean, that’s why we moved after all. A ranch home will allow me to preserve my good knee and hip for many more years. A new chapter has begun for The Heusers.  If you are thinking of moving or need a change due to your circumstance make sure you do your due diligence and find the right home for you and your family. I know for a fact that I don’t ever want to move again.

And on that note…..

I’m so sorry that I forgot to do a Call to Action 2 weeks ago. It was crazy and I was recording in an empty house while I should’ve been prepping it for move in. This week, however, I have something for you to do.

This week I want you to stop and take time for YOU!  Recharge your battery, do something for yourself, maybe that means doing nothing at all. Give yourself a break and let go. Enjoy some downtime. Go do something you love or do nothing at all. Watch a good movie, enjoy a glass of wine, take a dip in a pool, read a good book. Whatever you need to do to rest your body. I know I have needed some downtime. My body was quitting on me. I literally couldn’t pick up any more boxes, or unwrap any more glassware. I ended up taking about four days off for myself and my mental health.  I started to feel guilty about it then realized that if I didn’t rest I would be no good for anybody in my family.

Don’t forget to take care of you! You count! You are amazing! But everyone has a breaking point. I give you permission to take care of you!

Let me know what you end up doing for yourself. How do you take care of YOU? I’d love to hear, so send me a message and share with me how you recharge your battery.

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love,

Angie

Rise To The Challenge

Rise To The Challenge

Run The Race Set Before You

 

It’s time to get off that couch and put your leg on. Let’s do this! If not today, then when?

I will tell you that the amputation wasn’t the end of a journey but the very beginning of another. Life is a journey so I don’t know why I thought any different with amputation. Now the real work comes in. You need to heal, and then get your socket fitted and THEN learn to walk all over again!  No one can truly prepare you for what’s to come with amputation but I will tell you that no matter what you are facing with yours, you CAN do anything! You just need to press on and learn to adapt.

For me it was about perseverance, distraction and goal setting. You will have good days and bad days, and knowing this will allow you to “bounce back” when the going gets tough. I didn’t realize this, at first, and when I began to struggle I thought it was going to be down, down, down, with no recovery…. that’s how my last 7 years had gone with surgeries, so why would this be any different? But then over the course of these past two years I realized that my residual limb changes size and shape and that will dictate how my socket fits, which, in turn, dictated some of my struggles and pains. But those bad moments, or struggles, were short lived and then good times would return. NOW that I know this I can take those “bad” days in stride, and not lose sleep over them (although, sometimes I do because of  the phantom pain 😉 Haha! Humor is good medicine, by the way.

Humor helps get through hard days. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.

 

I started my journey, back to walking, by deciding to give virtual races a try. I am highly competitive with myself so when I set a goal, I will succeed. My 1st race was 175 miles in 3 months. I started this one just a couple months after getting my prosthetic! I figured, what’s the best way to get use to your new leg- use it, and use it A LOT! I would need to put in 2 miles everyday to catch up since I registered a little late. You know what? It was hard! But I stuck with it, logged all my miles and made the goal of 175 miles! And the pure joy of receiving my finisher’s medal stuck with me…so I registered for the next one, which was 150 miles! and then the next one- 150 miles! I finished all of those and then began smaller more condensed goals of completing 5k walks/runs, virtually.  The idea of doing a race within a day put more pressure on me to compete at my highest level. I had to complete 3.1 miles all at once and some days that was really hard. Some of them I raced for better and faster times, other times I had to be content with just finishing.  You need to know your body well enough not to do harm but also to know when and how hard to push.

My first medal as an amputee! I’m very proud of this one!

 

 

These are all that I have completed since July 2019!! Each one of them I picked with purpose.

 

I have enjoyed all the races I’ve completed. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment seeing all of my medals I’ve earned over the past 2 years as an amputee. These races have given me a purpose, goals, and independence as an amputee. I look and feel better then I have in a long time, and my mental health is at its peak. Listen  in to my podcast to hear more about how to get moving and what hurdles I overcame to finish all those medals these past 2 years.

Now it’s YOUR turn!

 

Check out these virtual races and register for one of them. Take baby steps to get there but get there! Challenge yourself to do and be something more. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you set a goal and get moving. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself, and you’ll start making strides in your physical, mental and emotional state, plus you and your prosthetic will become friends! 😉

Check these out:

Virtual Strides

Virtual Pace Series

Gone For A Run

Will Run For Bling and Charity

This last one is where I met some amazing people and did my first 3 BIG long distance races (175, 150, and 150 mile races over a few months) If you want a challenge, check this site out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each one of these holds meaning to me and I love every single one of my medals! They show me, when times get hard, that I can do it, I can succeed, and that my amputation doesn’t define or inhibit me!

 

Your Call to Action is to register to do a virtual race and do it by the end of June or if you need to, register now and build up to finishing by the end of July. Just don’t open that package until you’ve earned it. That’s how I did it because then I had something pushing me to finish. You’ve got this!!

You know I’m here for you! Send me a message, let me know how it’s going.

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Cheers,

Angie

 

Enjoy the Journey

Enjoy the Journey

Traveling Home Once Again

Me and Dad traveling back to Chicago after his stay with us.

 

Coming in for a landing, Chitown.
City lights, oh how I’ve missed you!

 

 

O’Hare Airport doing it up right! Love this airport.
God Bless America and the Veterans who fought for our freedom.

 

I am HOME!  Chicago will always be my home, no matter how long we may be apart. Every year my family travels back to Chicago, where most of our family lives, for visits; one in the summertime, and one near Christmas. The pandemic made other plans for us this past year. We were very overdue for this trip.

Since I haven’t traveled much for almost 2 years- no flights, at least, I was a little rusty on packing. I hate packing for trips as it is, but when you are an amputee or have other medical issues, then packing becomes a bit more time consuming and anxiety building. There are so many things to remember to bring, then having to make sure it all fits. Whew! What a task.

This podcast is very unique as it is the first one I have done away from my home setup. This one may sound a bit different because I used different equipment and actually recorded outside on the deck at my parent’s house-you may hear cars and wind in the background. But keeping with my “keeping it real” vibe, this shouldn’t surprise you, and actually I am pretty impressed with the quality of this episode, all things considered.

I hope you can feel the love I put into this one, as I was recording in a place my Mom and I use to sit and chat when I’d come visit. I recorded on the deck that holds many memories of BBQ’s with my whole family over, moments where my mom was standing and smiling down at me while I played with my boys in the grass below (grass was always fun to play in since we have none in Arizona!), watching her watch her hummingbirds flit in and out of the deck’s feeders, and so many more. I have laughed, listened, cried, and hugged the people I love on this very deck, it only seems fitting to have an episode done here, too, to add to the memories.

Being here in Chicago has been such a blessing, even through the pains I have been feeling in my residual limb. As I discuss in this episode, though, we need to see past these painful moments and live for the positive things going on around us, or we will miss the good in life. What I feel today, may be gone tomorrow and I don’t want to miss any more moments with my family, so I resolve to buck up and push through, knowing less painful moments are on the horizon. I pray you do the same. We are all on a journey, and this journey will be filled with endless ups and downs. We need to take the good with the bad and know that with every hard episode we go through, a better, more joyful one will be right behind it.

Don’t fret. Don’t think negative thoughts. Chin up, Warrior, life will get better.

Find the positive when it seems like it’s not there. Surround yourself with positive people and keep your chin up in the hard moments, realizing that this will pass and it’s just one moment in your life.  Your attitude will dictate your outcomes, so stay positive, happy, upbeat. Even when you’re hurting, find the strength to smile. You’ve got this, Warrior, you’ve got this!!!

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Chitown 2021- We Are BACK!!

 

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win!!

 

Water Tower- Michigan Avenue

 

Much love,

Angie

Traveling Once Again-Tips and Tricks for Traveling

Traveling Once Again-Tips and Tricks for Traveling

…and ROMP: Helping Others Gain Freedom of Mobility One Prosthetic at a Time

This is me, July 2020 climbing Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff, AZ. My highest and most challenging terrain thus far.
I did this for ROMP’s #We Still Climb campaign.

 

OK all, I am here to tell you that if you haven’t heard of ROMP: Range of Motion Project Global yet you need to check them out!! Do you feel the need to give back, or help others? Do you want to get in shape for yourself but need motivation? Then this is the group for you to get involved with. ROMP is a non-profit group that helps get prosthetics to underserved communities here in the U.S. and abroad. Since their creation in 2005 they have been able to deliver 3,345 devices and visited 9, 249 patients! I became involved last year through Living With Amplitude magazine’s team for the We Still Climb initiative. We raised money as a team and went out and climbed our own mountains (usually they have teams go to Cotopaxi, in Ecuador, to climb the highest glacier covered volcano there to bring awareness and raise funds-but even though a pandemic stopped that travel it didn’t stop them from recreating the challenge to fit the times).

Today, I am now a team leader for the 2021 Challenge AND Mobility May.  I have an amazing team working with me to raise funds but also to log miles, anyway they can and want to, to bring awareness to the lack of mobility that some people have in the world. Everyone deserves to have the freedom that comes from mobility, and shouldn’t be stopped from having that opportunity just because of where they live.

If you’d like to join my team (No, it’s not too late!) or donate to my team: Romping Warriors, please click HERE

We will be charging forward to raise $2021 and log 2021 miles, as a team, by December 31, 2021.  Join us!!

 

This Friday I am traveling back home to Chicago!!! I can’t wait. I miss my family and my husband’s family, and it’s been too long! However, if you’re an amputee, you know that traveling can produce stress and anxiety. Trying to remember all the things you’ll need, and what you MIGHT need, if case of an emergency, can make traveling hard.

Listen in as I discuss the things I bring with me, how I get through security at the airport and make everything run smoothly so I can enjoy the trip. I sometimes need to remind myself that I need to enjoy the journey not just the destination, but that can be hard when there is so much to remember to bring. Don’t fret the small stuff, and know that you’ll be fine no matter what.

Enjoying my hike up one of our Arizona mountains. My happy place!

 

 

Today’s Call to Action is a simple one:

Check out ROMP’s website, Instagram and/or Facebook Page!

Range of Motion Project Global

IG: @ROMPGLOBAL

Facebook: Range of Motion Project

 

Get involved if you feel led. Join my team, donate. I promise you, that helping others gain their freedom of mobility and their independence will fill your bucket, making you feel great and wanting to do more. You can also take on the challenges, like joining my team, and getting out and active for yourself (which will produce endorphins-that will make you happy), and you’ll be a better person for it. It’s a Win-Win, in my book.

 

Join me! Take on a challenge! Change someone’s life for the better.

Mobility is not to be taken for granted.

Mobility means freedom

Mobility means independence.

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love,

Angie

Kauai beaches and my first time snorkeling as an amputee…
..actually the first time to get in the ocean since my injury 8 years ago!!!
FREEDOM!!!