Tag: hiking

The Nerve of Some People!

The Nerve of Some People!

Extreme Nerve Pain aka Phantom Pain

 

Oh, it’s real alright!! I experienced 3 days and nights of non-stop STABBING pain.

 

It’s MASSIVE pain, no way to control it, mentally exhausting and disabling pain like no other!  It attacks when you least expect it and can make itself at home for days, or weeks on end. I am not talking about what I feel everyday-yes, I said “everyday”. Everyday, I feel my missing foot. I feel pins and needles all day long and into the night, until my body shuts down and I fall asleep. The pain I felt THIS week, for several days, was 100x worse, relentless, and brought my to my knees and into tears- which doesn’t happen often.

I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. And the unknown of how long it will last is just as bad as the pain itself. Listen in as I talk about my recent journey through ANOTHER “episode” of shooting phantom pain; what it feels like, why I think it happened, and how to push through it!

 

Three things you can do to make sure you get through the struggle:

  1. Choose to keep moving, even when it’s hard, MOVE! Do what you can and stay active as much as possible.
  2. Distract! Distract! Distract!! Everything we go through flows like a river. Whenever things get hard do you look back a realize you made it through to better times? Likewise, when things are going great, then all of a sudden you are dealing with something tough, it just happens. That’s life. The quicker you realize that, the easier it is to know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
  3. Positive self-talk. It’s ok to feel defeated and frustrated when you’re going through something, but it will be easier to swallow if you create a positive environment, with positive words, and an attitude that creates good feelings. It’s hard, and at times I find myself beating me up inside. Don’t go there, and if you do, get out of that mindset quickly.

You will have these moments, how you handle them is up to you. Strive to build a positive aura around you, stretch and flex those mental muscles and soon you’ll find that you can handle it, and maybe, just maybe, come out a better, stronger, happier YOU!

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

much love,

Angie

 

 

Making a Difference- ROMP Global

Making a Difference- ROMP Global

Range of Motion Project Global

What an amazing group of people creating opportunities for amputees who might never had the chance to enjoy freedom and independence that mobility brings.

Range of Motion Project Global is changing lives, one prosthetic at a time. I have had the honor of helping them fundraise and getting mobile for their cause the past 2 years as an amputee, because I know how my prosthetic has changed my life for the better.

I feel complete and know that I can do anything I put my mind to now that I have a leg to stand on (pun intended). I don’t take this lightly or for granted because even with amazing insurance coverage we had as a family, I almost didn’t receive a leg! There are so many people in the world that may never get one and that’s tragic.

What you may not understand is that losing a limb and then experiencing the fear of not receiving a prosthetic not only effects the physical nature of a person, it also impacts their emotional and mental health as well! We need to change this. We, as a world and one family, need to reach out and help those who don’t have a way of helping themselves.

This is what ROMP Global is all about. This is their mission. You can help!

Donate old parts from yours or your clients prosthetics.

Donate time and volunteer.

Get moving and participate in their events, like Mobility May, to bring awareness to this issue.

Donate money, any and all amounts are welcome!

We can all do something to help others feel the freedom that mobility brings. What can YOU do?

Check this podcast out, and make sure to listen until the end. The stories of the people they have helped will move you.

LP and David climbing their mountain

 

Want to get moving and help bring awareness to this project?  Join my team today and get yourself moving for the month of May, bring awareness to this amazing cause, and really appreciate your ability to move how and when you want. It’s a freedom we all take for granted, each and everyday.

Thank you for supporting ROMP Global and myself this Mobility May and all year long!

Join my team HERE

Donate to my team and ROMP HERE

ROMP Website

 

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

What’s your mountain?

 

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😁
Just Breathe!

Just Breathe!

Create Positive Change One Breathe at a Time

Things may not be the way you want them right now, but you can do a lot with what you do have and where you are at.

Just breathe!

 

I’m going to keep this week’s post short and simple.

Learning to breathe the RIGHT way is so important for your body and mind.  Diaphragmatic Breathing is when you allow long, deep breaths to come in and out of your diaphragm, not from your chest.

To illustrate this lay on your back and put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Now breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth. You should feel the hand on your stomach rise and fall, NOT the one on your chest. If you are breathing correctly, you will be able to take nice, slow and deep breathes in and out of your diaphragm which will slow your heart rate down, allow you to call your nerves, push blood through your body more efficiently and, all around, make you feel better.

 

 

This week I want you to practice Diaphragmatic Breathing once a day, at least, for 1 minute. Take that time just for you.

If you want to really go for it, do this exercise whenever you feel yourself getting frustrated, angry, or afraid. Spend time just practicing this breathing and really slowing down your life in that moment, even for just a minute.  Let me know how it goes and what changes you start to feel as the week progresses.  You might be surprised at the mental and emotional benefits you feel from doing this just once a day!!

Oh, and enjoy some baby goat love, too!❤️

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

much love,

Angie

Positivity

Positivity

Positive mindset is your friend!

We all face struggles in life. Some people it’s more obvious than with others but no one goes through life unscathed.  It’s how we deal with those struggles that define us and give us the opportunities to live a great life or struggle to make ends meet.

Which are you? Are you making the most of your life or struggling to move past your circumstances?

Our mindset is a powerful tool that allows us to cope, deal with, and eventually rise back up again when we have been knocked down.  However, this is not an easy skill to obtain. As a matter of fact, it takes experience to learn how to deal with adversities in our lives.

One thing I have learned through all that I have been through is that each bout of pain, frustration or struggle is just a phase that helps me grow mentally, physically, and emotionally.  It is with these experiences that I come to you today to tell you that you can do it.  You can make it through whatever it is that is holding you back from living an amazing life.

It is just a phase.  What you are going through is strengthening you, if you allow it.  The struggles are real, no doubt about it, but they do not define you!  They are strengthening you so that you can better handle what comes next.

 

 

You can be successful just by getting back up every time you are knocked down.  You deserve that!  You owe it to yourself to give life your best shot.  Don’t give up, GET UP!!! Again, and again, and again!!

 

 

Repeat after me:

 

This is just a phase.

This is just a phase.

This, too, shall pass.

 

Now, write down a positive affirmation for yourself that you can tape to your mirror and see every morning and every evening before you go to bed.  Remind yourself that you deserve a great life.  Remind yourself to have grace in the hard times. And never forget that what you are going through is just a phase.  Take a deep breathe and step back for a moment. Find a positive in your life and then move forward again.

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Try!

Try!

“Nana korobi, ya oki”-Japanese proverb

Translation- “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

Are you struggling with getting up and getting active?  Are you afraid to fail? To fall?

It happens. If you decide to try something new then be prepared to fail, and fail again, until you finally succeed.  It takes trials and errors to make the necessary adjustments, in anything you do, to finally see success.  If you didn’t fail when trying something new then you didn’t learn anything and didn’t set your goal high enough.

 

A goal should be hard to achieve, but not unachievable. It should make you work, and often times fail or be so hard that when you do achieve it you feel amazing about how far you’ve come.

This past weekend I achieved a goal I set for myself over a year ago.  Part of it, no, most of it, was about my mindset.  I wanted to hike a specific trail that I knew would be demanding on my body, my residual limb, and socket.  When I first attempted it I didn’t have the necessary equipment, time, nor was the temperature conducive (100 degrees+).  I really hadn’t a clue why we even tried it but I knew how hard the first 1/4 mile was and the hike would be 5 miles round trip.  I needed to prepare physically but also mentally.  I knew I was going for it this past weekend a whole week beforehand so I had time to make necessary adjustments with materials and prepare my mind for the hardship this trek would have on me, but I WAS determined to achieve my goal!

 

I know this sounds more like a talk on goal setting but it’s really about getting out and trying things you might not normally do…and quite frankly, that takes goal setting and a mind shift.

 

 

But if failure scares you then be prepared to stay right where you are and become stagnant.  You cannot grow without goals. You cannot achieve goals without hardships and failure. And you cannot see change without trying something new pushing you out of your comfort zone.

So what are you waiting for???

 

 

Get out and try something new this week!

If you are struggling with pain, maybe shift your thinking to something different than sitting around and thinking about the pain.  Maybe that means reading a book you’ve always wanted to read, going for a drive just to get out of the house, calling a friend and having a nice conversation about something totally unrelated to your circumstance or focusing on their life or their issues.  Whatever you do, set a goal, small or large, write it down and then set the necessary steps it takes to achieve it….and then go for it!!!

If you try something new you might find that you have found a new passion, whether it’s reading an certain author or helping others with their situations or a specific exercise or activity.  It might put you on the path of a healthier lifestyle and better habits.  Who knows, you might actually, for a moment, forget about your own pain and problems!

Now wouldn’t that be something!?

I hope you found something useful here,

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Almost  to the top of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots Memorial hike, Yarnell, AZ.
2.5 miles to observation point. 1,990 feet elevation change. Rocky as all get out!💪🏼

 

Much  love,

Angie

If the Shoe Fits

If the Shoe Fits

What You Wear Makes a Difference

Did you know that as an amputee the type of shoe we wear can make all the difference in our performance and outcome of wearing a prosthetic? When I was learning to walk for the first time I needed a shoe that was stable and would help me be more balanced. Now, 2 1/2 years later, I need a shoe that is rugged and can take me to mountain tops.
Depending on your newness of being an amputee and your level, or desired level, of activity,  the shoe you wear can help you or hurt you.
I realized that last week when I just didn’t feel good in my newest socket…then I looked down and realized I wasn’t wearing a normal athlete shoe. Once I changed what I was wearing I literally felt so much better and my socket wasn’t hurting me like it had been!
I don’t like changing my shoes out very often, it’s hard to reach my foot, and some shoes are stiffer than others which makes putting them on a two person job.
Below are my typical shoes I wear weekly.
My Adidas! ❤  These are incredible for stability and balance!

 

Saucony Trail.  Great for road walking and being active.

 

Oboz.  Awesome hiking boots… and waterproof!

 

I live in these three shoes throughout the week.  They are great for a variety of activities.

 

 

Are you having issues with your knee(s), hip, back?  Check your shoes.  What are you wearing?  Are they old and worn out? Are you using the wrong type of shoe for the wrong activity?

Are you an amputee and feel unstable? Your shoe might have something to do with that.  Look into Adidas or Van Shoes, you might be surprised the difference they will make.

Make changes to the type of shoes you are wearing this week and see if that simple change helps your situation.

You may be pleasantly surprised, I know I was!

 

And as always:
Be Healthy,
Be Happy,
Be YOU!!!
Much love,
Angie
What is Your Why?

What is Your Why?

What drives you forward when you hit hard times?

 

 

When days get hard we look to find purpose, I think that’s human nature. Somedays we fall short of finding what gets us up and motivated.  Today, after a very hard hike in the heat and my prosthetic rubbing my leg raw, I pushed myself to a point that I wasn’t sure I’d make it back to the car but when I did, I sat there and looked at my husband and right then, in midst of my pain and exhaustion, I saw my purpose very clearly.

 

My husband, and my ‘Why’, up at Young Life camp serving with me.

 

For me, I need to see my purpose, daily.  I know that it is what drives me forward, to work through the pain, to try new things- even if I fail.  My two sons, they are my purpose, as well.  They have seen me go through hard times, seen me struggle, and seen my victories.  They were there for it all and were 2 amazing supports, even at a young age.  They kept me going and striving for more.

My ‘Why’
My boys, supporting one another, as well.

Life is better when you figure out your purpose.  And when hard times come, and they will, knowing your purpose, the “why” in your life, then you’ll be prepared and ready to fight the battles.  You are not alone, you are loved. Find your ‘why’ and watch your circumstances and attitude shift.

 

 

Simply put: your call to action this week is to soul search and figure out what you’re living for, what you get up in the morning for, what puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Spend time in a quiet location and really search your heart.  Once you figure out what your purpose is, write it down and place it somewhere you can see it everyday.  If it’s someone in your life, put a picture near your bedside and remember what you’re doing this all for.  When I decided to amputate, I made a vision board to show me things I wanted to get back to or do again after I healed. I also had pictures of my boys, my husband and my siblings on my board… my why’s were there watching me and helping remember why I chose to go through this.

It’s motivating to find your purpose.  You can do this and you will figure it out.  Do it now! Don’t wait until you are searching and feel like you’re drowning in pain and turmoil.  Have your ‘Why’ ready for when those moments strike. You’ll be prepared and ready to tackle the valleys when they arise.

 

This is what I live for!

 

He is my future.

 

What is YOUR ‘Why’?

 

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

 

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!!!