Tag: hiking

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!!!
Support is a 2-Way Street

Support is a 2-Way Street

My support team through it all

 

My Support group
This family!! I have been so blessed by each one of them!

 

The people you surround yourself with is a very important component to your success, I’d say it’s number 2 just behind your ATTITTUDE and MINDSET.

Surround yourself with people who know you, can support you physically and emotionally,  and know when to give and when to step back. Communicate with them, let them know exactly what you need so help is relevant and helpful.

Likewise, if you are someone’s support person, make sure you listen and hear what they need. Sometimes you’ll see struggles, but they need to have that to become stronger. It’s ok to have to fight to make change happen, just know when the fight becomes too hard or the battle is being lost, that you step in before defeat is felt.

This podcast I am dedicating to those 3 amazing people you see in the photo above, my husband and best friend for 32 years-Erik, and my two sons-Colby and Peyton. Without them by my side I don’t think I would’ve gotten this far. Between making meals, going to PT sessions with me, picking up the house and doing laundry, to motivating me (without even knowing it) to be better, to heal, and to get back on my feet at all costs was a priceless gift these past 8 years.  But I’m a lucky one, my support came from within my home, I had access to it everyday, all day. Some people aren’t so lucky.  Do you know someone in your neighborhood, or in your friend circle who is living life alone and in need of support? A lot of times they won’t ask for help, you just have to take the first step and go talk to them. Bring them a coffee, bake cookies or bread, maybe run to the store and bring them something cheerful like a bouquet of flowers. These steps will open doors to allowing them to ask for help.  I promise you, that filling someone’s bucket will also fill yours, two-fold!

 

Today, there are 2 separate call to actions:

If you have been GETTING SUPPORT from someone as you heal or get through whatever it is that you’ve been dealing with, here’s what I have for you today:

**Say thank you! Let them know you see them and appreciate those who have been helping you. Send them a quick note, email, or phone call. Maybe send them flowers or better yet, take them flowers, if you’re able to do so. These small gestures will make them feel amazing and loved and seen for all they’ve done for you and “fill their bucket”.

A simple Thank You goes a long ways.

If you have been SUPPORTING someone:

**Take time for yourself! Yep, you heard me right, stop helping for a little while and escape! If you like to read go spend quality “you” time reading a magazine or a book you’ve been wanting to read, dedicate a little time everyday to rest and recharge yourself. You’ll be a better caretaker if you do. If you like to get out and grab a coffee with a friend, go do it! If you can, go get a massage, a facial, or get your nails done. If you feel recharged and beautiful you’ll be a better person and ready for anything thrown your way. But you need “YOU” time, without a doubt.

Don’t feel guilty. Don’t ignore your own wants and needs. If you are in a really needy situation with the person who you are helping, then you need to be at your best, and you can’t be at your best if you get burnt out.

Please check in with me, tell me how your Call to Action is going this week and what you did for the person helping you, or for yourself if you are a helper.

And as always, until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much Love,

Angie

Me and my guy doing what we love. Grateful to be here after the journey I’ve been on.
Couldn’t have done it without him.

 

 

A little R & R for the one who has helped me through all this “stuff”.
Starting Point

Starting Point

Again, and Again, and Again…..

Starting Line to my 1st race as an amputee, and as a St Jude Hero.

 

If someone asked you where your life began, or where you started out, you might answer, when you were born. Others may answer where they started their career or life as an adult, when they had to be responsible for themselves and maybe a spouse or significant other.

For me, my starting point is always changing, and comes around…OFTEN!

Of course we all start life at birth, then we grow, move out and start our own life.

If we get married and have kids, those are all new points, starting once again.

At 40 something years old, I thought most of my starting points were behind me but in December 2018 my life shifted greatly. I elected to amputate my left leg above the knee, and start over. This was a huge discussion and was quite tough to make. Many questions came to me, like- Would I die during surgery? Would I get an infection? Will I really learn to walk again, or hike or ski, for that matter? Did I have the energy and strength to begin again and learn to do everything I knew how to do (with 2 legs) now with just one?

When I woke after surgery I started over. A clean slate. A new beginning. As scary as that was, it was also a moment of new hope. I could dictate the outcome of my decision, to some degree, with my attitude, mindset, and fight. And that’s just what I did!

In this podcast I discuss what it’s like starting over. And how as an amputee we “start over” A LOT! Every new socket, the change in weather, a new pair of shoes, a change in prosthetics, from walking leg to running blade, etc.

Another new socket fitting by Randy West 5/3/2021

 

Stop and rest now and then. Life is a marathon NOT a sprint!

 

All of that feels new, and changes our perspective and outcomes of that moment, day or week.

This was my 3rd ski trip as an amputee-the first one without instructors!

 

Starting over isn’t for the weak or faint of heart.❤

And sometimes we succumb to the constant newness of our circumstance. I discuss options you have on how, as an amputee, you deal with these obstacles, and how your support system can help you navigate day to day living.

Remember, it’s all about your mindset, but even the most optimistic people hit roadblocks they struggle to get around. Give yourself a break. Have grace with yourself and don’t hold on to those struggles. They are inevitable, and we all deal with them. Take a step back, breathe, then move forward-head held high!

Roadblocks are a part of life. Embrace the challenge and ATTACK!
Smiling’s my favorite! 😁

 

You are a warrior! Press on, good and faithful soldier, press on.⚔

 

This week, I want you to look in the mirror, and look deep within yourself.  Praise yourself for how far you’ve come. Recognize your successes, let go of fears. Press onward. If you haven’t made a vision board yet, give that a go this week. Check out my own vision board HERE  for an example.

If you have a vision board already made, then maybe now is a good time to refresh and renew your dreams, goals, thoughts and mantras.  Good big!! Aim for the stars and realize that you can achieve what you put your mind and heart in to.

As always, I would love to hear how you are doing. Reach out to me. Follow me on Instagram at @angie_heuser and/or @bawarrior360. DM me our email me. Leave a comment here and let me know how your goals are coming along, if you need help, or if your are struggling.

I’m here for you!

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Not All Sockets (or Prosthetists) Are Made the Same

Randy West, myself, and David Banks

 

I consider myself so fortunate to have been directed to The Limb Center by my doctor, Dr. Judd Cummings, as I was planning for my amputation. And I think I am a good judge of character, so when I went in to meet Randy West and David Banks for the first time, pre-amputation, I knew I was getting the best care out there!

Fitting my running blade and trying it out for the first time

 

When I told Randy I wanted to surf and I brought him some surf leg plans he graciously went to work and built it for me,
just because he knew it was my dream!

 

Cheesy, but priceless, photo op with Randy, the Blue guy and my new surf leg!😎

 

They listened to me. They actually HEARD what I was telling them about my dreams, goals and aspirations….as well as my fears and doubts about going through with this surgery.

Not often, but in my situation, I was able to take my test socket out for a “test drive”

 

…and test drive it I did!! A 5K hike! It ended up being a great fit.

 

I had visited another prosthetist’s office before I knew of The Limb Center, and I had a pretty good experience there, too. I also met an amazing young lady who was an above knee amputee and a fighter, while I was there. However, three major factors first swayed me to Randy and David, before I really knew them. 1) They took my insurance- this is VERY important and the other office did not! 2) My doctor was very familiar with them and worked with them directly and, quite frankly, I trusted my surgeon and his opinion in this matter, and 3) David was an above knee amputee with 20+ years of experience being one. He could see things and understand an amputee better just by living it.

Amazing attention to detail, and always teaching me how to be independent,
by showing me how my prosthetic works and fits.

 

Then once I got to meet them and talk through my decision to amputate, I knew that we had a connection far greater than me being an office visit here and there. I had their cell phone numbers, could call or text whenever there was a problem, and time and again, they showed me that I mattered to them.

This is the type of relationship you should have and that you deserve with your prosthetist.

Randy and David join me in this podcast as we discuss the right “fit” in your relationship with your prosthetist, insurance and getting the right coverage, steps to getting your first socket, and when to turn around and walk out of that office and find the right relationship you need to be a healthy, happy amputee.  It can happen, but you need to push that for yourself and know when to do it.

Knowledge is power, and I want to arm you with as much knowledge as I can so you can feel confident and ready to advocate for yourself in the medical field, in your doctor appointments and when finding and working with your prosthetist. When we have knowledge, confidence, and opportunity we can access limitless possibilities in our lives.

 

 

People don’t realize that who you see for your prosthetics is so very important-it can make or break your desire and ability to really live your life after amputation, and it’s a relationship, like family.  You’ll be working with them for years to come so you’ll want to make sure you trust and enjoy working with them.

As always, if you have comments or questions, for me or our guests, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help.

Time to do the research and leg work- no pun intended. Talk to people, find social media groups that work with amputees, reach out to the Amputee Coalition and your doctor to see who they recommend as a prosthetist for you.

Once you have found a couple, make an appointment to go talk with them. Read their body language and how they talk with you. Do they want to hear your history, problems, dreams and aspirations? If not, move on to the next appointment. You deserve better, and it’s out there!

Make sure you address insurance issues and coverage with the prosthetist’s office. This is expensive equipment and will need to be upgraded over time- remember, it isn’t growing back so we need to make sure we have some help in coverage of costs.

If you have a prosthetist that you are unhappy with, and they don’t seem to listen or invest any more than your short office visit then you really need to find the courage and tell them it’s not working. If you are seeing someone who,  when you tell them you’re hurting or something doesn’t feel right, and they tell you that it doesn’t get any better and you need to deal with it…that’s a red flag! Time to research other places and prosthetists and find someone who can help.

This is YOUR life and YOUR body. You need to push for the best care so you can live it to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights. I’m telling you, there are really good practitioners out there, you just need to look and ask the right questions to find them.

I wish you all well, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for help.

 

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game.”

-Randy Pausch

 

A Vision of Hope

A Vision of Hope

Creating a vision board when times get toughLife is a journey. Embrace it.

It has ups and downs. Be prepared for it.

“Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight”-Chinese Proverb

You are not alone in these two certain facts but we need to be able to cope and heal and thrive when times get hard. That’s when your mental and emotional game need to prove their worth. Like strength training, or the runner training for a marathon, learning to cope with adversity is something you need to prepare for and train for. Training comes when you are in the midst of it and what mindset and attitude you take into your storm. If you prepare for it and acknowledge what could come your way then you are helping yourself by preparing your mindset to thrive through the hard times and even come out on top. I’m not saying you won’t get beat up, battered and bruised through some of these valleys, even trained runners can get cramps and blisters, right? The difference is when you understand that life works with highs and lows then you won’t feel like you’ve been punched in the gut when it happens and you’ll also have a healthier train of thought that assists you when you get knocked down.

And when you get knocked down you will be able to fight to stand again, and again, and again!

Will there be harder days? Days where you struggle to get back up? Of course, everyone has those moments, so we rely on the people in our circle to help, and we learn about ourselves, and make adjustments for the next moment.

I don’t live on those harder days, I don’t dwell on them, but I don’t ignore them and pretend they won’t happen or, even worse, pretend that I’ve never had any hard days. That would be fake, ingenuine and that is unhealthy for me.

I own every circumstance I’ve been through. I tell people about them so they don’t feel alone. My goal isn’t to be perfect, just to be transparent, in the hopes it will help someone overcome their own struggles.

Listen to today’s episode to see where my journey has gone the past week to see a struggle I’m in the midst of right now and what I’m doing to cope and come out on top again.

Call to Action

Make your own Vision Board. I have pictures of mine above and below. I discuss how to create one in this episode as well. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or to share the vision board you created. I’d love to see them and hear how they have helped you.

Enjoy the journey-the highs and lows, because without the lows we cannot appreciate the highs.

Until next time;

Be Healthy

Be Happy

Be YOU!

This Can’t Be MY Life!

This Can’t Be MY Life!

Welcome to my trailer of Be-YOU-tiful Adaptive Warrior. This is a quick introduction to what you will be hearing about throughout my episodes. My journey through healing and living my best life, and how I can help you achieve that same success.

For more information please contact Angie at: BAWarrior360@gmail.com