TinavsTree 1yr Anniversary

This is going to sound cliché, but stick with me here. One year ago today my world was rocked when, while skiing, I hit 2 trees and was impaled by a branch in the chest. Thankfully the impalement was more of a surface wound, but the accident’s ‘scars’ run deeper than the eye can see; and the lessons learned from that day, and the events following are significantly life altering.

Listen to your intuition; it just might save your life. Seriously, had I not listened to my intuition telling me to ‘slow down’, the higher speed may have flipped me at a fatal angle. Mere inches separated a crazy story from a tragic one. Two inches north would have hit the clavicle arteries. Two inches south could have punctured a lung. Lucky Lady? I think so.

You are stronger than you think, mentally and physically. Somehow I knew that everything was going to be ok, even after I realized I was impaled. Here are my immediate thoughts following the accident: F#*@. Oww! I broke my kneecap. Oww! Where’s Dan? I have a stick in me. Shit. Patrol. Hospital? This is going to be expensive. Just breath. It’s going to be ok. Breath.

When things get overwhelmingly tough, just breath. Once I realized what had happened and knew that I needed to wait for help, I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. Ujjayi breathing (common yoga breath) took my mind off the pain, the situation and the consequences. By consciously monitoring my inhales and exhales I avoided going in to shock. The pain levels, though high, became physically and mentally tolerable.

I might be crazier than the average bear.
Doctor: We need Life Flight!
Me: Really? Are you sure?
Doctor: You have a stick in your chest!
Me: Yeah. I know that. And I’m fine.

You are surrounded by an amazingly supportive community. When friends found out about the accident, and that I did not have health insurance they banded together to start a donation website. TinavsTree.com reached across the country to friends, family and strangers alike; it raised more money than any of us imagined. The response to the site was, and still is, incredibly humbling; I will forever be grateful to everyone who donated their time, resources and money to my cause.

Dedication, perseverance and work ethic are game changers. These pertain to life in general, but these attributes definitely aided me post accident, in dealing with medical bills and recovery. Each day was treated as a new day. The motivation to persevere, jump through hoops, and do the legwork all paid off in the end.

Be thankful for what you have, and what you are able to do. It is easy to take everyday tasks for granted, until you can no longer do them. I was not completely incapacitated, but I was out of commission for a while. Rehabbing from an injury is always difficult, and it makes me thankful for the times when I am healthy and fully able. Not everyone is as lucky as I was. Less than a month ago a family friend’s 15yr old daughter hit a tree across her chest, immediately collapsed her lungs, later she died of internal injuries. RIP Hannah Rudolph.

Today I ask you to take the time to look around, be thankful, and give thanks. Hug a tree. But if you do hug a tree, make sure you approach slowly, they don’t move, and tend to bite at high speeds.

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