Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm MADD! So I'm out to make a difference...

Dear Family, Friends, and Readers,

As many of you know, I lost a dear childhood friend on May 15, 2006 to the hands of a drunk driver.  Justin was just shy of his 21st birthday, and was an accomplished and incredible young man.  He was a business student at the University of Colorado Denver, a Denver Public Safety Cadet (on his way to becoming a fireman), and was an avid soccer player, snowboarder, and phenomenal swimmer (might I mention that Justin and I were awarded "Rookie of the Year" trophies our first year on ACES Club swim team; impressive, right?! haha). Justin was on his way home from a softball game when his life was cut short by a drunk driver in an accident that ultimately took the lives of three people, and seriously injured another.  The crash site is marked with a sign to remember Justin and to warn every driver that passes along Hampden/HWY 285 at Federal (in Denver, CO) of the costs of driving drunk. 

No one should ever have to lose a son, a brother, or a friend at the hands of a drunk driver.  For me, the most frustrating part is that every crash and every life taken because of a drunk driver is completely, 100% avoidable.  The solution is beyond simple, and each and every one of us has the ability to erradicate this plague from our streets and our nation by making the choice not to drink, to drive sober, or to find a designated driver.  It is as simpple as that.

As a student in high school, I was a member and leader of Students Against Destructive Decisions ("SADD") (a student organization primarily devoted to helping raise awareness of the dangers of underage alcohol consumption and of drunk driving). Now, I've moved on to be a very active member of Mother's Against Drunk Driving ("MADD").  I have participated in the fundraising "Walk Like MADD" 5k walk for the past five years, and I frequently volunteer with the Lakewood and Denver Police Departments at DUI checkpoints throughout the Denver metro area. 

Raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving is a cause that I've always believed in, but it didn't become a passion until after I lost Justin.  Now, I'm asking for your help in three ways:

1.  Be a part of the solution.  Make the choice to drive sober or find a designated driver.
2.  Help raise awareness. Start a "FADD" by making wise choices and educating your friends and families of the perils of drunk driving (get it? Fad...FADD...Friends Against Drunk Driving? I'm so clever...).
3. DONATE to the cause, if you can.  This year, on August 4, 2012 I will be walking and raising funds for 2 teams at Walk Like MADD!!  You can donate to either one - just follow the links below.  100% of donations go to MADD.  And if you are curious what your money does...well, it helps MADD and the Colorado community directly.  You can find out more here.

If you are interested and willing to donate, you can donate on my behalf to either: Team Justin OR Team DenverDA (just click on the team name and a hyperlink will take you to my homepage for that team).

Team Justin is captained by Jonni Conant, my friend Justin's mom and is composed primarily of his friends and family.  I have walked on Team Justin for the past five years.

Team Denver DA is composed primarily of the attorneys, staff, and friends of the Denver District Attorney's Office, where I am currently interning.

Thanks for your support!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Dog Will Be Claiming Me as a "Dependent..."

It's tax season, and as my dad and I were going through all the paper work and all the drudgery, he jokingly asked: "will you be claiming Sam (my dog) as a dependent this year?"  Of course you can't claim a dog as a dependent for tax purposes...that's one of the few things I know about taxes. :-) And even if I could, I'm not too sure it would be that beneficial.  That silly question got me to thinking, though, and I wondered, who is really "dependent" on who?  I mean, sure, Sam has to wait for me to get home from classes or work in order to go outside, he counts on me to remember to feed him breakfast and dinner, to keep his water bowl full, to play and exercise him, and to scratch his belly on command (my cue: when he rolls over and plays "dead").  But really, that's about it.  So, I came to the conclusion that I am really dependent on him, not the other way around.

Sam is the reason I wake up every morning. Literally.  He is usually up just before the alarm goes off, and in the event I don't set my alarm, he never fails to wake me up bright and early.  I count on him to be my exercise partner and pace keeper.  Sam also keeps me on a schedule...always reminding me when I should take a study break and get some fresh air.  I also count on him to provide comedic relief on a daily basis.  Two years and counting...and he still makes me laugh  He frequently makes 180 degree turns in order to chase and capture a leaf blowing by. He pounces on light reflections that appear on the carpet...and the wall.  He sprints and does laps around my condo for about five minutes every morning.  He chases butterflies and bird shadows at the dog park (he is famous around town for being "the butterfly chaser," and yes, he can spot them all the way across the field).  He always gets in my way as I am trying to put on my shoes.  When he sees a bug...he keeps his eye on it and slowly follows it with his nose until he gets bored with it.  He leaps through 2 feet of snow like its the best most wonderful thing on earth. He sings (literally) on the way to the dog park and doesn't stop until we get there.  He throws the ball and plays catch with himself.  And the list goes on...but the point is, Sam makes me smile and laugh out loud every day--something that in this rushed, busy, and stressful world is a true commodity.

As Christopher Morley once said, "no one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."  I have to admit that I am also dependent on Sam to be my friend and my confidant.  He is a wonderful listener...he'll sit for quite a while before he gets tired of hearing about how frustrating it is that after 200 years we still don't fully understand the origin of the justiciability doctrines of standing, ripeness, and mootness (are they constitutional requirements or merely prudential?), or how ambiguous the adequate state law ground rule is (I mean, precisely what constitutes an inadequate state procedural ground that permits judicial review?).  And when the discussion gets a bit more heated and political, he is always loyal and never voices opposition. By the way...I really don't talk to my dog as much as it seems...
Sam is also my bodyguard and watch dog - and a very good one at that!  He is always careful not to let some stranger get too close to us, and he has a wonderful ear for strange noises outside.  He's also pretty good at spotting lawn decorations (such as flamingos, deer, Christmas decorations...) and warning me of their presence. Thanks to him, I've so far avoided any run-ins with rogue statues.

I guess what I'm trying to say is simply that there is something truly extraordinary about dogs.  They have personalities. They are forever loyal and compassionate creatures.  They don't judge (or at least they do a good job hiding it) and they don't care what we look like on any given day.  They are forgiving and don't hold grudges. They make a positive difference in the lives of others on a daily basis.  We could all learn a lot from dogs...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You Know You've Lived in Spain When...

I must say that I am ashamed that I haven't posted in well over a year.  I'm guessing no one even follows me anymore - heck, if you have to wait years in between posts, there really isn't much to follow!  My respite is partly due to a lack of time (law school keeps me plenty busy - reading and writing assignments galore), but also due to a lack of inspiration.  Spain inspired me to write, to share my adventures and perspectives, and to memorialize every moment.  It has been hard to find similar inspiration here.

The other day, however, my friend Carly passed along a wonderful e-mail entitled "You know you've lived in Spain when...".  We've all seen these kinds of e-mails before, but this one truly hit home.  After studying abroad in college and then living in Spain for nearly two years, I can honestly say that most of these are 100% accurate.  And #50, is definitely true.  While those of you who don't speak Spanish might miss the humor in some of these, I encourage you to take a glimpse at a dictionary or find a translator online.  It's worth it (and you'll learn a word or two!).  Read on and enjoy...

You know you’ve lived in Spain when….

1.  You think adding lemonade, fanta or even coke to red wine is perfectly acceptable. Especially at lunch.  
2.  You can’t get over how early bars and clubs close back home, surely they’re closing just as you should be going out?  
3.  You aren’t just surprised that the plumber or electrician has turned up on time, you’re surprised he turned up at all.  
4.  You think it’s fine to comment on everyone’s appearance. And to openly stare at strangers.  
5.  Not giving every new acquaintance dos besos seems so rude.  
6.  You’re shocked by people getting their legs out at the first hint of sun - surely they should wait until at least late June?  
7.  On msn you sometimes type ‘jajaja’ instead of ‘hahaha’  
8.  You’re amazed when Spanish TV ad breaks last less than half an hour, especially right before the end of films.  
9.  You’re not surprised that Spanish TV program info doesn’t match with what is actually being shown, unless it is “Prensa Rosa”.  
10.  You forget to say please when asking for things - you implied it in your tone of voice, right?  
11.  You know what a pijo / pija is and how to spot one.  
12.  Every sentence you speak contains at least one of these words: buenocoño, vale, venga, pues nada...  
13.  You know how to eat boquerones.
14.  You know the difference between gambas, gambones, cigalas, langostinos...
15.  You know the difference between jamón pata negra and jamón de York, and you prefer the first.  
16.  You eat lunch after 2pm & would never even think of having your  evening meal before 9.  
17.  You know after 2pm there’s no point in going shopping, you might as well just have a siesta until 5 when the shops re-open.  
18.  You know you must take two days off when you have to do any official paperchasing, for cars, residence, etc.  
19.  You know that those astronomical prices they’re talking about are actually in pesetas, and what that means in euros.  
20.  If anyone insults your mother, they better watch out…  
21.  You know how to change a bombona.
22.  It’s not rude to answer the intercom to your flat by asking Quien?
23.  You don’t accept beer that’s anything less than ice-cold.  
24.  You know Bimbo isn’t a slutty woman, it’s a make of pan de molde (which, incidentally, isn’t moldy)  
25.  You know the difference between cojones and cajones, tener calor and estar caliente, bacalao and bakalao, pollo and polla, estar hecho polvo and echar un polvo...and maybe you learned the differences the hard way!  
26.  On some Sunday mornings you have breakfast before going to bed, not after you get up.  
27.  Floors in certain bars are an ideal dumping ground for your colillas, servilletas etc. Why use a trash can?!  
28.  You know ensaladilla rusa has nothing to do with Russia.  
29.  The doctor says you are constipado you don’t go and buy ExLax.  
30.  You have friends named Jesus, Jose Maria, Maria Jose, Angel, maybe even Inmaculada Concepcion.
31.  You know that ahora doesn’t really mean now.  
32.  When you make arrangements to meet at 3, the first person turns up at 3.30…if you’re lucky!  
33.  When women think that clear bra straps are in fact invisible.  
34.  When it’s totally normal for every kitchen to have a deep-fat fryer but no kettle.  
35.  Te cagas en la leche….  
36.  To avoid that cheap Eristoff vodka you have to ask for ‘un esmirnoff’.  
37.  You think J&B and Ballantines are OK to drink.  
38.  When you know what a guiri is and have been called one  (*one of my favorites!*)  
39.  Blonde girls actually start to think their name is rubia.  
40.  If something is great, it’s de puta madre
41.  You eat up to 5 times a day: 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast at 11.30, almuerzo, merienda, cena.  
42.  You know the jingles for Los Cuarenta Principales, M80, Onda Zero, etc.  
43.  If you see someone wearing a T-shirt with something written on it in English, you can almost guarantee it won’t make sense.  
44.  When you go into a bank/bakery etc, it’s standard practice to ask "Quien es la ultima?"
45.  When you have the habit of answering the above question "Ahora es   Usted."  
46.  Who needs a dryer when you have a washing line outside the window of your apartment?  
47.  You are more likely to call your friends tio/a, nena, chaval, macho or even tronco than by their name.  
48.  You answer the phone by saying ‘Yes’. Or even ¿Diga?49.  You prefer UHT milk.  
50.  You prefer all the above to the way they do things back home.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Colorado Christmas

Español abajo.

I can honestly say that I have never looked forward to Christmas vacation more. After two weeks of finals and what seemed like nothing but sleeping and studying, Christmas break could not have come at a more needed time. This year is also extra special because I'm in Colorado celebrating Christmas with my parents for the first time in two years. Don't get me wrong, Christmas in Spain was fantastic, but it just is not the same as being with your family!

I have to be honest, since I haven't seen snow in over two years, I was really excited for a Colorado white Christmas. However, I learned years ago that you don't always get what you wish for...  I know Colorado doesn't always get white Christmases, but for some reason, that's what I remember most about Christmas growing up - either that it was snowing Christmas morning, or at least there was a pile or two of snow left in the yard. This year was definitely different - and while I hate to admit it, probably one of the most beautiful, warmest Christmases I can remember. The weather sure beats the rain and floods I experienced last year in Ubrique!

When I came home a week ago, I was pleasantly surprised to walk into a house beautifully decorated for Christmas. My mom is pretty good about decorating and making it feel like the holidays in every room of the house! The Christmas tree was beautiful, as always. The presents wrapped perfectly. And there was plenty of oatmeal, rum balls, tea, and hot coco (all your basic Christmas food staples) filling the cupboards.  In other words, everything was practically perfect.

Christmas morning came and went, all too quickly.  And when I think about it, I'm so incredibly glad that it wasn't a white Christmas after all. I'm so fortunate to have such a wonderful home and warm clothes, but there are so many that aren't so lucky, so many without homes to return to, without warm clothes to bundle up in, without food to curb their hunger, and without Christmas cheer.  So for them, for all of us, it was nice to have a more temperate Christmas, where everyone could enjoy the beautiful day!

I'm a very lucky girl. Christmas is not about the gifts, the picturesque white Christmas, or the feast at dinner, its about being together with and appreciating those you love and care about. This year, I got to celebrate Christmas with family. I can't ask for more.  I hope you all had a wonderful and joyous holiday!!  Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Colorado!

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Puedo decir honestamente que nunca he estado tan emocionada para las las vacaciones de Navidad. Después de dos semanas de exámenes finales y lo que parecía ser nada más que dormir y estudiar, las vacaciones de Navidad no podía haber llegado en un momento mejor. Este año es también muy especial porque estoy en Colorado para celebrar la Navidad con mis padres por la primera vez en dos años. No me malinterpreten, la Navidad en España ha sido fantástico, pero no es lo mismo que estar con tu familia!

Si te digo la verdad, ya que no he visto nieve en más de dos años, estaba muy emocionada para una Navidad blanca como suele ser en Colorado. Sin embargo, me enteré hace años que no siempre consigues lo que deseas... sé que Colorado no siempre tiene navidades blancas, pero por alguna razón, eso es lo que más recuerdo de Navidad cuando era chica - o bien que estaba nevando por la mañana de Navidad, o por lo menos había un poco de nieve en el suelo. Este año fue diferente - y aunque no me gusta admitirlo, probablemente uno de los más bonitos, más cálido navidades que recuerdo. El tiempo aqui sin duda es mejor que la lluvia y las inundaciones que experimentó el año pasado en Ubrique! :)

Cuando llegué a casa hace una semana, me sorprendió mucho entrar en una casa decorada muy bonito para la Navidad. Mi mamá siempre pone muchas decoraciónes bonitas para que en todas las habitaciones hay un poco de alegria y el espirítu de navidad! El árbol de Navidad era hermosa, como siempre. Los regalos envueltos perfectamente. Y había un montón de harina de avena, bolas de ron, té y chocolate caliente (todos los alimentos básicos de Navidad) en la cocina. En otras palabras, todo era perfecto.

La mañana de Navidad llegó y se fue, con demasiada rapidez. Y cuando pienso en ello, estoy muy contenta de que no era una "blanca Navidad". Me siento tan afortunada de tener un hogar maravilloso y ropa de abrigo, pero hay tantos que no tienen tanta suerte -  muchos sin hogar al que regresar, sin ropa de abrigo, sin alimentos para el hambre, y sin la alegría de la Navidad. Así que para ellos, para todos nosotros, fue bueno tener una Navidad mas templado y sin tanto frio, donde todos pudieran disfrutar del hermoso día!

Soy una chica muy afortunada. La Navidad no es acerca de los regalos, ni el pintoresco "Navidad blanca," ni la cena grande, sino de ser junto con y apreciar a tu famila y tus amigos queridos. Este año, he tenido la suerte de celebrar la Navidad con mi familia. No puedo pedir más. :)

Espero que todos hayan tenido unas vacaciones maravillosas y alegre! Les deseo una Feliz Navidad desde Colorado!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

An American Thanksgiving!

Español abajo

For the first time in two years, I am home and spending Thanksgiving with my family. It has been hard being away and not really being able to celebrate what I would consider the most American holiday. I am definitely looking forward to spending the day in the kitchen, enjoying loads of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, salad, bread…and pumpkin pie, of course, and spending the afternoon playing games and having fun with my family.

After living and working in Spain for two years, immersing myself in an incredible culture, and learning all about their traditions and holidays, I realized that there are some holidays that we recognize and celebrate here in the United States that I really do not know all that much about. I think sometimes when we are immersed in something, and it is so familiar, we forget to question and explore its origins and traditions. So, as we all sit down and prepare to eat our turkeys and cranberries, I thought I would remind everyone about the origin and some fun history behind Thanksgiving.

Did you know…

1. Most historians agree that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. However, there is some controversy, and other historians note that in 1565, for instance, Pedro Menéndez de Avilé (a Spanish explorer) held a feast for the Timuca tribe in St. Augustine, FL after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival.

2. In 1789 George Washington issued what became known as the first Thanksgiving proclamation, in which he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the successful conclusion to the War of Independence and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

3. In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale launched a 36 year-long campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, and scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. (Now, you are probably thinking you’ve never hear of Sarah Josepha Hale...but I bet you know her, after all, she was the author of the famous nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb”)

4. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression, but when his plan was met with such opposition, he reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

5. According to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

6. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City has been a Thanksgiving tradition since 1924 and attracts some 2 to 3 million spectators each year.

7. Starting in the 20th century, each year the President pardons one or two Thanksgiving turkeys, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement.

Well, now you know…And for more fun facts check out:

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Por la primera vez en dos años, estoy en casa para celebrar el día de Acción de Gracias con mi familia. Ha sido difícil a veces estar tan lejos y no poder celebrar lo que yo consideraría la fiesta más americana que hay. Definitivamente estoy emocionada pasar el día en la cocina, disfrutar de un montón de pavo, puré de patata, arándanos, ensalada, pan ... y el pastel de calabaza, por supuesto, y tambien pasar la tarde jugando y divirtiéndose con mi familia.

Después de vivir y trabajar en España durante dos años, sumergiendome en una cultura increíble, y aprendiendo todo acerca de sus tradiciones y fiestas, me di cuenta de que hay algunas fiestas que reconocemos y celebramos aquí en los Estados Unidos que realmente no sé mucho. Creo que a veces, cuando estamos inmersos en algo, y es tan familiar, nos olvidamos de que se trate y no exploramos sus orígenes y tradiciones. Así que, antes de que todos se sientan y se preparan para comer nuestros pavos y arándanos, pensé que escribiria sobre el origen y un poco de la historia acerca del dia de Acción de Gracias.

¿Sabías que...?

1. La mayoría de los historiadores coinciden en que la primera Acción de Gracias se celebró en 1621. Sin embargo, existe cierta controversia, y hay algunos historiadores que dicen que la primera celebración fue en 1565, por ejemplo, cuando Pedro Menéndez de Avilé (un explorador español) celebró una fiesta para la tribu Timuca en St. Augustine, Floridia después de celebrar una misa para dar gracias a Dios por su tripulación llegada a buen puerto.

2. En 1789 George Washington publicó lo que llegó a ser conocido como la primera proclamación de la Acción de Gracias, en que llamó a los norteamericanos para expresar su gratitud para la conclusión exitosa a la Guerra de Independencia y la ratificación de Constitución de los EEUU.

3. En 1827, Sarah Josepha Arrastra lanzó una campaña para establecer Acción de Gracias como una fiesta nacional. Abraham Lincoln por último hizo caso de su petición en 1863, en la altura de la Guerra Civil, y la fiesta del dia de la Acción de Gracias fue planificada para el jueves final en noviembre.

4. En 1939, Presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt cambió el día de fiesta de una semana en un intento por impulsar las ventas durante la Gran Depresión, pero cuando su plan fue recibido con tanta oposición, firmó un proyecto de ley para establecer la celebracion del dia de Acción de Gracias el cuarto jueves de noviembre.

5. Según la Federación Nacional de Pavos, cerca del 90 por ciento de los americanos comen pavo el dia de Acción de Gracias.

6. El desfile de la Acción de Gracias presentado por Macy's en Nueva York ha sido una tradición de Acción de Gracias desde 1924 y atrae a entre 2 y 3 millones de espectadores cada año.

7. A partir del siglo 20, cada año el presidente "perdona" uno o dos pavos el dia de Acción de Gracias, para ahorrarlos de la masacre y luego el presidente envía ellos a una granja para la jubilación. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Football Fun

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As the saying goes, all work and no play makes for a dull day. So, after what seemed like three straight months of all work and very little play, once Thanksgiving break rolled around a few friends and I took a Saturday off from studying and went to the CU Buffalos last home football game. This season has been a bit rough for the Buffs with a 5-7 record, but luckily they did win against Kansas on Saturday. It is always more fun to go to a game and win it...  

I was an avid football fan in high school, and after high school had looked forward to going to lots of college football games. But that didn't quite happen since the University of Portland didn't have a football team (although, soccer essentially took its place since the UP women's soccer team was #1 in the USA).  So, last Saturday was the first live football game I've been to in almost six years! Hard to believe.

It was mighty cold out, but a beautiful sunny day.  I rode my bike to my friend's apartment, and a group of us took off walking and headed over to the stadium.  At first there were not many fans, but the stadium filled up quite quickly.  Since it was the last home game, they recognized all the senior players. Then there was a flyover with two military jets before the game, and of course, no home game can start without the running of Ralphie. Ralphie is the school's mascot - a 400 some pound buffalo that runs around the field at the beginning of every game, and then again at the start of the second half.  Ralphie is said to be one of the most unique mascots in all of intercollegiate athletics (check out this site )!  So, it was pretty cool to finally make it to a game, and I hope next year I will be able to find the time to go to a few more...  Go CU!

Como se dice aqui, todo trabajo y nada de juego hace un dia aburrido (o algo asi...). Así que, después de casi tres meses en seguido de mucho trabajo (y muchos estudios) y casi nada de diversión, una vez que empezaron las vacaciones por el dia de acción de gracias, mis amigos y yo decidimos descansar de los estudios y fuimos una tardé un sábado a un partido de fútbol americano de Los Búfalos de la Universidad de Colorado (donde estoy estudiando para un doctorado/masters en derecho). Esta temporada no ha sido tan bueno para los Búfalos, han perdido 7 partidos y han ganado solo 5. Pero ganaron afortunadamente contra el equipo de Kansas el sábado que fuimos. Siempre es más divertido ir a un partido y ganarlo. 

Era una fanática del fútbol americano en "High School" (instituto) y siempre estaba muy emocionada ir a una universidad con un equipo de futbol y para ir a los partidos los viernes por la noche.  Pero como fui a la Universidad de Portland, la cual no tenia un equipo de fútbol americano, nunca tenía la oportunidad (aunque, el fútbol esencialmente tomó el lugar del fútbol americano porque el equipo de fútbol de los mujeres de la Universidad de Portland era #1 en todo los E.E.U.U....pero no es igual del fútbol americano). Así que, el sábado pasado era el primer partido de fútbol americano vivo que he visto en a casi seis años!!!

Hacía bastante frío pero fue un día soleado y muy bonito. Monté mi bicicleta y fui a casa de mi amigo, y un grupo de nosotros fuimos andando hacia el estadio. Al principio no había muchos aficionados, pero una vez que empezó el partido, el estadio se llenó con bastante rapidez. Ya que fue el último partido de los Bufalos en Colorado, reconocieron todos los jugadores de alto nivel. Luego hubo un paso con dos aviones militares antes del partido, y por supuesto, como siempre, habia un corrido de Ralphie. Ralphie es la mascota de la universidad - es un búfalo que pesa mas de 400 libras que corre alrededor del campo de fútbol al comienzo de cada partido y luego otra vez al inicio de la segunda mitad. Ralphie es conocido como una de las mascotas más especial de todos las mascotas del atletismo intercolegial (echa un vistazo a esta enlace si tienes interes en Ralphie:! Por lo tanto, era muy bueno para finalmente llegar a un partido, y espero que el año que viene voy a ser capaz de encontrar el tiempo para ir a algunos más...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crutches: A Lesson

This past Tuesday, my typical morning run ended abruptly as I stepped on a crab apple, twisted my ankle, and stumbled to the ground. It hurt like heck, but I figured it was primarily the shock factor. So I took Sam and hobbled on home.  However, when it puffed up like a blow fish and started to bruise, I decided to make my way to the ER (which luckily is super close to where I live!).  After three x-rays and staring at the ceiling for over an hour, the doctor on call told me I had sprained my ankle and had a bone chip (basically when my ligament detached, it took a teeny part of my bone with it).  The prognosis was good - bones heal quickly, and I should be back up and running in three to four weeks! :)  In the mean time, however, I was told I needed to keep all weight off my foot for a full week (aka the doc prescribed crutches) and for the next two weeks I was told I needed to keep my ankle in special ankle brace.

I am very fortunate that this is my first "real" injury (and it really isn't even that serious) aside from a broken nose back in 7th grade.  However, it has been a challenge.  The crutches have perhaps been the most painful/challenging element.  Within the first two days, my entire body ached and I had bruises under my arms, chaffed arms, and bruises on the palms of my hands. And of course, there was the abnormally swollen and painful foot.

As much as I have moaned and groaned, and despised with a deep passion using crutches, I must admit that it has been well worth it.  I have gained a lot of new insight and appreciation for the little things the past few days. We too often take things for granted.  The ease of taking shower. Cooking/preparing a meal. Getting dressed and ready in the morning. Driving. Going from one classroom to another. Grocery shopping (which, for your information, is impossible if you are by yourself and using crutches). Sitting comfortably in a chair. And the list goes on and on. 

I've also noticed a few things that I've never before thought about.  For example - pharmacies tend to be located in the most inconvenient part of the store: the very back. For healthy people, what is a quick walk across the store becomes a true hike for a sick or injured person. And opening doors to enter a building, such as the CU Wolf Law building, become a true task.  First of all, the doors weigh a TON and are even hard for me to open when I have full use of my hands (and am not supporting my weight on crutches).  However, they are even hard to open if you push the handicap button, which only opens the first door.  Once in the first door, you have to make your way to the next button, which is 'conveniently' located about five feet from the door, in the corner, about 4 feet off the ground. And then you sprint to make it through the second door on time.  Then, once in the building, you have to go to the far back corner to access the elevator.  It is perhaps the most difficult building to get around if you are in any way handicapped.  I cannot imagine having to face challenges like these for more than a week, and am now blatantly aware of the everyday challenges that so many people have to face. 

I am so thankful that I am normally healthy and able-bodied. Now, I can't wait to be back to 100% and get off this couch and start running again!