In the summer of 2010, I survived a near fatal boating accident. That accident and the subsequent lessons I learned about health, community and love changed my life. I hope I can share these lessons with you and help you to change your life, too. I am lucky. I have been given a Second Chance, and you can have one too!
Picture this: On July 15th I was in the best shape of my life. I was a vegetarian, ran five miles twice a week, rode 25-40 miles on my bike on weekends, and swam a mile and lifted weights three days a week. On July 16, 2010, all that changed. On an evening boat ride with my cousin and his girlfriend on Lake Michigan, we hit a sea wall at 25 mph. I broke my C2 vertebrae, broke all my ribs, and both lungs were punctured and collapsed. After a lengthy rescue effort, I wound up in the ICU for six days. I spent another two weeks in the hospital in rehabilitation. I was fitted into a neck brace that held my head and body immobile to allow my broken neck to heal. I wore the brace for twelve weeks, 24/7. I was not allowed to lift anything, I had to sleep sitting up, and I was in constant pain. I had to learn how to get in and out of bed, brush my teeth, shower, etc., all while wearing the brace. My lungs were so compromised that I was winded just talking and could not even walk ten feet unassisted and without taking a break by sitting in a wheelchair.
I have been told by many doctors and other professionals that I am lucky to be alive. In September of 2011, I participated in the Beach Blast Triathlon in Mexico Beach, Florida. I came in First Place in my age group, beating the second placer by fifteen minutes! Good nutrition and hard work has helped me to heal.
I have learned four major lessons in my journey that I would like to share with you.
Taking responsibility for your health is key to wellness and the ability to deal with adversity.
I learned that good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices were one of the main reasons why I survived the accident. My recovery proceeded at a good pace because of my continued attention to nutrition, supplements and exercise.
It is important to give and participate in community, as well as to receive the amazing power of community when you are in need.
It is impossible to describe the power of knowing people were praying for me and helping me in every aspect of my life. I am forever grateful to those who called, wrote, sent gifts, drove me, cooked for me, sent me money, did my laundry, sat with me, ran errands for me, cheered me with surprises, and simply loved me. We all need to have community.
There is a power greater than ourselves.
I believe in G-d and I believe in angels. You may not and that is fine. I believe that both G-d and angels were there the night of my accident, keeping me breathing, keeping me alive. I have had doctors tell me I should not have survived, but I did. I believe it is important to believe in a power stronger than ourselves. Perhaps it is “the universe”, perhaps it is G-d, or perhaps it is a strength you gain from going inside yourself through meditation. However you access it, some things cannot be explained and drawing on this power is vital.
Listening is a powerful skill that improves all relationships.
In my recovery, I was unable to talk. My lungs were compromised. As a psychotherapist, I thought I knew how to listen, but apparently I needed to re-learn the skill of listening once again. I learned the power and beauty of being completely “present” with someone by just listening. Practicing listening takes time and effort but improves relationships ten-fold. Take the time to learn the tools of being a good listener. Your life will improve as a result.
***My recovery could not have gone as smoothly as it did without the incredible assistance of the paramedics, nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, alternative healers, friends and family who were there for me along the way. I am grateful for their care, their kindness, their expertise and their patience.
*****A special thank you, acknowledgment and tribute goes to my husband, Fred, who was there every step of the way, protecting me, loving me and taking care of me.
If you are interested in learning more about how to create your Second Chance, check out my Second Chance-Thrive Now! program under the coaching tab or, contact me to schedule a FREE Breakthrough! Consultation.