Funny, as a competitive athlete, we push our bodies to extreme levels to establish change. We always strive to be better, bigger, stronger. Even if its just to be better than we were the show or competition, before.
In my personal life, I constantly strive to change. To be a better person, mother, friend, human.
I’m an over achiever. Anyone who knows me, knows this. My biggest motivation is someone telling me I “can’t” do something. Even if I hate it, so long as its not against my core values, you best believe, I’ll do it. So much so, that the people around me, who you’d think would be my biggest fans and support have hated me.
I’ve done a lot of work with a trauma therapist, Yes, I’m putting in writing. Nothing wrong with getting help. It’s okay to not feel okay, and its okay to get help to navigate areas where you don’t understand. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If we didn’t, what a boring world we would live in. I am not perfect. But I have and bring value. I’d do anything for anyone. But, this was the problem. I learned that it is not okay to be the punching bag for everyone, just because they don’t see the value I bring. For years, I put up with so much $h!t that I lost who I was. All my accomplishments went unnoticed and actually went against everything positive I was trying to portray. To the people that I thought should matter to me. I’ve learned that who you expect to understand and support you unconditionally isn’t always the people you grow up with. This has been the hardest lesson, I have ever learned. And to be completely transparent, still learning, not because I think things will change, but because it hurts so bad to let it go and cut the negative off, completely.
I have met and inspired tones of people who I adore and who I am so grateful for. They have truly been my biggest cheerleaders and it has not gone unnoticed. I appreciate every single one of the messages, private conversations at shows, cheers, thank yous, photo ops, magazine interviews, awards given, opportunities to speak at events, sponsorships with amazing companies who continue to be the very back bone of my fitness career. Even the people yelling across comedy clubs that I presume I entered, unnoticed, thank you. As overwhelming as it can be for me. I hear you, I see you and I thank you for supporting me and being my “family” throughout all of my journey and trials. It truly makes my life so full.
I have always been transparent about my life and injuries. My back injury is debilitating. I’ve undergone 3 Spinal surgeries since 2016. Had to literally relearn how to walk, after two of them! Alone. One as recent as September 2022. I can’t take Opioids as it severely affects my CPTSD. Pain isn’t just a visitor, its a companion. I live at a 8/10 pain on the daily. It’s so bad right now, bending over to put my pants on is almost impossible. Carrying grocery bags hurts!
A dear friend of mine, Deanna, suggested I reach out to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to see what they could do to help me. I grew up in Canada and only thought of them as a cancer hospital. I called them a month ago and they told me they have a strict one year post op rule to see anyone. Which would push me out to September 1, 2023, this year for an appointment. I felt I had nothing to loose so I started going to every clinic in Utah that has treated me in the last 9 years and sent all my films to the Mayo Clinic.
My surgeon in Utah is considered the best in Utah for Neurosurgery. But he is delaying my care. I’m not here to bash anyone and maybe on some level I don’t understand, he thinks his advise is sound. But I am so tired of being in pain.
Anyhow, I get a phone call from the Mayo Clinic about 2 weeks after I signed all the releases and talk to the head of the International Patients Center, because remember I’m foreign! I’m Canadian (American, too) but my insurance is international from Canada. He told me the Neuosurgery team received my imaging the day before and consider my condition to be “Emergent” and are waving the one year clause and want to see me asap.
So, I start the insurance process, because military is “difficult”. And my appointment is this coming Monday. I am terrified to hear what they have to say. Its a 9 hour drive but with my back as bad as it is, may take me 3 days to get there. I am taking my K9 and going on an adventure. If i ever needed well wishes or positive energy sent, its now.
It’s interesting that our entire lives is to grow and change. Change is a good thing. But the change I’m about to learn about, Monday, terrifies me. Questions like, what is my life going to look like after? Will I be able to compete again, will I be able to find joy and happiness without losing the part of me that makes me, me?
I love a good underdog story. No matter what the team of surgeons tell me Monday. I’m not going to quit. I’m going to continue to press forward to the mark. Just watch!
So thank you to everyone for your continued support. Means the world to me ❤️