Firsts

Family is so important to me! Grandma and Grandpa and my parents came down last weekend. Love them so much! <3

In the past 2 days, I’ve been through a whirlwind of fabulous experiences which have left me astonished and grateful.  Friday, Ryan and I had a build-your-own cupcake sale on the quad.  He made amazing frosting, I made 125 cupcakes, and we raised just under $300!  But of the 4 hours we spent outside of the Union, yelling at people to eat our sweets, no half-hour was better spent than the time that I met a certain graduate student.  A man using a cane came up to my table, asking what our cupcake sales are for.  Then he shared that he had just finished up chemo last year.  Naturally, I expected to hear his story and gently asked what kind of cancer he had.  What followed was a surprise to me and is an encounter I’ll never forget.  He told me he had been diagnosed with a type of multi-tumor sarcoma and his ankle and foot had been amputated the day after his birthday.  He is the first amputee I’ve ever met.  He showed me his prosthetic leg, and we proceeded to have a interesting conversation about fittings of different stages of prosthetics, the emotional impact of limb loss, and the physical therapy involved in rehab.  As many of you may know, I plan to become a prosthetist when I finish my education.  The combination of cancer and amputations/prosthetics made for an interesting conversation and a moving story.  I ponder the fact that I’ve never met and talked to an amputee before and I truly appreciate the opportunity to meet this student.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a beautiful day, until it started snowing in the evening.  I was debating whether or not to try out my new bike, and I wanted to put flats on it because the cleats in the shoes somewhat terrify me.  However, I couldn’t figure out how to change out the pedals, so I decided it was time to give my bike a shot.  First time out the front door… what a beautiful day to learn to ride a bike!  I walked Phoenix carefully all the way down to Florida Avenue, and then situated myself on a wide sidewalk which had grass on the side.  Wow, I thought.  This was a daunting task.  I had to put my feet into those pedals and not fall over.  So naturally, I didn’t plan ahead by reading up on clipless pedals, but was winging it on my own ideas.  Here’s a website which would have been useful to have read beforehand: http://wheelswhisper.blogspot.com/p/getting-started-with-clipless-pedals.html.  I clipped in my right foot for the first time and tried to swing my leg over.  It wasn’t happening so I proceeded to straddle the top tube.  Much better.  Runners ran by as I stood there struggling for fifteen minutes.  Eventually, I went through a long line of firsts: First time clipping one foot into my bike.  First time tipping over on my bike.  First time biking; going somewhere!  First time unclipping my left foot successfully.  First time clipping both feet without too much confusion and effort.  First time going around a curve.  First time biking a half-mile consecutively.  My favorite one: first time totally falling over in front of people.  “I’m fine! I’m just trying to learn how to ride this thing!”  Yeah, it was a challenge.  But now I feel a lot better about biking with cleats.  It has been demoted from impossible to somewhat difficult.  Falling over just twice for my first time riding Phoenix: not too bad.

I’d like to thank everyone for your continued support and generous donations!

 

 

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