When I first began this latest leg of my life’s journey, I promised myself (and my followers) to be as honest and as open as humanly possible. More importantly, I promised not to train, recover or heal my wounds with any of the anger that has plagued almost all of my childhood and adult life.
True to this commitment, I offered to share my evolution of creating a tiny home space, vetting a homeless veteran pilot and sustaining a more minimal ecological footprint while healing from some pretty intense surgeries. The easy portions of this odyssey are the success stories for Diva and me.
Delivery of the “shed,” the acquisition of electricity, climate control and consistent cooking access all hedged our ability to somewhat mitigate the harsh circumstances and elements we previously struggled to endure.
Some of the other projects in this part of my journey require some genuine ability to think outside the box. The most memorable example is using ice cream and other seasonal confections as fun training aids for Diva during intently warm weather.
The other project of note I reported as a success story has now been reclassified as a life lesson. I constructed a rock porch about 2 weeks ago. I moved 5 ton of rocks that were generally the size of a softball and as large a football.
Despite my reservations, I completed the task in an afternoon. I took several breaks for water, stretching and essential oil rundowns of my recovering post-operative wounds. From many years of weight lifting, I know that (almost like clockwork) at the 2 day post workout mark, my body exhibits signals of distress and the need for recovery in the form of muscle soreness, limited mobility and increased exasperation of my severe chronic pain.
This time everything I thought I’d escaped or avoided happened on day 3.
Imagine my surprise as I was driving back to Denver (nursing a cracked transfer case, I might add) and my legs and back were spasming so forcefully that I would need to stretch every 40-50 miles.
My body was and is beat up!
Today marks 2 weeks, not 2 days, since my successful rock porch project and I can still hardly stand or walk. The pain is so bad that it literally makes me cry almost daily! My path has given me an incredible pain tolerance. It is a pretty rare occasion when pain can make me cry and yet I am here daily.
Chronic pain is exhausting!
So while I was calculating how much pain I’ve experienced in this crazy life of mine, Diva looked at me a certain way that is difficult to articulate on paper. What I felt is an amazing sense of gratitude, peace and hope. This puppy’s look somehow reminds me that I have endured pain so that I am prepared for what life serves and helps me stay focused on the message, “Everyone can win as long as they never quit!”
You see my mom insisted that I get a puppy rather than rescue an older dog and train it for service work. In the spirit of honesty, I preferred an older dog because in the back of my mind I refused to commit to needing as long to heal as it takes to properly raise a puppy. I was ready to be done healing very quickly and that is not my reality.
Mom was right.
Diva came into the picture at almost 9 weeks old and has really helped me pace my recovery based on her growth and physical maturation. Most days she is my sole companion. She gives me a sense of purpose and offers me hope along with a sense of accomplishment. She is and always has been a “stunner!”
Presently this magnificent creature is working on fetching two toys thrown in different directions from sit/stay and down/stay. She goes up and down escalators, sits while I open doors or gates, and then enters and sits just inside/outside. In restaurants and on the train, she lays down under my legs and seat. This girl is so sweet.
Satin Diva is 6 months old and 73 pounds on Sunday. She has lost five teeth that I witnessed in the past week. Her most notable gift is her innate ability to bridge generational, educational and social status barriers in this often divisive climate that is now America, as folks from all walks of life exclaim, “LOOK at the puppy!”
We’ve had an interesting two weeks. I’ve had to stay a little closer to Denver Sports Recovery Center and, as always, a perfect solution appeared at the appropriate time. We are in Evergreen for a spell and I have plans to bring my Dawg House here to complete the interior.
More about our current digs, later…
We are fortunate to connect with like-minded individuals like SC, to train with a beautiful 9 month old, 95 pound, all blue European Great Dane whose beauty rivals Ms Diva’s, and a pair of new beasties, Echo and Bergen, and to reconnect with some close friends.
In sharing our status, my goal is to let you know that what most folks consider “setbacks,” I relish as “setups” for success.
The key? Adaptability.
Learn what your mind, body and spirit need to perform, rest, and recover. Listen to it with an open mind because nothing works for all people but everyone can find something that works. When you find a treatment, exercise, a therapy or a protocol, do all you can to improve your position, be honest about your plight and potential consequences but don’t make/accept excuses. Make a plan and never quit.
Sustainable Success in just on the horizon! ?????