People deal in different ways. My way to deal was to get out and go big. I wanted to do everything I normally do and then some. I wanted to basically give my surgeon the finger and tell her she's not taking away my fun. And boy, have I accomplished that in the last year and a half. I just got off of my last trip in a string of trips over mostly the last year. Thanks to the Southwest Airlines credit card deal I signed in to, I was able to rack up enough airline miles to go to a lot of places for free off of the miles or for very little money past that. I just took my 19th trip that required air travel. For now, this will be the last of my travels until surgery. As thankful as I am for the experiences I've had through all of my travels, I am also exhausted from it as well. Normal day to day things that I like to get done around the house have not been done in months. My place is a little bit of a disaster. BUT... it was all worth it. :) Looking back on everything in the last year and a half, here is the run down of my trips:
- Los Angeles with a group from Matt's work and got to see Hollywood.
- Santa Barbara to consult with Dr. Gunson and turned that in to a nice trip to see the area.
- Philly three separate times to see my family.
- Salt Lake City twice with my friends for some wind tunnel time.
- Houston for Halloween
- Dominican Republic for my sisters wedding
- Connecticut to consult with a knee surgeon with a side trip to NYC.
- Las Vegas
- Scuba diving in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Chicago for a wind tunnel competition
- Florida 4 separate times: Tallahassee, Tampa, Orlando, Mebourne, Sebastian, New Smyrna Beach.
- Kansas City, MO
- Minneapolis for a skydiving camp
- Phoenix, AZ for US Skydiving National Competition
The competition in Phoenix was a good end to the travel string. I've been in and out of skydiving for 13 years. It's always been rough for me to be a regular current jumper with my wacky work schedule, and then for the last 2-3 years all the injuries. I got the bug in my ear to do US Nationals way back when I was 18 in 2002 and got my license. My AFF instructor at the time was the US National champ for freestyle and she kind of put the bug there. I did collegiate nationals in 2006 and it was always a stepping stone for me since; always thinking in the back of my mind that some day I'll get to the big show at the regular nationals. I made it this year. I didn't make the podium, but I was so happy just to be there after over a decade wanting it. It was definitely a good way to end the year of travels.
I also can't forget all of the local fun to be had in between the airplane trips. All of the skydiving trips, wind tunnel time, mountain/road biking trips, backpacking trips, snowboarding trips, paddle boarding trips, finishing trips, etc. I have literally been living out of my suitcase the last year, and it's been exhausting yet great. I'm trying to describe everything I've done without sounding like I am bragging that I get to travel a lot. I'm more trying to describe how thankful I am at the opportunity to do all of this more so than just saying I got to do it in a bragging way. A lot of things fell in to place so that all the travel could happen. I am incredibly lucky to get in on the perfect credit card mile deal at the perfect time, and incredibly lucky that I had some leave banked up at work that I was able to use without much trouble getting coverage for my shifts. I'm thankful because I needed this. It's helped me heal over the last year. Another thing I am thankful for in that mix is all of my friends and my family who enriched these trips and experiences. For each of you that jumped out of an airplane with me, or last minute road tripped with me, got off a ski lift with me, got on an airplane to travel with me on some of these trips, let me crash in your home when I got somewhere and listened to me vent about the shitty cards I've been dealt the last year and a half, road a bike a couple hundred miles with me, surfed and sat on the beach with me, and backpacked a few thousand feet of terrain and saw beautiful places with me. The new friends I've made on my travels have been great! All of the smiles, laughs, and tears I've gotten to have with old ones on my adventures are equally as awesome. I'm especially thankful for my dear husband who continues to be a rock for me through all of this. I couldn't have gotten another person as supportive and understanding. While he's been able to come on a few of these trips with me, it's been most of them that I have been away on my own. He's taken care of my dog for me, taken me to and from the airport at odd times, picked up around the house more in my absence, and has zero resentment that I've been gone more than I should. A lot of partners would eventually feel a little irked if the other is off gallivanting around. They could start to feel a little lonely and neglected. I think it's only human. He's been amazing through everything and understanding of the fact that this is how I chose to deal with everything that happened to me. That this was something I needed to do and that with his support, it would make it an even better experience for me and hopefully get me to a better place in the long run. So, to everybody who has had a part in all of these experiences I've been lucky to have the last year and a half--- thank you a million times over. This has all helped me keep my mind off of things and keep me from going to a bad place, and the memories of everything will keep me smiling when things start to get tough through the revision process coming up. From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful for my family, friends, and all the awesome experiences I got to have over the last year or so. Here's to a couple months of relaxing before revision surgery! I know my husband is glad to finally have me back at home, and I am glad to be back home! :)