My metaphorical kayak

This is a very long post so please stay with me! Some of you may or may not know that this past August I went kayaking in Rochester with my Mom. It was a beautiful summer day and we were about 2 hours into our 4 hour trip. I just waved at a couple standing on their back deck along the bank of the creek bend. We exchanged some “hellos” and everything was fine until we came around the bend and I found myself in what is called a “strainer.”  I had no idea what it was at the time but I have since researched the term. In short, the current was really strong because of a down tree and a bunch of debris that I couldn’t navigate until it was too late.  (My mom was able to navigate it much better than I and she stayed in her kayak the whole time) It is very similar to the way a drain/sifter/strainer works except my kayak went through the holes of the drain while I was fighting for my body to stay a float and not get sucked into the holes. You can see here…

My life literally flashed before my eyes as the current and kayak tried to suck me down without my life jacket on. (I have since learned it was actually good I didn’t have my life jacket on because it would have pulled me under) I don’t really remember pulling myself out above the current or clinging to dear life on the tree branches. The whole event will remain a blur. What I do know is that I’m very lucky I survived and walked away with a few scrapes and bruises. The only things lost that day were “things” which were easily replaced. After this near death experience, everything is really put into perspective. When you’re swimming down a frigid cold creek, in an area you don’t know and your only source of communication has been sucked in by the creek along with your flip-flops, you will lose your mind and you will sing just keep swimming and you will cry like a baby. In that moment you know nothing else. You will also never be happier to hear the sound of cars driving over a bridge and you will run through the woods in your soaking wet clothes as fast as you can until you find the clearing that opens to the road. I flagged my arms up and down and a couple stopped because clearly something was out of place. It was the couple that we just waved at on their back deck along the creek path. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. The woman said to me, “Didn’t we just see you kayaking past our house” and through some sobs I was able to say “Oh thank goodness, yes!” Since I ran to the road, my mom was still in her kayak and needed to be rescued because I could not swim the rest of the way and we needed help. Moments later the Rochester-Chile Fire Department was there and next thing I know is I’m sitting on the front bumper of a fire truck in bare feet (I was wearing my Mom’s flip-flops while running through the woods so I made sure an EMT that went to rescue her took them back to her) with an EMT taking my blood pressure waiting for the rescue team to get my Mom. The minutes that past felt like hours until I saw my Mom venture out of the woods and I darted to hug her and we both burst into tears. I thought, “Holy shit, you really only see these emotions and experiences in the movies and now this is my life, I’m sorry but WTF.” When I woke up that morning I took every single thing for granted and I was so excited for a kayaking adventure. I recall checking in at the kayaking place on Facebook and making a status that said, “Adventure is out there.” The whole day still gives me chills.

After that day I told myself that I would live life to the absolute fullest and change my thinking to “having” to do things to “wow I get to do this.” That night once I got home, I Facebook messaged my family and friends because my phone was long gone and had to let everyone know I was okay. I began to cling to every conversation with much more meaning and hug everyone a lot tighter. The following Monday I was so excited to go to work and see my coworkers because I was ALIVE. It’s super weird to explain to people who have never experienced a near death experience. I don’t want anyone to experience that ever but you really are on some what of a high afterwards because you became so close to death. After the incident I realized that at 57 pounds lost and all of my time at the gym had actually saved my life. I had the strength to pull myself out of a really nasty current and cling to a damn tree branch. Everything had finally made sense. The weight loss was always worth it to me because of a lot of reasons but this tragic event proved that my weight loss was so much more.

Now, let’s fast forward to December 5th, 2014 and needless to say my weight loss story journey has been on the back burner, the farthest back burner that the flame is out. I haven’t weighed in at WW since October 26th. I hate that I typed that but there it is. I don’t even want to know what the scale says. I can’t get focused on that number right now, what’s done is done. Therefore, I feel that I have some explaining to do….How could this happen Chelsea? You inspired me. You have 1882 followers on Instagram who are inspired by you. How could you? Well, I don’t have all the answers but all I know is that I did. (Insert sobbing face)

I started a new position on September 3rd which I absolutely love but it also occupies 42 hours of my week and I’m in my last year of grad school. (FALL SEMESTER ENDS TUESDAY, YAY!) I had class for 6 hours per week on top of working for 42 hours. So about 50 hours per week are work/school. I also moved at the beginning of November and that is no easy task. Well admist all of this I was feeling pretty damn lousy. I thought it was from not working out (lack of endorphins) but I was experiencing these awful headaches and I was constantly EXHAUSTED. Drained. Miserable. Done. Defeated. I finally went to the doctor and some blood work and a CT scan have confirmed that I am deficient in Vitamin D and I have a benign cyst on my brain. Okay, so take a Vitamin D supplement and a nightly medication to curb my tension headaches but the pressure in my head is still there. My doctor sent me A LETTER telling me about the cyst so I literally have no idea where it is or how big it is and I guess I’ll just assume that it’s not serious. (super re-assuring) I worked out 2 days in a row last week and after the second workout I literally felt that my head was going to blow off. I ran 2 miles on the treadmill and did some weights. It hurt like hell, but I did it. I know that you can sometimes feel your pulse in your head but this pressure is just beyond that. Long story short because I’ve already typed too much, I am going to the neurologist on December 15th and hopefully some light can be shed on this cyst and I can start to find some relief.

Now if anyone knows me they know that I am VERY hard on myself. So I’m very sad that it has gotten to this point. I’m not this person. I want a certain number on the scale and I KNOW that I told myself I would never be this person. I would never let the flame burn out. I would push until I got to where I wanted to be.

This afternoon on a whim, I decided to check my horoscope..

“You seem to be orbiting in the cosmic flow today. Others see your light shining brightly and assume that all is right in your world. However, behind the scenes your emotions are agitated and there’s pandemonium even if everything appears placid on the surface. This kind of intensity might normally be overwhelming, but now you are eager to shoot the rapids of the emotional white waters. Grab your metaphorical kayak and start paddling while the currents are traveling in your direction.”

JUST CHILLS. I was immediately brought back to my kayaking incident just by seeing the word kayak. I reflected on how close to death I was during my kayaking experience and how I told myself that I was going to not only live but be ALIVE. So why am I letting my goals slip away if I want to feel ALIVE? I came to the realization that I am in control. I have the power to turn this around and be who I want to be. Eventually the semester will end and I will get my health in order and make it to the gym again. I will find my way back into a meeting. There will be tears along the way because I am upset and defeated that I have taken such a hiatus from something that I was so passionate about. BUT what’s so wonderful about this journey is that it’s never really over. The passion is still there. There is always time for redemption. I have the tools, I just need to do the DAMN thing. I am signed up to run the Buffalo MARATHON in May 2015 and I WILL RUN that marathon. It’s not the end of the world and there is no sense in beating myself up. It’s just going to be that much more worth it when I cross that finish line knowing that it sure as hell isn’t easy but I finished. This weight loss journey is the furthest thing from easy but I.will.keep.going and I can guarantee that you will hear about it! =)

Thanks so much for reading and accepting me for all of my flaws, you’re awesome!

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