May and June so far have been filled with baking, exercise, cats and friends. It has been lovely, although rehab is still really tough! I spend a lot of time in the gym working on strength and stability, as well as foam rolling and lifting weights for my upper body! Before this injury I never would have thought to lift weights or use the upper body machines because I was a cardio monster! Now, funny enough, although recovering from injury, i’m probably the strongest i’ve ever been and fittest overall. I’ve really noticed strength improvements while climbing, for example. So, while gym work sucks, it does pay off!
Rehab is REPETITIVE.
I also walk every day and have upped my hiking to two times per week, which feels amazing. It’s great that some of the activities I love are incorporated into rehab, so it doesn’t feel like I only do boring squats or band exercises. The woods are healing me, slowly but surely! Rest days are still hard for me because i’m like the energizer bunny. Last week I sheepishly went into physio and told Jess that I skipped my rest day…”I just felt so good!” I exclaimed. Sure enough though, a couple of days later my gluts were screaming for a rest. It really is a balancing act between strength, pain, and rest. It’s a hard one! At the end of the day I am always exhausted. My muscles are so tired, and so is my whole body- physically and emotionally! I definitely don’t have the same stamina as the people around me, and sometimes friends will ask me to go out in the evening, and I feel like a huge granny and have to say no. I do need to remember that my body is basically growing my leg back…and at the end of the day it is pooped. Never in a million years would I have thought rehab would be so hard or painful. What a wake up call.
Scoutie has been my little saviour throughout this whole period, and continues to be. Unfortunately she hasn’t been feeling her best the last couple of months! Apparently her kidneys aren’t working that well, but we have caught it in the very early stages. She should be okay with an adjusted diet and a little medicine. Apparently cats can live for years at this level! Fingers crossed.
As for other activities, I have been catching up with so many friends returning home from university, which has been amazing! I have caught up with my friend Alana, who also went through a confusing injury and rehab; my new awesome friend Brylee, who is also dealing with a tricky injury; my oldest and bestest childhood friends Jayne and Haley, and one of my favourite people Monique! It has been so awesome to make connections with people who have gone through tricky injuries, it makes me feel a lot less alone. Sometimes it feels like everyone else is just living it up all the time! Social media doesn’t help with that left out feeling. I find if we go beyond the external, or the self we present on social media, we foster deeper connections because we find that everyone is going through things! Of course, my other hobby, baking, has also been going swimmingly. I’ve really been into making pies!
Baking has been an awesome stress reliever and meditative activity. It means a lot to me! Sometimes people around me make light of all my baking, but it has been a super important part of my life for the past year. I’m not sure I would have gotten through this all without it. Recently I had the opportunity to bake for a bake sale for Arcteryx put on by the Rita Birds , a group raising money for MS. I made cupcakes and cookies, and it felt great to participate in raising money for such an important cause.
I will always remember one shift at MEC where this lovely middle aged couple came in to buy some shoes. The lady was at the beginning stages of MS and she had tricky leg braces that affected which shoes she could wear. The couple were planning a trip to Europe, which would be one of their last while she was mobile. They were so kind and sensitive, the type of people you wouldn’t wish something like MS on, but the kind of people you knew would make the best of the rest of their lives together. To be honest, they made the rest of the cranky rude customers (who didn’t have MS) melt away. It was one of the most meaningful experiences I have had working at MEC, and one I won’t soon forget.
I wanted to post my recipe for buttercream on the blog today! It is so creamy and delicious. It pipes well and is light and not too sweet! So tasty on vanilla cupcakes, or chocolate, even! I am a sucker for vanilla.
The Best Buttercream
- 1 cup butter
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 2-3 tsp vanilla
- 2-4 tbsp whipping cream
- 1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
1.) Cream butter, slowly adding sugar one cup at a time.
2.) Beat butter and sugar for 5 mins (to reduce graininess)
3.) Add 2 tbsp whipping cream to start, as well as the salt and vanilla to taste.
4.) Add more whipping cream to make it lighter. Sometimes I even use 5 tablespoons!