Saturday, January 3, 2015

It is my 10 year anniversary!  

To be more specific, it’s been 10 years since my spinal injury.  I sit here thinking of all that I have accomplished in the last 10 years.  But before all that, I remember vividly being in the back of the ambulance, thinking I was never going to walk again!   

Let me back things up a bit.  Here is the backstory. (Some graphic parts, sorry)

I was a triathlete, looking to have a little fun on a trampoline.  I decided taking trampoline lessons was a great idea!  Having a wonderful time, and getting confident with my skills, I was practicing back flips.  On the count of 3, jumping higher and higher (~10 feet up), I started rotating my flip and for some reason, I didn’t commit.  Under-rotating the turn, I landed on my upper back, with my feet up and over my head.  Crunch!  I knocked the wind out of myself and had immediate numbness in my lower legs.  I knew instantly that something was wrong.  Staying still, the facility phoned 911.  My 2 co-workers came, immobilizing me to the spinal board and drove me to the hospital.  It was surreal being a patient, as I am the one who is suppose to be the paramedic in this situation...Not the patient!  

An overnight stay in the ER, and then admission to the floor, I stayed in the hospital for weeks.  The doctors kept staying:  “you’ll likely be able to walk again!”  I hate that statement.  In my head, I kept telling myself: I WILL WALK AGAIN!  After my discharged, I was sent home on bed rest.  I was bedridden for months.  With an occupational therapist visiting me, I started my recovery.  

Part of my injury was an bladder issue.  Because of the spinal cord damage, my bladder wasn’t receiving messages from my brain.  It is called neurogenic bladder.  I had to retrain my bladder by catheter.  What a nightmare!  To make matters worse, they sent a young male to show me how to catheter myself.  How embarrassing!!  So, that’s what I did.  A few times a day, I would do it, and my boyfriend of only just over a year, brought my pee to the toilet!  Now that’s love.  Needless to say, I married the guy.  

I’m also so grateful for my mom.  She would drive 3 hrs every weekend to give me a bath and wash my hair.  It’s amazing what a mother would do for her children.  Now that I have 2 children myself, I can understand and appreciate this.  There’s no question that I would do the same.  

The recovery continued.  After a number of months, I was able to go out for physio.  This is where I met Lisa Wilson.  With her help, understanding, and determination, I pushed through many painful appointments.  I also made sure I did all my ‘exercises’ at home.   I was so proud when I got the go ahead to start adding walks to ‘exercise plan’.  Those 6 minute walks were humbling and took a lot out of me.   To this day, I still see Lisa for any help I need.  She is a vital part of my injury prevention program.  

As the year went on, my hard work was starting to pay off.  I was able to start modified duties at work after only 11 months.  By the following spring, I was running again.  With the help of good friend and coach, Mike Coughlin,  I even PB’d some distances that summer.  

Now 10 years later, I am a top Canadian Ultra Runner.   I am still working with my amazing coach Mike Coughlin (Discomfort Zone). I am also sponsored by some amazing companies:  Running Skirts, and as of 2015: Ultimate Direction and Icespikes.  I value these partnerships so much.  

My husband, Jeff Warriner, supports me and my goals to no end!  What a guy!  I couldn’t have done all of this without him.  We have 2 beautiful daughters, Jubilee (5) and Maëlle (3).    Jeff, I’m doing a 100 mile race this year!  Could you of pictured that 10 years ago!!  Crazy!  

To all my family and friends along the way, I’m so honoured to be on this journey with you.  I value your friendship so much.  Thank you.  Here’s to the next 10 years!

And to conclude, I want everyone to know, as I am living proof, that big goals can be reached!  All you have to do is believe in yourself, work hard, be consistent (and perhaps add a bit of stubbornness!)   


(I have to add: One of the most fascinating parts of my spinal injury was the nerve regeneration. My feet grow a whole size! Ok, it wasn't easy on the wallet, but still very neat how the body works.)

-- Chantal

Like me on facebook to show your support.  Thank you!

Proud athlete of:

Proud Ambassador of:

Proud Athlete of Icespike

Proud Athlete of Icespike
Order Now!