Friday, April 30, 2010

The next Chapter in Kelley's Journey (a note from Sue)

I remember the first time I thought there was something extraordinary about my friend Kelley. It was a couple of years after I became friends with her and Julie Munger while working on the SF American river. Kelley had left California to work for Sobek on the first year of their operation on the Zambezi in Africa. Someone came back with footage from that first exploratory year on the Zambezi and was showing it at one of the regular guide’s Sunday night “un-wind” at Yosum’s pizza.

The footage starts rolling with a wide frame view of one of the rapids on the Zambezi at very high water. I had been on my share of big volume water, but the magnitude of what was displayed on the screen was truly impressive. The frame is filled with a mass of roiling and boiling, muddy brown, monster sized waves, hydraulics, and eddies lines. The magnitude of the whitewater is given perspective by a little bitty looking object that is floating towards the top of the rapids at the very top of the frame. As the camera zooms in it brings into focus an 18’ raft with two passengers sitting in the front, and Kelley standing up at the oars, slowing rowing towards the V. As the current starts to pick up, Kelley starts pushing into the oars with all her might. She is not just rowing now…. She is attacking! By the time she hits the first wave she is rowing forward at a pace that is truly remarkable. The monster waves crash over the raft from all sides, but Kelley stays on her feet, punching her fists into the oars over and over again.

The cheers from the crowd mixed with my own, as we all voiced our appreciation for the strength, courage, and mastery Kelley displayed rowing through the most gigantic whitewater most of us had ever seen. It was inspirational.

Well I am once again inspired. After a truly miserable winter, recovering from her discouraging accident which left her with two fractured femurs, she is now heading into the V again. She is taking charge of her life and moving forward. As she has shared in recent blogs, she will soon be entering a rehab program at a facility called Project Walk, that specializes in aggressive rehab for spinal cord injuries. She knows the program she will be put on will be hard and painful, but her recovery from the fractures, along with her small continued improvements in lower body motor function are encouraging. And she continues to show the rest of us the way…… when entering the gaping maw of the challenges in your life…. keep your eye on the V, “stand up”, and keep up the attack! Just like Kelley. Sue

Monday, April 26, 2010


At Mom's place...a log home my Dad and she built together surrounded in Larch, Lodgepole, Douglas fur and a few Ponderosa pines (the state tree and my Mom's favorite). The dust is finally settling from the whirlwind of unloading the rig my sister Kim and husband Lance hauled up north to Thompson Falls. A BIG THANK YOU to them! All the equipment is either on the front or back covered-porch. I look forward to organizing the house and porch where the equipment can be at hand and a routine established so I can finally start building strength back. Lance has already built a ramp making is easier to get in and out of the house...SO helpful to having freedom. It's beautiful here, peaceful and calm.Wilbur's Loving it!...he can now actually be a dog, running around exploring and smelling things...we love watching the deer coming and going on the sweet; they're losing their winter fur and looking scraggly--Wilbur quivering--dying for the chase. Just after arriving the temperatures were in 40-50's with some rain, with cloud bursting snow flurries, then the sun would peek through...very pretty. My bedroom is down stairs in the living-room, with a window at my left shoulder...I'm able to look out at any hour...knowing what the moon phases are in and seeing stars help me get back on track too...I like seeing it shine and light up the woods. Today's sunny and was nice to be out on the porch using the total-gym in the morning sun...and once I get into better shape I'll be able to catch a workout on the back porch with the paddle-one machine and spin-bike for afternoon sun and sunsets. There are some exercises I can do on my own...but there are some I can't....our friend and neighbor Ro, helped me this morning with my exercises...and has volunteered to help for the next 6 weeks I am here, 1-3 hours a day!! I am SO grateful. Thank You RO!! And Many Thanks Again to My Family: Mom-Lee and sister-Kim, and my brother inlaw-Lance who is both my Mom's and my hero, helping us get settled in!(hauling, lifting, and building my ramp, replacing the hot water-heater, logging dead trees and burning brush...etc). Thanks Lance!
Yeaaah I'm here, kelley

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Georgetown Benefit-With Deep Gratitude

MANY HEART FELT THANKS go out to ALL the people involved with helping Geri Teixeira, of Be Jazzed fitness, put together a very successful fundraiser, on my behalf, at the I.O.O.F Hall in Georgetown last Friday night April 16th.

TO: Pam Bailey; Dixie Paganucci; Rebecca Murphy; Kelly Bratton; Linda Thorpe; and Patty Smith. And to Larry Morgan donating the use of the Hall; Music on the Divide provided the curtains; Darcy Knight was the projectionist and Bryon provided technical support. And to Geri, a very special lady,....thank you so much for having the idea, and making it a reality.

I was so sad to not been able to nerve pain was too much for me to bear to travel...but my Mom and two friends, Sandy McNulty and Sean Cheng were able to attend and represent me. Sean took video and photos for me to see. Thanks you guys!

I was genuinely surprised when I learned the Showing generated over $3,000 dollars....from this small mountain area! I am still sad I was unable to be there to thank everyone personally for coming and supporting my goal to walking again. The money earned will help pay for many days of rehab at Project Walk.

Geri, it was such a generous gift and HUGE effort to take time out of your busy schedule to put together this Benefit--words cannot express my gratitude, thank you.In Loving Friendship, kelley

P.S. I also want to Thank my Girl Friends in Lotus for the Beautiful Necklace!!..I am wearing it now :o)

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Visit w/ Project Walk

Everything went really well in Southern Cal, including the weather! Jody Conners and her Mom Totsy were wonderful hosts welcoming me into their home for the few days I was in town to check out Project Walk's facility. Since Jody has the qualifications needed she is able to go through the program they offer called "Train The Trainer". Jody's real job is teaching history to high School students and will be out of school on the 18th. So we'll begin working together June 21st, first spending a week together with PW showing us how to correctly and safely do the exercises and what all else is needed to help strengthen and grow nerves (through repetitive motion) towards helping me walk again. Also Jody's Mom Totsy invited me to live w/them for the summer. Things are falling into place. Thank you Jody and Totsy! And to you All checking in.
" There are two kinds of dreams. One is a dream that's always going to be just that....A dream. Then there's a dream that's more like a map. A map that you live by and follow religiously, knowing that someday your going to stand on top of that Mountain holding everything you worked for Right There in Your Hand!" ~ R. Cooper
Exercise is my Religion!!...Thanks Ro for the quote :o) kelley