This past Saturday, I spoke at the Watershed Jackson annual fundraising gala. It was an honor to be invited back to the town where I had my ski accident, and get to speak about the challenges I went through and also my successes. The High Fives Foundation played a big role in helping to fund my achievements, and Watershed is the same type of organization. I had so much fun being back in that beautiful town again, and it was great to see so many good friends.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and one thing I really struggle with is loneliness.
Ever since my ski accident, I haven’t found a job. I truly loved my job at Denny, ink, doing PR for some major ski industry clients. I have trouble with balance, and I can’t ski like I used to. I’ve not achieved the same level of happiness since March 2012.
I also am living in Colorado Springs, at home where I grew up. I love being at home because I always have one of my parents to take me somewhere I need to go, and I always have someone to enjoy a meal with. But seeing your parents almost 24/7 doesn’t work for a 28 year old.
Also, my accident makes it harder for me to drive. I have practiced a little, but not enough to get me to be able to drive by myself. That forces me to rely on my parents to drive me places.
It’s been very difficult for me to find friends. Ever since my accident, I live in a totally different city (and state). I feel like I don’t have independence anymore.
I have three New Year’s resolutions: to find a place that I love and am capable of working at, to be able to drive myself wherever I want to go, and to move out of my parents house, hopefully with a friend (fingers crossed) in an apartment. In order to fix my loneliness, I’ve joined a number of meetup groups. Even if I don’t feel like going, I need to go to leave my comfort zone and have a little bit of fun, and hopefully I’ll make some new friends.
Happy 2016 to you!!
The SIA snow show is starting Thursday in Denver, and the High Fives Foundation is having a “presentation” on Saturday at noon, which I’m attending. I’ll also see more of my trade show buddies while I’m in the convention center. Then, I was going to ski at the On-Snow demo of SIA on Tuesday, and in order to convince people to ski with me, they had to donate $50 or $100 to the High Fives Foundation. When I was at the trade show on Saturday, I was going to round up some donations from the people I knew.
But yesterday, as we were looking at my brother’s new house, we were headed to eat lunch in the backyard. There was a large outdoor chair at the table we were going to eat at, and I foolishly thought I could sneak by to the other side to sit down. My mistake, because I fell off the patio and onto the ground, causing a severe sprain on my right ankle. Now I have a boot on it. That also means that I cannot go skiing to raise money for High Fives either.
I will still go to SIA and say hi to people on Saturday, but I was also going to convince people to ski with me and also donate to the foundation that has so generously helped me in many steps of my recovery. Since I can’t go skiing on Tuesday, I’m writing to ask you one simple thing. If you would be kind enough to donate to High Fives (with “Sally Francklyn Ski Day” posted in your donation, too), that would be so helpful to me. I’m really sad that I can’t give back to the foundation who has graciously supported me by doing my best to go skiing, and asking people to donate. I can’t go skiing, which is a big bummer, but I ask that you donate in my honor.
Thanks to the High Fives Foundation, I’m trying neurofeedback. My dad met some people who’s son was hit in the head by a baseball when he was pretty young, and they’ve seen a benefit to neurofeedback for him. The guy who’s “doing” it to me is his father. It won’t hurt my brain in any way, so I might as well try it.
There’s a chance it will improve my writing. As you probably know, I was right handed before my accident and now I’m a leftie, so there’s a possibility it will help with my handed-ness so I might be able to write with my right hand again. To write this, I’m using an iPad, and to type (because you have to do that on the screen), I’m using my left hand. Neurofeedback has helped me in “small” ways, like I used to get up to go to the bathroom twice while I was sleeping, and now it’s only once. So I’m hoping there’s a chance it will help me with my coordination, too.
My friend Nick Mercer, who also suffered a TBI, has written this post about why exercise is so good for the brain. He teaches Pilates, so I tried that, but it was difficult for me because there was something made of metal (or something similar) that you have to push with your feet before you switch to another move, and the fact that my right side has less coordination meant it banged into the metal thing before I could do the next exercise. So, I don’t think that was for me. I work with a personal trainer, Trista, on trying to keep my body strong. This is the third time I’ve applied for a grant from the High Fives Foundation, and they didn’t approve it (darn!), but I find it so important to keep working with her. I worked out with her again today, because she had to skip last Tuesday, and I find it really beneficial (and important!) to have her twice a week, so I might just pay for it myself.
That’s all for now- my brother just bought a house nearby very expensive Boulder, so I’m happy to help him “design” the place! And that is a photo is of me skiing with Steve Hemphill (aka Steve Hemp) and Kait Rohlfing at Copper!
Merry Christmas, everyone! I was sick on Christmas Eve, and felt a little better on Christmas Day, and I’m still getting better. I thought I would take this time at home to do some blogging, because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that.
I think it’s important to talk about the organization that has been so helpful in my recovery- the High Fives Foundation. I would in no way be where I am today without their support. They have selected me as a Winter Empowerment Athlete, and they’ve been so gracious in supporting what I need throughout my recovery. LearningRx brain training, a personal trainer, massages, speech therapy and neuro-feedback is what they’ve supported me with so far. I did the brain training almost right after I got out of the hospital, which was maybe too early for me because I got too easily frustrated. But my massuese said that I wouldn’t be as far along if she didn’t work on my body so soon. Also, the personal trainer has been great for me, because she’s helped me get stronger (duh) and has helped work on the parts of my body that were effected by my ski accident.The speech therapy I went through at CU Boulder was monumental in improving my speech..
I cannot say enough good things about this organization. I’ve kind of reached a point, though, that in my recovery, things will only get better if I work on them and force them to. My brother and my mom said last night that the only way my right hand will get better (I’m left handed now after the injury) is if I make it do simple things. For instance, last night, we were playing Mexican Train, which is a game using dominoes, and once we were done, they challenged me to put them back with my right hand, instead of my left. That made me angry, but I did it anyway, and now I realize how important simple things like that are after my injury.
After I get home from the holidays, I will try yoga at home. Many people have suggested that it will be beneficial, and I tried the laying down kind- yin, but that wasn’t hard enough for me. It was almost like I could take a nap. But since my balance is off, I got a few Christmas yoga dvd’s to try at home. When I’m at home, my balance won’t matter, because there’s no one watching, so I can try and fail as hard as I want to. I will set a regimen for it, like going to a class would, and hopefully my balance will improve if I really focus on it.
A fellow High Fives athlete, Jocelyn, posted this video of her skiing recently on Facebook. Since she’s a much better skier than me after our injuries (and hers caused her to be a paraplegic), that is the inspiration I need to re-focus on my recovery.
Well, I haven’t written in a long time, so I figured I should. I’m much more glad being at home in Colorado Springs- when I was in Boulder, I had a lot on my mind that stressed me out, like getting a job, to help pay for my rent (and I was dipping into my savings, which defeats the whole purpose of having it!). I found some people to rent my apartment in Boulder, so I’m saving quite a bit of money by living at home. Plus, groceries are way cheaper here!
Being at home gives me more time to publicly speak about TBI’s, which I think is so important. My former boss (and good friend) in Jackson, Wyoming, Chris Denny (aka CD) invited me up to attend Watershed Jackson event, where Kevin Pearce will be the lead speaker. CD knows just about everyone, and I was asked to speak for a few minutes before Kevin does. Kevin Pearce seems like a big name, so the fact that I’m able to speak before him is truly a gift. That has got me thinking about supporting organizations like Watershed. Since I loved Jackson so so much, and I was only there for a month and a half before my accident, knowing that things like Watershed are there that are spreading the importance of being safe while you ski is so important.
I’m also speaking at the Summit Medical Center TBI Support Group event in Frisco, Colorado. I will show photos, this video, and speak for about 30 minutes describing my injury and recovery, and why it’s so important to wear a helmet while you ski.
If I was still in Boulder, I wouldn’t have these abilities. Yes, I world still be asked to speak at them, but being at home gives me more time to come up with my story and photos. In Boulder, I was stressed about finding a job, and my friends from college had other things going on in their lives and I felt like I was stuck where I was, and not moving on. Being at home has made me realize that yes, I do have time and energy to speak about ski accident stuff.
My parents (well, my dad) have decided to “remodel” the second floor of our house- that means new carpet, and new trim and doors. Dad has realized it’s much cheaper to buy stuff at Unfinished Furniture Warehouse (like he did for our main floor), and sand them and stain them himself. This really shows how talented my dad is and that he can sand/stain and then install them himself. I have helped some with cutting the pieces of our trim, and sanding and staining the wood, and helping my parents decide on the carpet, but I feel like I’m not much help. But I have supported them by cooking lunch and dinner, and they say that has helped them a ton.
I will take over the guest bedroom as my bedroom, and use Chris’s bedroom as my TV room and desk space, so it will be nice to have my own space that I can retreat to and get work done. We aren’t finished with the remodel yet, though, so I haven’t quite “settled in.” But everything is going well for me here at home!
(The image above found here: images.nationalgeographic.com)
I had my birthday on Sunday, at home with my parents in Colorado Springs. I saw our family dog, a chocolate lab named Abby, and my brother has a chocolate lab/German short hared pointer mix. It’s very good to have family members that have dogs, because I don’t have to get one!
For my birthday, I cooked breakfast, dinner, and dessert. and my mom said “we’ve spent all day in the kitchen!” which is fine with me, because I love cooking! I got a Cuisinart, the Snitten Kitchen cookbook for my birthday, and dad printed one of my photos that I can hang in my apartment. It was good to be at home and just relax for my birthday, and not feel like there was anything I had to do.
My mom and I made blueberry oatmeal yogurt pancakes for my birthday (recipe here) and they were so delicious. Since we ate enough at breakfast, we didn’t need lunch, and we grilled pizza for dinner. I found a recipe for pizza online, and it called for pesto as a topping, and I knew we had homemade pesto because we grow our own basil plants in the backyard, and we just made up the other ingredients- chicken, red onion, and mini bell peppers, and we sprinkled some cheese on top. Since my dad is an “expert” at grilling, I always try to make him grill at home. The pizza turned out great, and there are leftovers that we’ll have for lunch!!
We also made dessert for after dinner. I found this coconut cake recipe, and thought I’d give it a whirl. But it didn’t turn out (in any way) like the pictures said it would. It was a lot of hard work, though, so it’s a bummer that it didn’t come out the way I hoped. Oh well, it was still delicious.
My birthday went well; thanks for asking!! And I have a lot to be thankful for ever since my injury. Like I said in the last post, going through something like this makes you really appreciate what you do have. So while I don’t have a dog, there are a lot of things that are going in the right direction.