The Katmah Experience

living and learning one day at a time.

This Crazy Life

It has been a topsy turvy week.

I’m becoming very aware of the fact that I have some sort of guardian angel watching over me.

Where do I start? Monday was a pretty chill day- Willard had the day off and I used the extra time to go out to “Dad’s Country Resort” where there is a laundromat, kitchen, and a quiet deck overlooking the river for which I used to study for my Advanced Resistance Training midterm. It was a nice, peaceful evening. Much needed after a competition weekend. Tuesday I wrote said AdvRT midterm- and pretty sure I destroyed it. Wednesday was where things got little bit cray (sigh… I just used “cray” in a sentence).


I’ve been looking forward to this particular Wednesday for a while. This Wednesday was the day I got to go to a cadaver lab. Yes, I am one of those weird kids who gets excited about cadavers. To be completely honest I was LOVING it. The human body is a fantastic thing- and being able to see how it is put together is even cooler. So that’s great, right? Whats so crazy about a nerd loving bodies in a lab? Well- lets get to the fun part. I’d been in the lab for about an hour-hour and a half, when I noticed that my vision was little on the spotty side. So I decided to go outside to get some air. Lucky for me I was on the opposite side of the room from the door. I got about half way where I paused, hoping to regain some blood pressure. The last thing I remember was putting my hands on a lab table for balance.

I pick the best places to pass out. In grade 2 it was in the middle of morning assembly half way through verse one of “God Save the Queen” (I still hold a grudge against the principle for continuing to sing while I lost consciousness). Last year, in NZ, it was with family in a small town where the local doctor is on speed dial (if it had happened just a couple days earlier I would have been alone in a hostel full of partying travellers…not ideal).  This week, it was in a room full of highly knowledgable athletic therapists, first responders, and AT students.. in the basement of a hospital. Props to whoever assigned this girl’s guardian angel. Not so thankful for the formaldehyde and other chemicals that cut my cadaver experience short. Also, the fact that I was about to go examine the glutes on one model, means I fainted thinking about a dead man’s ass. Class act. Realizing that there was a 50/50 chance I could have fainted face first into a cadaver is also not a happy recollection. New most embarrassing moment.

Where were we, still on Wednesday? This day was nuts. So. After regaining consciousness and spending the next hour coming out of shock. Cold sweats, nausea, dizziness, a massive head ache. The works. I decided to head off to work (don’t ask me why). Believe it or not, this day has a weirdly optimistic ending. My loving prof had her lab instructor drive me to the office, on strict instructions (I just completed prevention and care of injuries with her) that if I even start to have any concussion signs or symptoms that I was to get to a doctor asap. Said lab instructor is a graduated AT student, who is currently preparing to write her CATA certification exams. We chatted about this and that (main topic was concussions, suitably), discovering that we had heard about each other through a mutual friend (an AT who she worked under and who I am hoping to work under) and as she dropped me off in the exchange she gave me her card with her email and told me to email her if I was interested in a PAID internship with her in the fall working with a football team. Seriously. Whoever is looking out for me. Keep it up. Although, if I could make one humble request… maybe scope out some series of events that have less impact next time?

I’m pretty sure I was running off adrenaline for the rest of the work day on Wednesday. By the time Wednesday evening hit I was starting to feel it wear off. By the time Thursday morning hit, I was able to deduce how I felt. Thankfully I fell backwards. Discovered by awaking to a very sore tailbone and stiff back. From there it was definitely my head next as my neck was just a tad sore and there is a nice sore spot on the back of my skull. However, other than sore, I didn’t feel too bad. So I went to work (again, don’t ask me why). I started to notice a decline when, because of the great weather we’ve had here in MB, we decided to cancel majority of our games Thursday night. Which means my job becomes calling team reps to ensure they know of the changes. Easy task. Look up their number on the computer, dial, speak. Well, easy in theory. I dialled approximately 10 wrong numbers. Reading numbers off the computer screen is easy. Dialling numbers is easy. Putting those two tasks together and dialling numbers in order? Not easy when you are mildly concussed. Apparently.

The great thing about concussions is that the symptoms can come, go, and randomly appear even days after the event. Symptoms are as unique as the individual experiencing them. A lot of times just noticing that you are not yourself is a sign that you may have a concussion. I’m usually a fairly focused person. For me to not be able to concentrate long enough to dial 10 digits- that’s not me. I saw a doctor that night, who agreed that I had a very mild concussion, and suggested taking some time off could be beneficial.

Friday was my first ever sick day. I believe I slept 18 hours.

Saturday was a fun day. Really, no sarcasm! We spent most of the day helping Grandpa and Grandma move into their new condo in Carman. Well, I can’t say I helped that much. I took a lot of pictures, but when I tried to actually be productive and carry things, my brain reminded me with bouts of dizziness that I was taking time off. Sigh. Either way, it was great to spend time with the family. A nice way to say good-bye to the house in Sperling, where so many memories and experiences were shared, and hello to making new memories in a new place- with the same amazing people. My grandparents are those kind of people who have been all over the world, met all sorts of people, had all the experiences. As much as this is a change for them, for all of us, I could write a book on all the memories I have in that house (Uncle Jerry giving us kids a water balloon slingshot and setting us loose on Sperling with the result of  shattered living room picture window comes to mind as one of the great chapters)- the memories were built around the people, not just the structure that housed them. The character that surrounds my grandparents will fill whatever space they inhabit, just as much as it spills over to those who spend any amount of time with them.

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After a much needed nap on Saturday afternoon, and supper with G&G, I headed out to Homewood where me and some of my closest friends braved the chilly June (????) temperatures and built ourselves  teepee and a bonfire. You should not be able to see your breath in June. However, that didn’t stop us. Bundled up, in our hick level teepee, it turned into a great night.

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So, did you get the impression of a kind of up-down-all-around week? Certainly had a slower pace than my usual. I think this slower pace is around to stay for a few more days. I went to work at the gym this afternoon, headache and all, to see how being out and about affected this head of mine. So far it looks like I’ll be taking my second ever sick-day tomorrow. Today has been full of headaches-which is new. Not really wanting to push that back into full-time Katmah style scheduling just yet. Especially since I have a competition in 3 weeks. That I fully plan on still going to. Heal brain, heal.

Willard, poor Willard. He was scarcely mentioned in this post. Mostly because I couldn’t do much with him this week as I just did not feel up to it. On Friday I did stop in and spend some time with him. I didn’t ride, I didn’t even lunge. I just played with him in the ring while the rain came down outside. Something I’ve really come to do more of in my training program, just being silly with my horse. When I came home from NZ, I wasn’t able to jump right back into the saddle- I spent a lot of time in the round pen. Your horse is your teammate, your partner. He does things for you that he might not for another. Take some time to have fun with him. Be his friend as much as he is yours. The trust you can build by just fooling around is irreplaceable (here I go on trust again). I used to not think of ground work as A) fun or B) important. The past couple years has shown me it’s very much both of those things. After working with horses overseas who were never worked with outside of being ridden for 15 minutes and then put back in the their stalls- they weren’t happy. Unhappy horses = unhappy riders/grooms = not reaching full potential. Being able to be silly with my horse reminds me to not take myself too seriously. Being injured sucks. I hate having to take time off. It is my least favourite thing, and it can get me down real quick. But, it’s part of being an athlete, or even just being human. Why let it bring you down? Accept what you cannot change, and be silly every once in a while.

As much as I would love to fully commit to that accepting attitude, it’s easier said than done. Part of me is fully committed to taking the time I need to get better so I can go back without any risk. Another part of me is saying suck it up and go to work in the morning. Carry on. The educated part of me is reminding that voice that that is an awful idea and not to mess with a concussion. As much as I know the importance of taking it easy the next few days- I don’t want to. Please tell me I’m not the only one out there that has these conversations with myself? Life is forcing me to slow down, and it’s cramping my style.

On a more cheerful note, here is a video from last weekend of my other hunter round!

Click here for the video!

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