Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mayors Breakfast Honouring Sport in Calgary

I wanted to send a quick thank you to the Calgary Sport Council for hosting a wonderful breakfast this morning. I sat with Cardel Homes who, by the way, won the Business and Sport Excellence Award. Congratulations!

Cassie Campbell spoke eloquently about her experiences in Hockey and about the importance of sport in the community. She also spoke about how sport creates role models and give kids passion and purpose. I thought that she did an amazing job.

This breakfast is always fun for the athletes because you get to catch up with old teammates and friends. It's also great because they pair a high-performance athlete with a grassroots athlete...something I would have loved to experience when I was growing up.

It's also great because it brings some political personalities into the sport environment. I don't know what it is, but being in a room with so many accomplished and aspiring athletes creates a huge amount of energy and excitement. I hope that all of the corporate and political guests could feel this electricity and will continue to support amateur sport in Calgary and beyond.

One suggestion for next year though; please have the breakfast start later than 7am...I finally had a good sleep (did I mention with only one brace!) and that 5:30 wake up came fast!


This photo is of my teammate, Nathan Gafuik, and I at the breakfast.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Good News...

One brace off, one to go!

I had a meeting with Dr.Mohtadi this morning and he said everything is progressing smoothly. I am now able to work up to full weight bearing on the right leg and I can feather weight bear on the left. I can't even begin to explain how relieved and hopeful this makes me. I needed this...more than I think I am willing to let on.

Being partially free feels amazing. I went into physio right after and was rippin' around, trying to do everything that I could that didn't hurt. Getting used to the crutches is going to be a fun task though. Chaffing is not a good thing.

It is incredible how uplifted my spirit is. I am already starting to plan how I am going to drive to gym. I think it will be a week or so still before I feel completely comfortable, but it's gonna be a great day when I can do my thing and get back into some sort of active routine. No more being lazy! Whoo Hoo. I am filled with optimism and ready to start this strengthening process!

There is one thing that kind of concerns me though. I can not for the life of me get my right leg fully straight. Maybe because it has been restricted from going straight for so long. It feels nasty when I go past a certain point. It feels like someone is pushing down as hard as they can on my knee cap and restricting those final degrees. Apparently this is very normal and can be overcome. I am not the biggest fan of this pain because it brings me right back to the day when I injured myself. It gives me that "hyper-extension" flashback. Barf. I don't ever want to do that again!

I can't wait to sleep tonight without the two braces clunking together!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I aM sLoWlY gOiNg CrAzY!

I'm at that point. It took a while, and I knew it would come, but it's finally here!

I have been sitting around for almost a month, patiently waiting for my legs to heal, trying to be totally positive and optimistic, but now I am finding myself going a little psycho.

Frustration and boredom have set in.

I am frustrated because I am sick of having to depend on everyone else. I can't go anywhere or do anything unless I have someone with me. The other people in my life also have obligations and commitments that they have to fulfill and I feel like I am making their lives more difficult. I consider myself an extremely independent person. If something in my life needs to get done, then I find a way to do it. My independence has been basically ripped away from me at this point. I kind of feel like I am 15 again...old enough to know what I feel like doing, but not capable enough to get myself there to do it! I also feel like an infant in some ways...Melissa is my bathing assistant (I honestly don't know how I would get out of the bath by myself, although I did figure out a way to get in. It took me about 5 minutes, but it was a monumental occasion!).

I need help getting a glass of water, making a meal, getting into bed. I can make a lovely mess, but I have to leave it there until someone can clean it up. My room is a disaster. Let's just say it is hard to be organized when you don't have any of your stuff from home.

That's another thing that is getting to me. I haven't lived at my parents house for almost 3 years and now I'm back. Don't get me wrong, my ma and pa have been AMAZING! They have made sure that all of my needs are taken care of before their own. I appreciate everything that they are doing (my dad even built me a sweet wheel chair ramp!)
(This is my brother, Scott, and I wheelin' down the ramp before I had surgery)

I am so grateful for their kindness and willingness to make this easier for me, but it feels a little like a step back when you have to live in your old room! The reason I am staying here is because they have a bungalow and it is much easier to navigate in a wheelchair. My house is a 2 storey and it's impossible to get around in this condition. I was slightly ambitious one day and Melissa and I tried to figure out how it would work at our home, but 2 minutes later, after I almost bailed down the stairs, we decided that living with my mom and dad would be much more practical.

Since my surgery, I feel like all I have done is recycle the same thoughts over and over again. Even as I am writing this, I feel completely brain dead...My creativity and ambition seem to lessen by the day. I think that when you have a lack of daily experiences then you just start to accept the same old. I feel challenged, but more physically than mentally. I believe that mental stimulation is a key factor to feeling balanced. I have watched so much TV in the past 2 weeks that I almost loathe it! Honestly, how can there be so many channels, but nothing on them? My mind is melting!

I know this is the way it needs to be during this very important time of healing. I know that I need to limit my activity and spend a lot of time simply doing nothing. I suck at this though. I hate wasting time and I hate being lazy. I am constantly on the go, trying to progress or make myself better in some sort of way. I feel like I always have to be doing 'something'.

Melissa made a great point though. She reminded me that by doing nothing, I am actually doing something. I am letting myself heal...and right now, that is the ultimate goal.

It's so funny how perspective and goals can change so much in a single moment. One month ago I was dreaming of nailing my routines at Worlds, now I am dreaming about just being able to walk...

(Pyscho Kyle!)

I need to keep reminding myself that this will all be a distant memory soon enough.

Until then, I will try my best not to stare at the wall...


Friday, September 21, 2007

New Wheels - Courtesy of Kendra Ohama

I would like to send out a huge thanks to Kendra Ohama for lending me her extra chair for the next while. Kendra is a Canadian Paralympic athlete with wheelchair Basketball.
I sincerely appreciate Kendra's generosity and kindness. She is an extremely talented athlete (did you know that she can go down stairs in her chair? She was willing to teach me how, but I didn't feel like cracking my head open!) and a pretty incredible person.

This whole experience has given me a much greater appreciation and respect for those who have to live life everyday with a disability. I am not even going to pretend that I truly understand what that life is like, but I have been faced with many situations where I get super frustrated and upset because the disabled access simply sucks. Bathrooms, buses, airplanes, is definitely more challenging when you have limited access. Meeting with Kendra yesterday gave me a new outlook though. Kendra has an amazing energy and you can tell that she faces everyday with total optimism. She really does see things with a pro-active perspective. I guess you have to when you are always faced with situations where your problem solving skills need to be sharp. She inspired me!

Good Luck Kendra (and to all of your teammates as well!) in the upcoming year! Thanks again for the lender and I'll see you in Beijing!

White Palms - Move Over Heath Ledger!

In one review of White Palms, I was referred to as a "Heath Ledger look-alike".

Judge for yourself:

Haha. I think that's hilarious.

White Palms was officially released on DVD last week.

The movie has actually been getting pretty decent reviews, although the acting has been criticized a bit...I wonder why? Maybe because half of the actors are actually gymnasts!

I won't let it hurt my ego! I'm still gonna be a movie star one day!

Yeah right.

I'm happy that I participated in this movie though. Uldi was a huge help to me and I am glad that I was able to help him and his brother make their dream a reality.

One thing that has made me a little mad is when it is referred to as a "true" story. I assure you, it's not! It is loosely based on real events, like the fact that Uldi was abused by his coach, he came to coach in Canada and he ended up as a performer in Cirques "KA" show, but otherwise it is purely fiction.

Uldi played a very important role in my gymnastics career and he is still a very close friend. Last I heard from him, he was in Belgium working on another film. I think he caught the acting bug...

We are going to try and organize a viewing of White Palms in Calgary sometime soon. Check out the DVD as well if you get a chance.

Have a good one!


Saturday, September 15, 2007


Susan set up a meeting with the renowned Dr.Aung one week after my surgery. I saw him on September 15th. Dr.Aung is an acupuncturist and a traditional Chinese medical practitioner and teacher. He is known as one of the best. Check out his website (

I found that he is very gentle and has this soothing calmness about him.

Our session was quick, but useful. He examined me and then did a bunch of different acupuncture points. He stuck 5 pins in each ear (you can see them covered in tape if you look really closely in the picture above) and then he did a couple of different points in my arms, hands and face.

He also told me that I have earth hands and that my soul is kind and gentle. Good to know!

My biggest concern going into the session was my tongue. In Chinese medicine, they say that the biggest resource is the tongue. Mine had turned white and was cracked down the middle. Everything I ate tasted like pepper! Dr.Aung said that the general anesthetic tends to have this affect and there was also a lot of acid in my stomach that was basically burning it's way up.

The day after our session, my tongue symptoms really improved...but man, did my ears kill!

Thanks again to Dr.Aung for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with me. I really appreciate it!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Press Conference - Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

First, I must apologize for not posting in the past few weeks. I'm not going to make any excuses...although "I broke both of my legs" could be a really good one!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. There have been many highs and lows. Please check back often for some of that missing material.


We had a press conference yesterday at the U of C that was arranged by my agency, Agenda Sport Marketing, and the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary.

It was a hard day for me. Maybe because I have been trying to deal with all of this in my own little secluded world for the past few days and yesterday I finally had to face the true reality of the situation.

I am usually quite composed when speaking, but I was shaky and emotional yesterday. I was emotional because this is my life. This is going to affect me and everyone in my life for the next few months. This has the potential to affect my dream. This has already been a huge challenge.

I am trying to be positive though. I honestly believe that I will be back fast and I will come back stronger. This is going to push me to my absolute limit, but I am going to gain character because of it.

I will be in Beijing. I'm gonna be there!

I kind of feel like I have been in a dream world for the past few weeks, just waiting to wake up and be able to walk and go to the gym. Today I feel more alive...more clear that my mission for the next year is going to be tougher than I thought. I am ready to fight though...I am so ready!

This is an article that came out today after the PC. I thought that I would link it.

More to come...

Cheers (well, maybe in a few weeks when I am off the pain killers!),