Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jump Rope for Heart

Growing up in the public school system meant every February my elementary school would hold a Jump Rope for Heart marathon for the American Heart Association.  Each time we held the event, all grade levels would get a chance to visit the school gym, grab a jump rope and hop around for the benefit of those with heart disease.  As a kid with a fabulous heart surgery scar down my front, I loved this time of year!  I was raised knowing I was fixed, but by hopping I felt I could empower others who had not yet had that good fortune.  When it was my turn to jump to my hearts desire, I pushed myself to get a bajillion jumps in (often falling short) to make an impact on the organization and to show myself and others what it looked like to be fixed.
I was reminded of my Jump Rope for Heart days this past week in my fitness class. For our cardio portion of the workout we jump rope for varying amounts of time. As I hopped around in class Thursday, feeling like a little kid again, I reminisced on these old fundraisers.  I realized how much had changed, and how much had stayed the same.  As mentioned in my previous posts, this past year has shattered the belief I was fixed, but it has not destroyed the spirit of the crazy, little jump rope girl from my elementary school days.  Jumping rope in fitness class this February has re-instilled the crazy, spunky attitude towards heart disease I had as a kid.  Now I know more about the disease and how it pertains to me.  While I am not jumping for a fundraiser, I've realized I am jumping for awareness.  As this February comes to a close and the American Heart Month finishes I celebrate the gift I have been given, and jump for those who have yet to be healthy enough to jump alongside me. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dancing, Sledding and Working to a New Beat!

Well, it has been a while since I have uploaded a post!  Now that I am back in action at Wofford there does not seem to be enough time in the day to accomplish school, work, projects, homework, blog, fun and rest. Still, I am loving every minute of being back! The difference in my health from last semester to this semester is insane! Now that I have returned my Wofford routine I finally see the immense improvement. Unlike before, I can now sustain my energy and upbeat attitude through the entire day without long breaks for naps or rest.  I've already run a mile on the treadmill, something I was not able to accomplish before surgery, and am back to working out twice a week in my personal fitness class. For the most part, I can keep up with my fellow classmates! Its crazy!  

These past two weeks have been awesome.  As stated above, I am back into my routine and finally back with all my friends!  Now that I'm able to keep up, we have had some pretty exciting adventures.  In case you are not aware, there is never a dull moment at Wofford College.  The school has an energetic atmosphere and the spring semester is packed with fun events almost every other weekend.  If its not a school sponsored event or sorority outing, my friends and I will plan a fun adventure and seize any spare moment not taken up with school or extra curricular work.

So this week was JAM PACKED with fun. Tuesday was my birthday and my incredible friends decided to throw the most amazing surprise party. I knew something was going to happen, but none of my guesses came even close to the fun night we had.  For the back story, I love Zumba.  No, I cannot dance (I did not inherit coordination from either parent) but I absolutely love pretending I am jamming like a cool kid to the hip music blaring around the work out room.  My Wofford Family knew this and so organized a surprise Zumba party for night of my birthday.  I was decked out in neon as were my friends (superman even made a surprise visit!) and marched over to the work out facility to get my groove on!  What an awesome time we had!  I've included pictures below that show just a slice of the excitement of the night.

Then, my little gift from the Almighty was two full days of snow!  The ground was covered as were the hills and I took the opportunity to go out on the slopes of Gibbs football Stadium.  Its Wofford tradition to flock to the football field with the slightest dusting of snow on the ground.  While there were many injuries (sledding towards a fence is bound to be dangerous), everyone had a great time!  I was able to sled like everyone else, although I did avoid sledding on my chest (thought that might hurt just a bit!)  My sternum was in great condition after we left the slopes and I felt like anyone else out on the field: wet, tired, cold but extremely happy to be embracing the Snowpocalypse of 2014!

Finally, the week ended with a wonderful Valentines Day. I went out for dinner, but then my date and I headed to Wofford's annual "Black and Gold Ball" where we danced the night away.  Unlike before the surgery, this girl didn't get tired and needed very few breaks between dances! I was able to enjoy one of my favorite pass times with a great guy, Shagging and Swing Dancing, with no issue whatsoever.

This week is proof to the Katherine of last semester that the heart surgery was necessary and for the best. Looking back, I wish I could tell the old me how wonderful I was going to feel.  I wish she had known it would be okay and the reward would far out weigh the risk and the hurt.  Thankfully, I know that now.  I'm back in love with my life and filled with thanks for my surgeon, my family and my friends for standing with me beforehand, during and now.  It worked!  I'm living to a new beat now and couldn't be happier!