All right. I admit film star may be a slight exaggeration. Unfortunately the devastating injury is reality.

The searing pain in my left arm came on as though a lightening bolt struck me out of the blissful, blue sky above. More than a decade ago, near the top of a multi-pitch rock climb, my first thought was I may be having a heart attack.

Trust a nurse to think the worst.

Rocck climber to film star

Gazing at my numb hand, the pain streaking from my neck to my finger tips left me gasping.

I did not fall. No boulder fell on me. The subsequent x-rays and scans brought on the same repetitive questions.

“Have you ever been in a major motor vehicle accident?”

“Does a scratch on the side of my car from a parking garage pillar count?” I coyly replied.

“Were you a professional football player?”

“Frankly I don’t think I have the right build for that.” No laughter at my witty ways. Go figure.

With no obvious explanation for the multiple compressed vertebrae in my neck, other than many years of gazing skyward while climbing, the prognosis remained the same.

“You will never run again. Climbing again is unlikely.”

Having recently taken up running the news came like a face slap. I am not happy being told what I can not do. Just ask Hubby.

Lead rock climbing Arizona

The news left me in a state of despair. Scaling those rock walls had become my battery charger in the journey of life.

After several weeks of feeling extraordinarily sorry for myself I began physiotherapy. Launching into my tale of woe the physiotherapist looked me squarely in the eye.

“I don’t want to hear the things you can’t do. I want to talk about the things you will do.”

Hope is a marvelous medication.

The recovery was not easy nor has it been complete. However the following summer I was back to climbing under the watchful eyes of a healthcare team lead by my physiotherapist. It would be one of my strongest years ever. In 2013 I ran my first marathon.

Finsih line Sacramento marathon

How the injury turned me into a film star

This past fall the call to be a film star came in. All right, all right perhaps not a film star exactly. My story had come to the attention of Physiotherapy Alberta, the professional association of physiotherapists in the province we live. Would I be interested in being filmed and sharing my journey following the injury?

I love a happy ending.

Below is a short video about my recovery. I admit to crying the first time I watched it.  Time has a way of making one forget the tough parts of life.

The second video is a compilation of stories of recovery featuring four time world champion figure skater Kurt Browning.

Filmed on a frozen lake in the Alberta Rockies the backdrop is stunning. See if you can find my seconds of film star fame sprinkled through it.

With thanks to Joe Media and Physiotherapy Alberta for making feel like a film star for a day.

I continue to wait for my call to Hollywood.


I was compensated for the day of filming however this is not a sponsored post. Rather I hope it inspires others who may be facing their own challenging journeys on the path of life.