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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books that have helped me recently...

Here is a list of books that I have purchased or that I have had given to me recently. I been finding reading, specifically on the topic of healing and spiritual deepening, to be very beneficial to my healing. I have inserted cover shots and links to purchase them on Amazon.com where you can get them for great prices, new or used. I hope you find it beneficial, they have been so healthy for me, helping to keep my on track and remove the ceilings that I have wrongly placed in life to date.







Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins
This book has a lot of great little pearls to help you with setting up a routine of healthy activities for your mind and body. I also find that it handles goals and goal setting very well. There are a lot of stories about other people that get a little tired but the index is easy to manage and you can find the stuff that is applicable to your life easily.
"Anthony Robbins is the ultimate coach for that special breed of people who will never settle for less than they can be"
Pat Riley - Coach of the decade - NBA






Buddha - Deepak Chopra
This is a great recounting of the life of Buddha from his time as a boy prince through his walking out of the temple and leaving his kingdom. It finishes
shortly after  behind he returns to the kingdom as the enlightened Buddha that we know of today. "Buddha is unlike anything Chopra has ever written before. a Timeless story retold by one of the most inspiring spiritual guides of our era"  Brian Grazer Emmy winning producer of televisions hit 24








Mandela - The Authorized Biography - Anthony Sampson
This book I had given to me for  Christmas and am just getting started on but his life was so inspirational in the face of adversity that I am sure there will be excellent lessons for staying focussed and persevering towards that which we deem truly important in life. I'll update some more on it when I complete it.
"A truly heroic story of the founder of a Nation, a man of shrewdness, humanity and simplicity whose power cam not from military conquest but from moral authority." Chicago Tribune






Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not letting your grooves become ruts, and making time for yourself.


I have learned that from a healing perspective, my body does much better with routine. However from a mental perspective, I have a hard time being creative inside of a fixed paradigm. Obviously, right now, getting my body healthier is the priority and Christmas, as it is every year, is like a bomb blast going off in whatever your normal routine was. This year was no different. Since the 15th of December, the healthy routine that I had going slowly started to fall victim to the events calendar and the shopping that comes with the holidays; granted we also have a 5 week old baby so I am sure that she has thrown a couple of wrenches into “routine life” as well. Don’t get me wrong, because I don’t beg for routine and so I am not being negative, but I seem to need it now more than ever.  From a psychological standpoint, I do enjoy less routine to more but I am learning more about that as well. Structure seems to help our bodies and minds run on auto pilot which can be a good thing for doing routine activities, however, the chipset that is our brain can get deep grooves of thought patterns that result from that repetitive life.  When we introduce new things regularly or randomly, our brains seem to set aside some “CPU time” for the just in case. Just in case it has to do something new, and as a result, we are better able to adapt and think sideways when we need to. Without the challenges that new situations create, our brains deepen the grooves of patterned thinking and I derive that it must make it harder to get out of those deep grooves when we need to. We all know that our brain is this incredible tool that is capable of far more than any of us request from it, but like a leg that you sit on for too long, it too will go to sleep, and when you want to get up and run with it, you might find yourself flat on your face. That is what happened to me.

The gift of my time in the hospital and at home, has been time – time to spend with my family and time to spend with myself. I’d love to say I’ve been hanging out with my friends a whole lot, but just because your life stops doesn’t mean that everyone else’s schedule opens up. I will say confidently however, that I have not been wasting the time, and although I likely take it for granted on some days, I have been trying my best at doing new things, and challenging myself mentally. This blog is a good example of that. Who would’ve known that I would enjoy writing so much and that it would prove to be such a healthy outlet for me – the professional athlete and perennial jock and salesman?  I suppose that I need to be jarred loose from my grooved patterns of thinking to push me to try some new things, and it has been very positive.  Getting back to the creative thinking aspect, I have found is that you can make time for creative thinking inside of a routine. Your life doesn’t need to be that of a mad scientist in order to be creative, you can set time aside to do or think about something new each day, and I dare say that you should. I have been doing a lot of meditation and now I can get very deep into thought and separate my mind from the body, and the spirit from the mind even, and I can do it fairly quickly now. Once I get to this place of free thinking and analysis of the present, It is like accessing a deep well of ideas and thoughts that you may have had briefly but never really looked at closely. The trick is to set the time aside to allow that bucket and rope to pull ideas up from your conscious and subconscious so that you can explore them. That requires setting aside some time for you and then to do it. Where does all the time come from? Do you need to be hospitalized to create this time and free yourself from the stresses of life? I don’t think so.

I can honestly say that there has been more stress in life since I became ill. There is more financial worry, and job concerns, etc, but I think my perspective has changed and now I look at things with a newly revived sense of priority. This seems to be the key factor in making time for yourself. You need to make yourself a priority in your life – whether you want to acknowledge it or not is your decision, but you need to be your best to make the people around you their best. You need to keep developing and you owe it to yourself to earn that mental and spiritual and physical health. To do this, you have to set aside time for yourself.  When you want to improve your physical health, you get a gym membership and you get on the treadmill or lift weights – not because you have to, but because you make it a priority. When was the last time you put your brain on the treadmill? When was the last time your spirit lifted weights? You might answer that you do it at work, but that doesn’t count. Doing it for someone else’s benefit is not as selfish as it needs to be. You need to take time to identify, and pursue things that stimulate you. Have a hobby, read books on a new subject, take a class, write a list of things and start chipping away at them. Get back to the goals and dreams that you had when you were a kid. Then you need to set time aside for yourself. You’re worth it and it is a priority, and making time for personal health, staying out of ruts and bumping your brain out of its groove.

I’ll finish with this one last thing. The wonderful part of children, aside from snuggling and saying hilarious things, is their imagination and their dreams. We all cherish and admire it in them. They wake up in the morning and tell us about their crazy dreams and we pray that at night they lay awake and think about these wonderful places that they will travel to and incredible things that they will do. Don’t you deserve to do the same? At what point are we supposed to forget entirely what it is to dream big outrageous dreams and travel in our mind to wonderful places. The upside to being an adult is that we are better able to make our dreams come true! We can make the money, we can make our own decisions and we don’t have to listen to adults who might tell us we are crazy. Take some time and go somewhere wonderful in your mind, and do it regularly, do something crazy and don’t allow your mental groove to become a rut.

The gift of my time in the hospital and at home, has been time. Time to spend with my family and time to spend with myself. I’d love to say I’ve been hanging out with my friends a whole lot, but just because your life stops doesn’t mean that everyone else’s schedule opens up. I will say confidently however, that I have not been wasting the time, and although I likely take it for granted on some days, I have been trying my best at doing new things, and challenging myself mentally. This blog is a good example of that, who would’ve known that I would enjoy writing so much and that it would prove such a healthy outlet for me? The Professional athlete and perennial jock and salesman?  I suppose that I need to be jarred loose from my grooved patterns of thinking to push me to try some new things, and it has been very positive.  Getting back to the creative thinking aspect, I have found is that you can make time for creative thinking inside of a routine. Your life doesn’t need to be that of a mad scientist in order to be creative, you can set time aside to do or think about something new each day, and I dare say that you should. I have been doing a lot of meditation and now I can get very deep into thought and separate my mind from the body, and the spirit from the mind even, and I can do it fairly quickly now. Once I get to this place of free thinking and analysis of the present, It is like accessing a deep well of ideas and thoughts that you may have had briefly but never really looked at closely. The trick is to set the time aside to allow that bucket and rope to pull ideas up from your conscious and subconscious so that you can explore them. That requires setting aside some time for you and then to do it. Where does all the time come from? Do you need to be hospitalized to create this time and free yourself from the stresses of life? I don’t think so.

I can honestly say that there has been more stress in life since being ill and that there is more financial worry, and job worry etc, but I think my perspective has changed and now I look at things with a newly revived sense of priority. This seems to be the key factor in making time for yourself. You are a priority in your life, whether you like it or not. You need to be your best to make the people around you their best. You need to keep developing and you owe it to yourself to earn that mental and spiritual and physical health. To do this you have to set aside time for yourself.  When you want to improve your physical health, you get a gym membership. You get on the treadmill or the Stairmaster. Not because you have to but because you elevate the priority of your own physical health. When was the last time you put your brain on the treadmill? When was the last time you put your spirit on the Stairmaster? You might answer that you do it at work, but that doesn’t count. Doing it for someone else’s benefit is not as selfish as it needs to be. You need to take time to identify, and pursue things that stimulate you. Have a hobby, read books on a new subject, take a class. Maybe write a list of things and start chipping away at them. Get back to the goals and dreams that you had when you were a kid. Then you need to set time aside for yourself, you are worth it and it is a priority, and make that time for making you healthy, staying out of ruts and bumping your brain out of its groove.

I’ll finish with this one last thing. The wonderful part of children, aside from snuggling and saying hilarious things, is their imagination and their dreams. We all cherish it in them and admire it. They wake up in the morning and tell us about their crazy dreams and we pray that at night they lay awake and think about these wonderful places that they will travel to and incredible things that they will do. Don’t you deserve to do the same? At what point are we supposed to forget entirely what it is to dream big outrageous dreams and travel in our mind to wonderful places. The upside to being an adult is that we are better able to make our dreams come true! We can make the money, make our own decisions and we don’t have to listen to adults who might tell us we are crazy. Make some time and go somewhere wonderful in your mind, and do it regularly, do something crazy and don’t allow your mental groove to become a rut.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Working on website and moving blog onto website

Morning All, I am working on a new Website - www.iamgoingtospace.com and i'll be moving my space blog onto that website but still maintaining this one individually.
Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Jim Moss

Monday, December 21, 2009

Health update and what is next for me...

I have come down with the flu again, but it is clearly my own fault. I tried going out a little too much last week. I was getting sick and tired of missing out on everything and so I went out with my friends to a couple of different Christmas parties. As I should have expected, my body is just not up to it yet. 48 hours later I have the flu. Apparently my immune system is still pretty down and out and so being out too much and running myself down equals getting sick. I can tolerate the flu – it seems to keep coming back, so maybe I’m getting used to it! The part I can’t seem to get used to is the part where the body aches, sweats, headache, and vomit want out of your body so badly that it is willing to travel out of your nose! But, like I said it is my own fault, I need to buy back into the slow and steady plan.

I went to see my neurologist last week and she was pleased with my pace of recovery. She encouraged me to keep working out and told me that maybe in the New Year I could start trying to build muscle again. She also says she is hopeful that in a year we might expect to have no recognizable trace of the illness. The big question is, “When I can return back to work?” We hoped it might be just after Christmas but then recently my doctor said that I need to be able to live full speed for 2 weeks with no sickness or setbacks, otherwise working is still unrealistic. That is difficult to hear as I need to be working on something to maintain my sanity, and so I have started to organize my research and reading towards a goal and created a project of it.

The most common positive focus point, keeping me on track, is setting and working towards goals.  Looking at this more closely, I realized that in recent years I had set my big picture goals aside in the pursuit of more short term and less altruistic, day to day goals. I am getting back on track; “I want to help people to live healthier and happier lives”. Pursuing that goal will help me to be a happier and healthier individual. So I am choosing a huge and somewhat crazy sounding goal of going to outer space and I am going to use the process as a learning tool and a teaching opportunity for others. That is correct I am going to go to outer space. I am planning to raise the money, $200,000 from micro donations from private citizens and then use the accomplishment to create a non-profit, fueled by corporate donations.  The foundation of this project, is that the pursuit of your dreams is the pursuit of happiness and that I believe we all have the right to dream big and chase those dreams and in doing that, in a responsible and realistic manner, we can be happier and healthier.

Please read further about my trip to space at http://imgoingtospace.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ups and Downs

It has been a bit of an up and down week this week, strictly in terms of my physical condition. Having baby Olivia in the house and my son Wyatt, it has been really wonderful to be home so much even though the reason I am home is not that awesome. That being said, we have a full house right now. Thankfully Jennifer’s parents are down helping us out while she and I both heal up,  so we can take care of ourselves and the kids again sometime soon. I struggle a little with all of the commotion at times, but apparently, that is normal. I have committed to making this a really open forum and it has been beneficial to continue doing that so I am trying my best to keep with that regiment. I am honest with how I am feeling and I appreciate your understanding. I still have ups and downs, more ups, but it is becoming obvious that my body does not really like drastic weather changes or cold, changes in pressure etc, it brings out the tingling in my feet and fingers every time. The really good news is that I have learned that the down spells pass in a couple of days and so I don’t let them affect me emotionally as much. Some days I need to get space, and I can drive locally now, so I escape to the library and find a quiet corner to write or read. I want to publicly thank Jennifer and her parents for being understanding that I just cannot handle all of the commotion all of the time yet. The Library has proven to be a real safe haven and I have pulled some great books off the shelves and have been doing some research for a project I am working on. For anyone looking to make a positive change in their life, I would highly recommend it as a hide out!

Thanks for continuing to support, Life is good and only getting better, I will do my best to post a little more frequently now that we are getting in a more comfortable routine with the new baby.

JM

Monday, November 30, 2009

Health status update and some insights that are working for me

It has been about 10 weeks now since I fell ill. A lot has happened in that time and it has mostly been wonderful. For whatever reason, we have been able to see my illness as a blessing and used it to refocus on the simple but important things in life. Oddly enough they are generally the things that fill a great amount of the immediate time and space that surrounds our life. Family, close friends, pets, comfort food, sunrises, sunsets, time spent on positive projects, early morning walks, the feeling of the ground beneath your feet, cold air on your face, the smell of a baby, the laughter of a toddler. Not since college have I taken the time to really focus on being better and healthier like I have recently and back then it was a very thin approach focused at broad based learning and physical strength. Since becoming ill, I have taken a much more complete approach at getting physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. My internal dialogue has never been so positive or reinforcing.  I am able to see the positive in almost anything. I am able to stay present or regain presence easily in most situations. I make healthier more conscious decisions, and more consistently. I spend time on my physical health but have been forced to refocus on the simple basic things like stretching, yoga and meditation. I am assessing what does and does not make me happy, what is avoidable and what is unavoidable and how to accept the unavoidable knowing that I am doing everything I can do.

I just got a call from the Rehab co-coordinator and they have granted me two more weeks with my Rehab without Walls – where they come to the house for therapy. This is great news for getting back on track before transitioning to outpatient therapy.  I have slid backwards since the birth of the baby, but the good news was that I started to get a bit of a cold and I was able to fight it off, even with the tremendous lack of rest. Our families have been awesome and Jennifer’s parents are still with us and have been so helpful. My ability to walk is greatly reduced as I fatigue and I have had to use the cane most days at some point over the past week. There have been nights were there was only 3-4 hours of sleep and prior to this my body has been requiring 12 hours of sleep each day. The most prevailing symptom is fatigue, without a doubt. It is very obvious how focus, positive mentality, and consciousness or presence is all much more difficult to manage when you don’t have enough rest.

I am using today, Monday morning, as a time to refocus, get back to some simple short term goal setting and try to not lose any more ground this week. After that I can get focused on regaining the recent loses. I am walking and functioning around the house pretty well, I have to take breaks and try to find some time to get horizontal and rest even if it isn’t napping. I can help out around the house a fair bit and can play with Wyatt pretty normally but I have to watch to not burn up to much energy in one blast, it made me sick the other night after a good wrestling session but it was worth It! I can cook a full big meal and do simple grocery shopping, take care of the dog (but Grandpa Doug has been doing a great job of that), and I can help with the baby by changing diapers and getting Jennifer what she needs around the house. I am able to run to the store and drive to the mall but have learned that the commotion and amount of energy required by a full trip out on my own is probably a little too much still and I have to be careful and make good decisions or I pay for it.

All in all things are very good and I am so grateful for the health that I have, the lessons I continue to learn and the health and happiness of Jennifer, Wyatt and our newest addition, Olivia. Life is good and only getting better each day.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. How could anything get you down when you have this in your life (see picture below)

JM


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Morning that Olivia arrived in our Life

Olivia James Moss – November 24th, 2009 – 7 lbs 13 oz

10:15 AM

I am sitting here in the ante partum ward at the Good Samaritan Hospital. This is the same hospital that I was in just 6 weeks ago. This Morning I was down in the cafeteria getting a snack and I ran into the X-ray technician that had the stomach cancer that she called frank. I told her that she was a real inspiration to me and that I thought of her from time to time and that her positive spirit helped me out while I was in a potentially bad place.

Jenny is laying in the bed in her room. They have hooked up her IV and got her prepped to go into surgery in about 45 minutes. I am not really very nervous, I have a lot of faith that everything will be fine. It is one thing to recognize and respect the seriousness of a situation and another to worry or dwell on it. Jenny is asking me right now to get her a book on creating a positive sibling relationship from the start and figure out how best to introduce the baby to Wyatt and specific to his age. Always the good mom, worrying but planning and educating herself on how to handle things. Jenny is a really good mom. Wyatt is really sweet and fun and smart child and Jennifer’s parenting has a lot to do with it. I think we are pretty good communicators and that we understand the importance of communication and how it relates to both ours and Wyatt's happiness.  So sometime today or tomorrow I’ll run out to Borders and see if I can find a book for her.

Back to what I was saying about worry, it is fine to recognize the seriousness of a situation but worrying too much about the potential things that could happen is really a waste of energy and causes undue stress. I am not really a worrier. As long as you are doing what you can to affect a situation positively, there is no sense worrying because things are going to run their course and in the long run, be fine. I am certain that everything will be fine. Very soon we’ll be in the OR and they will be delivering Olivia and then putting her in Jenny’s and My arms for the first time.

It is crazy to think about my having being one floor above here, in my own bed, just 9 weeks ago. There was so much uncertainty and fear. I have come so far, stayed so positive and had so much support. I can walk into the hospital today on my own and be a real support to Jennifer like a husband wants to be for his wife. I am very lucky.

Jennifer I love you and thank you so much for all of the sacrifices you have made to bring us our little Wyatt and now Olivia.




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Baby Olivia will be born today!

I am sitting in the Antepartum ward with Jennifer. We are just about to go in and deliver Baby Olivia James Moss. Stay tunes for pictures and details!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I just decided to start running...?

Nine weeks ago I got up to walk to the bathroom and I ended up in an ambulance headed to the emergency room. Since then,  the longest I have walked was about a mile. Today I jogged 3 miles. I just overcame some big hurdles, mental and physical hurdles. I jogged for three miles. The first response I got was “that’s great”, the next response I got was “you shouldn’t do that, you can’t do that, what are you thinking?”. It was for those people that I just kept running. It is not that I don't love and respect their opinions it was just that I needed to wield some control over my life and test to see what my will was capable of in the midst of this recovery. I am going to hurt, yes. I am going to be stiff, yes. I might take some steps backwards in the short term, and that is fine. Today was about mindset and will and personal power.

I went out with the intention of jogging a few 20 meter reps and doing some light stretching. When I got outside, the sun felt good on my face, the cold air felt good in my nose. I thought about my buddies at training camp in Denver sweating and hurting, and when I got done the first 20 meters, I heard myself say, “keep going, you can do more”. That little voice in your head really does have a lot of control over the things that we do or don’t do. While I was running I thought about how people will tell me that I shouldn’t be doing it. I thought there would also be  people who would share their experiences with me - some good and some  bad. Some other people would say good job! I thought about all of the different people who would think one way or the other. It was a pretty good metaphor for life. They can all have their opinions but ultimately what matters is that I get to decide. You need all of those people in your life. The supportive ones just want to support whatever you are doing, the others want what’s in your best interest as well, they just want you to think things through a little. Somewhere in the middle has to be the right answer. What matters though is that you make the decision and it’s yours to reap the benefits of as well as the repercussions.

If you are worried for me, thanks so much for worrying. If you are excited for me, thanks for being excited. Whatever you are feeling, thank you very much for thinking of me at all.

I am pretty excited; a little scared of how this will turn out, but mostly proud and sore, those two often go hand in hand. Now, a real good stretch.

JM

Monday, November 16, 2009

All coming together - Part 1

I have been spending a lot of time analyzing and meditating about new habits vs. old habits, on healthy habits vs. less healthy habits. I keep returning to the reality that we all live in relatively set patterns. Patterns or paradigms that we create and that over time become more and more engrained. We often recognize these but rarely do we accept the responsibility for why they are what they are. We have a tendency to make excuses or blame other forces for why we live the way that we live. To rarely we use sentences that include “(something) is the way it is because I choose it to be” or “(something) happened as a result of the choices that I made”. Instead we say things like “(so and so) did this and so it turned out poorly” or “this keeps happening because of my boss or my co workers”. How often do we really honestly, and I think that honesty is the real key here, assess what our role is in our own life? If we are unhappy unsuccessful, coming up short or repeatedly doing something we are not proud of, who is responsible? I would dare to say that when things work out well, we are much more inclined to take credit then when things turn out poorly. Excuse making and the language that we use in both our internal and external dialogue are a different topic that I have spent a lot of time on recently but today I would like to discuss our roles in shaping our reality.

I will try to make this as much about me as possible. I think it is integral that we truly desire to change our paradigm if it is to have any chance of changing. You, reading this, may be very happy with your situation or life, or might not be in the right head space to desire to stop and think about it, so I will focus on me and you can take from it what you like.  I want to change my ways of doing things. I want to cut out some of the old unhealthy thoughts, actions, phrases, people, etc that contributed to my being less than optimally healthy and successful. I do not blame anyone or anything for my health or well being. It is nobody else’s responsibility to make or keep me happy and healthy, it is entirely my own. I make choices everyday, all day, that shape my existence and create my reality.

I would suggest that making decisions to repeat behavior is easier than making the decision to eliminate a bad behavior. That the potential pain of making a change often seems greater than the downside attached to repeating a poor behavior, this may not be true, but it is our measurement of it that matters and therefore our own responsibility. If I return to a previous topic about pleasure seeking and pain avoidance, this aligns very well, we view the old pattern as less painful even though that is likely to be untrue. It is the process of changing that we view as the truly painful part. It is no secret that we typically resist change. Even though the something off in the future looks and smells and likely is better and healthier, that uncomfortable road of changing might not seem to be worth it.

I feel like a lot of what I have been thinking about has suddenly come together and I see clearly how it all interacts.

We may or may not want to change. If we do, we then have decide that we want it badly enough to actually outline what that change looks and feels like, and measure it as being worthwhile enough to explore. If we decide to venture down the road of change, we are then open to that experience being uncomfortable and therefore we might stop and decide it is too much, and return back to the old habit because we could not handle the discomfort. This is very key because if we take the time to be honest about this, we can better prepare ourselves for this uncomfortable period. We can say to ourselves “This time of change will be uncomfortable but it will be worth it”, “Once I take that leap there should be no looking back” etc etc. after all once you have made the leap the worst is usually over and you’ll have to re endure the discomfort again if you ever decide to try it again.  (I know this is getting long but I need to keep rolling here while it’s flowing out). If we are on the road to change, and we know it is going to be difficult, what tools could we take with us to help us through what are prepared to be difficult? We could take people that will inspire us? A written page that outlines the goal we are trying to reach and in such a wonderful honest way that we would endure any difficulty to attain it. We could vilify the old habit or pattern as so negative that we would never dare repeat it again. Maybe we should do a little of each of these.

I am on the road to change right now. I am glad and lucky to be on it but I am noticing old behaviors that desperately want to sneak back in. It is uncomfortable at times. I feel the ghosts of old habits calling from behind me telling me how easy it was to be that way and that it “wasn’t so bad anyways”. I find situations that create a certain smell in my nose or feeling in my body that I relate to comfort and it would be so easy to just stop moving ahead and just relax and enjoy easy and comfortable. There is nobody off in the distance saying, we are already here and it is awesome, keep working, you can do it. These are my goals so how could anyone else be there already? I need to be so sure that I want to be better and happier that my motivation is enough on its own. I need to make those old patterns of living unacceptable and be absolute. I realize now that discipline is everything when you’re on the road to a change. Honesty is a requirement to real change. Devotion to your becoming better and reaching your goals is a necessity. Anything short of these things will open the door to failure, allow the old demons in and begin a pattern of failure that will make you more likely to second guess yourself and less likely to try again each time you fail. This is what I am learning and becoming more sure of. It is a big topic for me and I have gone on quite a bit for one day so I’ll stop and make this part 1 and complete my thoughts after some more meditation.

Thank you all for reading and supporting me on the journey that I am on.
JM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And now to stay healthy and slow it down a bit...


So, I thought I would write an update on my health today and then discuss some of my thoughts regarding both maintaining and improving my health. As of right now:  I can manage 45 minutes of continuous walking – usually about 30 minutes with a break and then 15 minutes more;  I am practicing very basic yoga to rebuild my muscle stamina; I can function very well in the house now; I have been able to help Jennifer with Wyatt quite a bit more and be less of a burden to everyone;  I drove the car for about a mile – a successful test drive that is leading me to more personal freedom.

I am happy to report that the activities of daily living are no longer an issue. These activities still need to be accounted for, in terms of the energy that they require to execute, but they don’t demand a significant rest period like they used to and overall, I am recuperating very well and seeing positive steps forward each day.

As I continue to improve like this, I am becoming more aware of my character and through personal analysis have realized a few important things.  My former desire to move too quickly, to get ahead of myself and to not live “in the moment” nearly enough has become very apparent. After experiencing a small slide backwards two weeks ago, the lesson of slow and steady was really hammered home. I have been walking around the neighborhood every day and I find that I have missed so much of what is around us because I moved to quickly or was trying to do too many things at once. Concentrating on not over-committing is a big one. Staying present with whatever it is that I am doing at the time is a skill worth honing. I am learning to soak up the environments that I find myself in and to consciously stay aware more of the time. When I leave the house or the coffee shop, I take a moment to make sure that I have everything I need and try not to rush out the door as infrequently as possible. These small adjustments to my daily living have provided me with great lessons for stress management. In my situation, I can’t afford to forget things in the house and have to “run” back in to get them. I have learned that moving slow and with purpose is a terrific new metaphor for my life. Slow and with purpose.

These past eight weeks, as difficult as they have been, have been some of the best of my life. On the heels of the biggest storms you find the brightest rainbows.

JM

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Everyday Heroes?

I was just thinking, we hear stories all of the time about everyday heroes. Ordinary people, or seemingly so, who do extraordinary things. They save people’s lives, run into burning buildings, land commercial planes on the Hudson River, lift a car up off of someone who is pinned underneath it, etc, etc. I think we would all agree that there is such a thing as the everyday hero.

If we can agree that we are fairly ordinary, but that other ordinary people have been able to do extraordinary things, then we should agree that we have within us the capacity to do these extraordinary things as well. I think that makes pretty clear, common sense.

So, instead of waiting for some terrible or life threatening scenario, why don’t we start tapping into that capacity now? Right now. Instead of some random act or incident that fate drops in front of us, set your own incredible goal and be incredible because you already agreed that you have it inside of you.

You don't necessarily have to land a plane or run into a burning building, but at the very least, shouldn't it make you want to try and be a little bit better today? Be more patient? Help someone to their car? Hold open a door? Then tomorrow do it again and the next day? My advice - become a bit more of an everyday hero, everyday.

JM

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time to blow the top off... Revisiting goal setting

Blow the Top Off…. Revisiting Goal Setting


As a part of my recovery I have been very purposefully reevaluating aspects of my life and deciding which areas are healthy and which areas are not. It is not any one aspect of my life that lead to my illness, more that being ill has lead me to want to be healthier than ever. The more that I do this, the more I realize that I have steered away from a key personal goal of mine. I chart my goals in a top-down format and I have always made a conscious decision to ask myself first, “Will this make the word a better place?” What I am realizing is that many aspects of my life were not working toward that goal. Some areas were, but not in a truly meaningful way. I am generally happy, understanding, and positive. I try to be a good friend and offer my help in any way that I can and as often as possible. What has been missing is a life project that that aims at literally making the world a better place – more specifically, helping the people in it to be happier people overall. I don’t need to preach or presume that I know better but I know that I can always strive to be better and in turn, aim to lead by example. I need to create a life that; fills me with pride, allows me to sleep well at night, makes me happy when I look in the mirror, makes my children want to look up to me, and makes the people around me happier and healthier.

I work hard to be a leader, I always have. I also work hard to be a good friend, family member, father and husband. I know that I can be even better. To fulfill this, I need to consistently, on a daily basis, ask myself, “Have I been leading by example?” “Am I surrounding myself with the people and things that will foster more goodness in the world?” The answer is not a resounding yes, unfortunately it is a sometimes. But, I am still growing and all that truly matters is that I know that I am capable of this, and am making the effort. I will stop settling for less. I will stop letting other peoples language or excuse making become my own and I will not allow others to place a ceiling on my goal setting. I decide what is good enough for me. Average is only good enough if my goal is to be average. I am capable of much more than that. I cannot continue to just play well enough to win. I am capable of being a champion in all that I do. Thank you to the sports world for teaching me how to be a champion. It is time to apply that lesson to life. It is time to set my goals as lofty as they need be and eliminate the ceilings that I have built over my own head. It starts now.


Make the world a better place.

Help others who are seeking happiness to reach their potential.

Start with yourself.

Don’t lead with your left, lead with your heart.



JM

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Back on the horse - but honesty first



           So, today is Halloween, October 31, 2009. It also happens to be the seven-week mark since I called 911 to take me to the hospital. Since that time, so much has happened. For anyone that might be reading this blog for the first time, here is a quick recap of the situation: I’m a 32-year old professional athlete who contracted Guillain Barre Syndrome. This is an illness that attacks your immune and your peripheral nervous system. I have a 36-week pregnant wife and a two-year old to care for. I’ve been fortunate through all this to have the incredible support from friends and family. This has helped me to be very open to this experience and in turn, share it with others as a tool for personal learning.

             Day 42 - This past week was particularly interesting. Last Sunday my progress began to slightly regress. I felt a minor sensation loss in my finger tips, thumb, palms, in the soles of my feet and big toes. I admit – I was scared. The fear of starting all over again was a lot to contemplate. I had no doubt that I would, and could start again from scratch if I had to, but it was still very worrisome for me. We wondered if I had been over-doing it. This seemed the most likely since it is in my personality to go more than to rest. So, we slowed down, backed off on therapy a bit and I went in to see the Neurologist. She was only mildly worried as this can be normal but is repeating the tests to get an accurate measure. She was concerned about my anxiety levels and the amount of stress that this experience is causing due to our unique situation with Jenny being so pregnant.

             As a part of my learning I am going to share as honestly as I can about how I am feeling and what brought me down this week;
             In the immediate term I have lost a lot of what makes up my life. I spent 28 days in hospital. I lost the ability to walk and relearned how quickly things can change in an instant. I have not been able to spoil my pregnant wife like a pregnant wife should be spoiled. I can mostly take care of myself around the house but I don’t feel safe being alone with my son yet. I can’t run out and get donuts at midnight for Jenny. I cannot drive. I’m not able to just get up and leave the house, to blow off steam or escape or get a change of atmosphere. I cannot control what stress factors come into the home where I am mostly sequestered. I wake up with headaches most days. For the first time since I can remember, I cannot touch my toes and stretching is like a full game of Lacrosse. I have pain every day to varying degrees. I cannot work yet.  When I do try to work I have a hard time with the stress and feel anxious. I have to take medications every day and I don’t like it. I miss people and the world, even the strangers and especially the odd and unexpected things. I miss my friends and I hated to learn the tough lesson that some friends step up and others disappear when times are tough. Family is supremely important and should never be undervalued or taken for granted. It seems too, that everyone has their own shit and we often think ours smells the worse (mine only sort of stinks). The financial impact of this is not fully understood yet and it will get worse before it will get better. I am OK with all of this. It is my reality and it could be much worse. I am OK with all of this. I am OK with all of this. I am OK with all of this.

              Now for the positives and what I’ve learned:
              Luckily, I only have Guillain Barre Syndrome and I will heal from it and return to a full and normal life. My medical attention was incredible               and saved me from a far worse experience. My wife and family have been incredible and I appreciate their efforts since there is no text book for how you deal with something like this. My mom and dad have set an incredible example for how a parent should love their child. My recovery has been astonishing to this point and a few setbacks or plateaus are normal and are OK. I should not get ahead of myself and I should continue to use my healing time to be better in every way; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My home is safe, I am lucky to have it. Finances will work themselves out and the sacrifice of things and luxuries is small in exchange for my health. Staying         present, in control and clear minded is difficult but supremely important to health and good decision making. Meditation is an excellent tool. You can learn to accept pain and welcome it and it listens. I am filled with love and energy and need to focus it inward right now to heal myself so I can better share it with the world when I am back on my feet. I have all that I need and will need. My baby girl will be born soon and both she and Jennifer will be healthy and happy and our family will flourish.

              Thanks to all of you for providing me with this forum to express myself honestly, explore my feelings openly so I can heal. I feel much better after writing this all out.

              Love you all,
              JM




Monday, October 26, 2009

2 Steps Forward... One step Back

Scared but confident? Yesterday I started to lose the feeling in my feet and fingers again and it has gotten a little worse overnight. It is difficult to not be a little freaked out but I have to have confidence that I’ll be fine, just like the first time.

Jennifer and my Mom are worried, for obvious reasons, but my response to them was “if it comes back, we’ll just beat it again right? It’ll be no different than the first round”. I am not even sure that was how I was feeling inside but in reaction to their fear, that’s what came out of my mouth and I had no reason to not believe it myself. It is odd how sometimes you have to say something out loud to make it a little truer or to really understand it yourself.

For now this is where I am at

  • Feeling is reduced in soles of feet, big toe, pinky fingers and finger tips.
  • Headache is back
  • Balance is off a bit
  • Muscle soreness is about a 3/10
  • Full body fatigue is pretty significant

I’m going to leave it short and sweet for this morning. I will update again later either way, better or worse.

Jim Moss

Friday, October 23, 2009

Today’s Horoscope and an Update…





“Your next steps should be focused on long-term gain not short-term reward.

Lots of back-and-forth will be going on today -- sharing ideas has taken a front seat in your life, and it's rewarding to find yourself in such accord with so many people you respect. Another rewarding aspect of all these discussions is that they remind you of what you believe and what governs your life. You'll find these convictions to be strengthened over the next few days. Listen to opposing viewpoints with objectivity -- above all else, do not judge others!”

So my horoscope has been eerily poignant lately. Like a good fortune cookie, the semi-ambiguity of them allows me plenty of room for interpretation. Today’s horoscope however, seemed particularly fitting. In any case – it’s always good to give your mind some perspective!

As for an update….

  • ·          I am walking very well in short bursts, but my endurance is limited and after a long day, my gait becomes pretty sad and very slow. Glad to be able to move around as much as I can though.
  • ·          Unfortunately, for the most part I have been in constant pain – around a level 3-4 out of 10 at most times and this nasty headache seeps into my life most days as well.
  • ·          Had a two-hour massage this week (Thanks Najet!) and it was awesome – first time since September 19th that my pain was a 0/10 and it lasted 4 hours – did I mention awesome?!
  • ·          Able to do about 50-60% of my normal activity in my home environment but I, and likely anyone would, greatly underestimated how tiring it is just to do the “normal” things.
  • ·          Learned that resting does not include: getting up off my butt, going to the fridge, playing with Wyatt, taking Jackson for a pee, moving a box around the bedroom. A requirement of resting = getting horizontal.
  • ·        Fatigue seems to be an ever-present aspect of this and you might even detect it a bit in my tone today. I apologize, I feel it’s important to be honest with myself and others, but also trying hard to stay positive.
  • ·        Stretching is tiring as hell but feels great.
  • ·        I might be able to drive a car in 6-8 weeks? I hope?
  • ·        Have started to do some work again for STX – just a very little but it feels good and I miss it. I received a wonderful card in the mail yesterday from a great man that I work for and was reminded that I am very fortunate to have a second family, rooting for me in Baltimore. They have been more than supportive and It reconfirmed why I starting working there almost six years ago.
  • ·        Jennifer is 4.5 weeks away from our scheduled C-section delivery of Olivia James. She is doing really well. She’s tired and all of the normal stuff that goes along with being pregnant, including being sick of getting kicked in the ribs, but looks beautiful and thank you all for your concern about her and the new baby as well
  • ·        Went to Wyatt’s first-ever lacrosse practice with Coach Shaydon and his buddies: JD, Taylor, Dylan, Evan and Lauren. Cutest thing I ever did see – I’ll post some video ASAP


I think that is about it. I continue to receive 16 hours a week of therapy and it is at a slow but steady pace. I am beginning to accept the long-term nature of this kind of rehab, and am focusing mostly on getting as normal as possible by the time the new baby arrives.

I am grateful and thankful for my health, my family, my therapy, all of your support and a million other things. I am finding it is worth saying as often as possible to help me stay in the right frame of mind.

Have a great weekend,
Jim Moss

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If you really want to be selfish…. Send someone flowers...

So… today’s blog is nice and light. Instead of smelling of Old Farts it reeks of fresh flowers.

Tomorrow is my Mom and Dad’s Anniversary. Congratulations Mom and Dad and I love you! So, my Dad being the good (and the very lonely) guy that he is these days since I borrowed mom four weeks ago to help us out while in the hospital, sent her some flowers. Impressive as he is, the flowers arrived two days early and surprised us all. They are a beautiful, fall bouquet of roses and sunflowers and they light up our living room as we speak. (See picture below.)

I’ve been getting up pretty early since all of this happened in my life, and just before my morning meditation and thankfulness reminder, I saw the flowers on the table. They reminded that I had been meaning to send flowers to my wife (8 1/2 months pregnant with a useless tit for a husband and a 2- year old to mind) to try and cheer her up and to tell her “thank you” for helping us to all get through this last month alive. So, I jumped onto the laptop and within five minutes I had ordered a bouquet of flowers for her that would be delivered before noon that same day!

I am a big flowers guy. They make people feel great, they are always a surprise, and they let someone know that you are thinking of them when they least expect it. There are what is considered the “floral occasions”, but those are the dates that expectation, either good or bad, is already in play (sorry ladies – a little zing.) Additionally, there are one-million reminders on every street corner, in every inbox and on every newspaper page in the country, so the guys who forget on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day should be shot (zing score card…Women 1 – Men 1). In fact, those holidays are so predictable, that the floral companies should work with the government to send all women flowers like junk mail and take the money out of our man-taxes (liquor tax). In my opinion, the flowers that mean the most are the ones that show someone that you are thinking of them when they don’t know that you are. I should say, that anniversaries count in the “very important to remember category” because your anniversary, acknowledging the day you got married, is not to be taken lightly. So, good work Dad!! Not only were you two days early, showing solid preparation skills, you also eliminated the possibility of last-minute scrambling, or worse, total failure to accomplish your mission, resulting in serious disappointment. I also have to admit to all the wives, no, we may not automatically remember our anniversary, we are men, we have worked very hard to knock down the expectations on us, please don’t rob us of that. (Women 1 – Men 2)

Let me add this, flowers make the sender feel just as good as the receiver! Yes, it’s true – take it from me, the old adage that “it’s better to give then receive” is right on the money! First of all, you give yourself a high-five for having thought to do it. Then, you give yourself another high-five for figuring out how to do it online, and then there is the pleasure of waiting to hear from the person when they receive them. They always call right away and in every case, are happy you thought of them. It is like laying down a land mine filled with Hershey Kisses instead of shrapnel. The anticipation of their happiness is so worth it. And, if you are really smart, you’ll think to send it to the office or wherever they might be with their girlfriends, because they get doted on by the people around who think “that is so nice” which leads to a double-dose of feel good. You get triple points for surprising someone in a good way. They feel great, you feel great, all the witnesses of the good deed feel great – it really is a win/win all the way around. In fact, the only losers are the husbands of the other ladies in the office who have never (or at least not recently) thought to do it. (zing on the loser husbands making the final total Women 1 – Men 3 on the zing scorecard)

OK, so yes, I may be high-fiving myself a little but I’m still on the flower sending high! However, as I sign-off, I’ll leave you with this, Women are apparently way better than men according to today’s scorecard so go ahead and SEND THEM SOME FLOWERS! And, enjoy being selfish while you’re at it. You deserve to feel good about doing something nice for someone else. Don’t let money stop you. I’ll mail you the 10 bucks if I have to, just get up and do it! Send ‘em to your wife, mother, sister, ex-wife, whoever you want, they deserve it. And, ladies you can send them to your mom and sister too or even your girlfriends, you just don’t get any “man points” for doing it.

Also, please share this link on Facebook or Twitter (little button on top left) and let me know if you took my advice and how it went – I would love to hear about it. Men all over the country, you may love me or hate me but like an old coach of mine used to say…Screw’em if they can’t take a joke.

One last thing, FTD, Teleflora and 1800 Flowers – this one’s on the house!

Smelling like roses,

JM

Here are some deals I was able to quickly find online.

FTD.com through PayPal gets you 20% off

http://www.paypal.com or http:// www.ftd.com

Teleflora = 10 dollars off at the checkout

http://www.teleflora.com/?s=t&Srccode=PS_YH_S_GEN_cpon&ky=coupon+flower+online&promotion=PSYH10D

1800 Flowers = 15% OFF

http://ww4.1800flowers.com/collection.do?dataset=10476&cm_mmc=paidsearch-_-ysgeneric-_-yahoocomp15-_-15off&bannerBeacon=true

Monday, October 19, 2009

November 19th, 2009

It’s been a month… A month that was a blessing.

Holy crap – now that I say it, I’m realizing that it was a month ago that I said “I think I’m finally getting over this flu” and then WHAM! the Universe saw an opportunity to sucker-punch me with a lesson to the mid-section.

Earlier this morning, I read a profile post on Facebook that got me thinking. A good friend of mine wrote, “great to see my buddy up and walking around at my son’s POP Warner football game” (which they won 27-0 so good work Lucas) but what made me think was my response: “Now to work on running as fast as those kids!” I realized, that was something I could do a month ago today. What got me thinking was, is that really what is motivating me right now?

When we are kids we are so carefree. We can run and play all day without worry. We can make mistakes without heavy consequences. That’s what we are supposed to do. That’s how we learn at that age. The other thing that occurred to me was that maybe running that fast isn’t what I am supposed to be doing right now? Maybe what I needed was to slow down and to learn some lessons and take a different, more purposeful or meaningful look at whom I am, who I want to be and where I am headed. There is the chance that I would find I was happy with the current me and that would be fine. At least I stopped to check in. Potentially, I’ll find I am not on the “right track”. Maybe I need to identify the problem areas and find a back-road to get me closer to where I would rather be. I suppose that this is what I am doing right now and this blog is part of that process. Thanks for hearing me out. I’m learning as I go.

As I look back on my childhood, I feel that I made many of my mistakes because I was going too fast and didn’t stop to think. I didn’t make a habit of slowing down to make good decisions. I was always on the go –

  • · racing out the door to school – forgot my lunch - went hungry or had to borrow... again
  • · racing in from playing – got to run to hockey – race out the door – forgot my stick or skates
  • · caught up in verbal sparring at school – “won” – regretted what I said later - hurt someone's feelings
  • · ripped through my homework so I could go out and play – did a spotty job - bad grade - disappointed

I suppose that we have so much to learn that we can only learn so much at any one time! At that age some of the lessons have to be put off until later. We have to amass the experience in life to really see how some of the lessons apply before we can ever be in the correct frame of mind to make another step forward.

As for the slowing down a bit part: I remember realizing through my sports that as some of the older guys that I played with got slower, they seemed to play better! How could that be?! Faster is better right? Stronger is always better right? I guess not or those old farts couldn’t possibly be getting better? P.S. Old lacrosse farts – no disrespect, apparently I am one of you now! What I realized is that they were slowing down but that gave them the ability to stay present, think things through and make better decisions. They would recognize the benefits of good decisions but they’d also learned to avoid the pain of making bad decisions on the ice or the turf.

This week’s goal: Make an updated “life mission statement” that outlines who I want to be and then start to work backwards from there. Treat myself like a business plan and put the time into the details just like I would if I were hoping to start a new successful business. I plan to slow down and think this one through because if it were a business and I did a half-ass job, ignoring the details, would I really expect it to be a success?

Embracing being an old(er) fart that makes better plays,

JM

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom and an update…

Oct 18th – I have now moved back home from the hospital and all is moving along nicely. Mostly, I am just trying to get the hang of normal life again. My mom Connie, and Jennifer’s mother Sally, have stayed with us up until this point and the help has been appreciated more than they know. There is no question that we take our family for granted and it is as times like these, when we need them the most, that we get a reality check.

So, today of all days, I want to make sure that I say a big “Happy Birthday” to my mom!!! My mom has really been missing my Dad, her dog Duke and her daughter and her grandkids Ian, Cam and Eoin. She doesn’t say it too much (because she doesn’t want to burden me with it) but I know it. My Dad is at home in Port Elgin now, holding down the fort and he is missing her equally as much. Parents really do “whatever they have to do” when the $h&% hits the fan. Anyway, thank you very much to my family. If it is any consolation, I am taking notes for when my kids need me in the way that we have needed them recently. I hope that we live up to how selflessly supportive they have been over the last five weeks. Mom - Jenny, Wyatt and I will do our best to make your day special today, even if you are away from home!

As for me, here is the latest…

  • · I am almost back to normal with my walking at the start of the day, but as the day wears on me, I get a bit of a limp and hobble around as I tighten up and get sore. No cane or wheelchair though!!!
  • · We were approved for a home therapy service called Rehab Without Walls and with that comes 15 hours per week of occupational and physical therapy at the house.
  • · I still can’t drive but I went to the bank yesterday and then to Home Depot as part of my daily “get the hell out of the house” and it was fine. Although I’m moving at a slower pace and whooped by the time I get home, I am able to do what I need.
  • · Still having migraine headaches. I have had a day and a half without them, which was nice, but other than that it has been 12 days now. God of Migraine Headaches…. If you’re listening, I hear you and respect you now so CUT ME SOME SLACK WOULD YA?!!
  • · Sometime in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to get back to working part-time from home. I need to get my stamina up and get through normal life first – but I will look forward to getting back to work. Although, I am starting to fear the mountain of catch up that will be waiting for me. Thanks to STX though for being so understanding through this situation
  • · I can pick up Wyatt and can play pretty well with him. I am actually using him for therapy – lifting him up like a 30 lb weight above my head. The laughter I get is the best therapy of all.
  • · I can make a meal and do some of the housework and the goal is to be able to do it all by the time Olivia comes on November 24th, 2009

I think that is all for now. I have some other posts that are almost ready to go up by I’m going to focus on my mom today for her birthday and then I’ll put up some other stuff tomorrow.

Thanks again for all of your support and the emails – I couldn’t have done it without you.

JM

video

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leaving Rehab - Oct 14th, 2009

This is just a quick not with some of my feelings on the morning that I was to leave the Hospital. It was a roller coaster of a day but when I put the videos up of Wyatt welcoming me home, you'll understand as clearly as I did that Home is the only place to be.


video

Then there is this one... .so cute, what a great little kid! he had everyone in tears.
Check out the huge hugs! Those are a cure for anything.

video


Thanks All, I'll be updating again soon but the continued support is really amazing.
JM

A recent article for an update!

http://lacrosseinsidethegame.com/2009/10/13/a-story-of-courage-jim-moss/#comment-15183

Thanks Very Much to Gary Mark for this article and to the Boys at the Team canada Camp for thinking of their buddy.

I want you to imagine that you are a professional lacrosse player in top physical condition. You are near the top of your game, young, with a loving family, a job that involves working in an industry of the sport you love. Life is good.

Now I want you to imagine literally watching it all starting to potentially leave you. I want you to imagine your body acting in a way that leaves you with no clue of what is happening. All that you are certain of is that your body is not right and you cannot move your muscles. You are paralyzed and have no idea what is happening.

Jim Moss plays for the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League, and works for STX lacrosse. The 32 year old, six foot, 215 pounder is a transition player on one of the league’s premier teams. He is also a proud Canadian and was a member of the 2007 team that won a World Championship in London, Ontario.

But just a few short weeks ago, Moss found himself in a position that he had never dreamed of. He was ultimately diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

But he would not give in. Instead he decided to start blogging about it (http://sidewaysisforward.blogspot.com/), which I would encourage you all to visit and share your best wishes. It was suggested to me to do a story on Jim and his challenge. Earlier today, I sent him a message asking, and he graciously accepted.

This is a true lacrosse player, and I wish you the speediest recovery Jim. For what it is worth. Mammoth fans should expect to see him soon. These few short questions and Jim’s responses have been a clear indication to me that he will be back. An incredible story of courage.

Enjoy…..

GM: How did this all come about? (i.e., were you feeling differently, showing symptoms)?

JM: I had been sick with the flu for 5 days and was starting to get better but was still suffering from the worst full body pain that I have had. I mean I have never given birth before and I think I am pretty tough when it comes to pain but this was bad. I actually nearly asked the doctor for a shot of pain medication at one point. So just when I thought I was getting better, my arms started to swell up and my hands started to hurt even more. I had been to the doctors a couple of times and we had no idea what was up, he just thought I had some kind of a Virus.

GM: Where exactly were you when you realized this wasn’t normal and needed medical attention?

JM: It was Saturday Am and I had sent my wife and son off with one of our friends to go to Pebble Beach for the day. I was really not feeling that hot and thought I’d save my energy so I could possibly join them for dinner. Around noon, I got up off the couch after a couple episodes of Law and Order SVU, and I stumbled a couple of steps. I caught myself from falling by grabbing the kitchen counter. So I tried to walk and I was thinking to myself “walk… just walk” and I fully remember saying out loud “Quit F’ing around and walk” but I couldn’t really walk, my legs wouldn’t do what they were told. I thought I was having a seizure except it was equal on both sides, the disability. I have to admit it took about 3 minutes to get the 10-12 feet to the bathroom and I sat down on the toilet and had a bit of a cry. (Man tears, some of the worst kind of man tears) It was combination of fear and frustration. I thought I would get up and will myself to walk, but it wasn’t that easy. It took about 5 minutes to get back to the couch. I was getting pretty scared at that point so I called my wife but got no answer. I called my Mom back home in Ontario, and she said “don’t be a dip shit, call 911″ So I did.

GM: When you were informed that it was Guillain Barre Syndrome what went through your mind?

JM: “What the hell is Guillain Barre Syndrome?” When they explained it to me I actually felt relieved at first. It was mix because it could last as long as two years or I could walk out of there in 7 days. Right from the start though I viewed myself as lucky because it could have been way worse. I grew up with a neighbour who had CP and a girlfriend’s father who died of MS so I am familiar with some of the worst kinds of disease out there and was lucky to not have any of them.

GM: Describe where you are at now in your road to recovery.

JM: Well as I respond to these questions I am on day 24 from when I called 911. I can walk now on my own without a cane, and today I actually jogged about 20 yards. They are sending me home in the next couple of days and I’ll be participating in this rehab program called Rehab without walls; 3-5 hours a day I’ll have a couple of therapists come to the house and work on getting me back to full swing. Also, just today, I had a road trip to Safeway where I got to learn how tiring buying groceries can be when you are down and out, but I loved it. And tomorrow they are going to let me cook a meal (Chile Verde and black beans and rice) to learn how tough standing in the kitchen long enough to cook, will be.

GM: In your blog, you appear to be using a little humour to get through this. Is this something you try to do, or is it just your way of dealing with it.

JM: I think have always used humour to get through the day. People love to laugh and it is healthy so I think I have used it to let people know that I am OK – you could cut my legs off entirely and I’d likely cut a joke about felling like I could use to lose some more weight or something morbid like that. I actually spent some time with one therapist who said that “I worry too much about making sure everyone else is OK and that right now I need to really focus on me and getting better.” I told her that “I needed to know that everyone was OK and knew I was OK so that I could relax and focus on getting better.” She said “exactly”. So I think that is where the humour comes from; letting people know I’m OK and lifting the mood to keep it positive and not get stuck dwelling on how much this might suck at times. People were worried about me and they would say this negative stuff and ask questions about negative things so I would lighten the mood with a joke to try and get back on the positive track. Negativity has no place in a recovery process. You have to convince every part of your body that you are just absolutely going to get better and that’s it.

GM: As with everyone, that goes through very trying times, there must be a few folks that you want to acknowledge for their support in helping you get to where you are.

JM: My wife (Jennifer) has been incredible. She is 33 weeks pregnant and we have a 2 year old son, Wyatt, and she has been a real rock star and totally selfless. This was supposed to be that time where I treat her like a total princess and put her on a pedestal but instead I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom. My family has also been incredible. My mom, dad and sister flew down immediately as well as Jennifer’s Parents Doug and Sally. We were literally in the middle of moving from one house to another so there was a ton of work still to do and I was useless. After that I had a few friends who really stepped up, Steve Maroni and Darren O’Donnel who both work for the SJ Sharks have been really awesome and Gary Rosyski and Shaydon Santos and his wife Leah have been great as well. I have been very lucky to have the doctors and therapists I did as well. They have all been incredibly supportive and helpful. And the number of lacrosse fans and players that reached out even with just a couple of quick words of encouragement was really incredible.

GM: I read you are targeting to be ready for opening day of the NLL season. Is that still a goal?

JM: It might be a little lofty, but I do hope to at least be able to fly there and be there for it, after that, it is a long season and the goal would be to get back in time to be in full swing for playoffs. I missed last season after having a total reconstruction of my shoulder, and being out of the picture has cost me a spot at Team Canada tryouts. I feel like people had started to count me down and out before this even happened. I kind of feel like those attitudes must have been a reflection on me going in and so I am dedicated to changing that perception. I must have been doing something that misrepresented who I really am or who I want to be anyways. Whoever think s I’m over the hill or can’t get back is in for a surprise.

GM: What is it about this challenge you feel has either changed you or affected you the most?

JM: Perspective and a reminder of the value of not only life but of our faculties. I had them taken away temporarily. Oddly, I always knew I would be OK but was unsure how much function I would get back. I feel like I had a shot fired across my bow. I had a dream the night before this happened that I was sitting at a bar and had a chat with the Devil. I don’t remember what he said but I remember feeling like I understood that whatever it was it was serious and he had the power to do with me as he wanted. I guess he just wanted to warn me to feel lucky for all that I have, the people in my life, my abilities, everything, don’t waste it. Sounds cheesy but it really happened.

As I mentioned above, please visit Jim’s blog and pass along your wishes. This will go a long way in supporting him in getting back to where he needs to be.