3 months already, time flies!
About as fast as these past 3 months flew by, was my doctors’ appointment this morning! Took the x-rays and saw the doc and within 45 minutes I was on my way again, with a big happy smile on my face.
The x-rays show no change from the first post-surgery medical check-up, which is perfect! Thus, I was cleared to start with physical therapy and light exercises as of today for the next 3 months! 😀 Woop woop! No playing hockey or any other contact sports yet though!
Additionally, I am fully cleared to be brace-free as well! No more neck brace while sitting in a car and no more brace for sleeping! What a relief! Aaaaand it’s my call now on when I feel ready to drive a car (or my lovely vespa) again!
Pretty good news right?
As for the physical therapy, I will have to start from 0. I’ve lost pretty much all my muscles and I’m already out of breath when walking for a couple minutes at a normal pace… Although I am really excited about getting started, it will be a really tough and probably sometimes also frustrating upcoming 3 months. But who said that it should be easy right? 😊
Next check-up: End of August!
coming… I have a big announcement coming on May 26th 2019! Until then, I will be posting different pictures with a red sweater that are hinting at what my announcement could be! Make sure to stay tuned and have fun coming up with some wild guesses on these pictures! 😊
I will however keep silent so I don’t spoil the announcement! 😊
Broken neck, concussion and a torn knee, not the best prerequisite for travelling. 😊
Being able to go to Finland for the Coaching Symposium and the Women’s World was my goal from the beginning of my injury. I wanted to be in fit enough shape so I could travel there and stay for a couple of days. As time approached and I felt better and better, I decided that before Finland, I would go to Sweden to visit my friends. And then spontaneously I stayed in Finland even longer and even went to Estonia.
As the departure day came closer, I became really scared. Mostly from the take off and landing in the airplane and having to carry my luggage. Since my accident I was only allowed to lift 2kg max at all times and this only with both hands. Of course my suitcase was heavier than 2kg! 😊 Everything else, I knew I would be able to handle and if I would get really tired, I would be able to lay down at my friends apartment or at the hotel.
As it turned out, I was worried for nothing, take off and landing was absolutely no problem! I guess there is not much that could happen with that kind of neck brace that I was wearing, since it wouldn’t allow me to move my head at all anyways. The people at the airport in Zurich were extremely helpful with my suitcase so it felt like I was travelling like I always did, I almost forgot that I needed help…
If it wasn’t for all the looks I would get from people when they see my neck brace, I think I would have easily forgotten about my injury a month ago! 🙂
People were extremely helpful, no matter where I went, I received help when I asked for it. Until my flight from Stockholm to Helsinki with SAS when I asked a flight attendant for help with my carry on and I was denied because I did not request assistance online. I was shocked! I wonder if people who are too short to reach the overhead bin have to ask for assistance online as well or if a flight attendant would help? Anyways I was super happy when a passenger got up and helped me put my stuff into the overhead bin and helped me without asking again once we landed in Helsinki! I wish I would have had some Swiss chocolate for him in my backpack to thank him…
Overall the trip exceeded my expectation of easiness of travelling with a limitation. People were incredibly helpful which made it so easy for me, thus more energy to actually be up all day and soak it all in.
Today is my first day that I’m allowed to take off my neck brace! It feels great, although I keep having to put my neck brace back on because I get tired really fast, it feels great! The next two weeks is all about adapting to not wearing a neck brace anymore (it’s a must when sitting in the car though!) and being able to turn my head again!
Wish me luck!
Just like my Finnish friends said, Helsinki is very small and does not need a whole lot of time to explore. Although I must say, I’m not a museum kind of person, so I guess without museums, a lot of cities are quicker to explore. You’ll find some pictures of the trip below!
It took me 2 ½ days to see everything I wanted to see. So here’s a quick summary of what I did and what I saw. Note that everything is within walking distance if you like to walk! 😊
I stayed at the Radisson Blue Seaside on Ruoholahdenranta and started off my sightseeing tour by walking the scenic route to downtown! The scenic route was just along the water, Hietalahdenranta, Wiranranta, Merisatamanranta, Ehrenströmintie all the way to the market square. On the way there, at the first harbor, there is the Löyly design sauna with traditional wood-heated or smoked sauna (I didn’t go, but been to a smoked sauna in Vierumäki – quite the Finnish experience!). However the scenic route is a really nice walk if you enjoy a stroll along the water with a lot of other people! 😊
Once you’re at the market square, there are a bunch of “must sees” right there within very short distance.
- Allas Sea Pool (Spa Complex with Sauna and pool (regular and seawater pool))
- Uspenski Cathedral (one of the largest Orthodox churches in Western Europe)
- Esplanade Park (sit down at a café and enjoy people watching)
- Tori Quarter (the historical center)
- Helsinki University Main Building
- Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square (most recognizable symbol of Helsinki – must see!)
All of these sights above are within 5 – 10 minutes of the harbor. From there you can get on Mannerheimintie, which is the main shopping street and walk towards the main train station. Once in the area of the train station there are a couple of more sights that I went to:
- Oodi Library (wow! It only just opened in December 2018)
- Helsinki Music Centre
- Temppeliaukio “Rock” Church
These were all the things I went to look at in the heart of Helsinki. Another trip that I can really suggest from the bottom of my heart:
- Ferry ride to Suomenlinna
- Spend a day in Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
So that’s all I did during the 2 ½ days that I had available! Obviously there is much more to do and to see than what I did but this was just enough for me and the most interesting ones! I wish however that I would have gone to the Finnish sauna and the swim in the sea pool. But who knows, hockey will surely take me back to Finland one day! 😀
Spontaneous trips are the best trips; that was yet again true of my trip to Tallinn, Estonia!
Originally the plan was to go to Sweden and then to Finland for the Women’s World Championship and Coaching Symposium in Helsinki where I would then stay a couple more days for some sightseeing. When I met up with some friends the first night I got to Helsinki, they were laughing at my plans of a couple of days of sightseeing in Helsinki and suggested that I would go further than Helsinki. Who knew that Tallinn was so close to Helsinki? Two hours with the ferry boat at a cost of 8 Euros one way! It was a done deal for me! And the best part, I have friends that I haven’t seen in many years that are living in Tallinn that I could see again!
I did not prepare myself on what to expect in Tallinn, I honestly have never thought of Estonia all that much since it was never really on my radar. It completely exceeded my expectations of what I thought Tallinn would look like! The old town with its medieval architecture is so stunning, every time I took a turn somewhere I was amazed again. Estonia has so much history and it really shows!
Here’s a list of things that I did while there that I would absolutely suggest:
- Old Town
- Maiasmokk Café (oldest café in Tallinn)
- Freedom Square (Tallinn Sign on Top)
- Parliament House
- Stable Tower and Town Wall Walkway
- Hipster District
- Balti Jaama Turg
- Kalamaja District
- Colorful wooden houses
- Harbor and Navel Museum
- Tallinn Song Festival Arch
- Memorial Park (that is a must see!)
- Pirita District
Obviously there is a lot more to see, but unfortunately my time was limited! My local friends however made sure I did see the most important sights in that short time though, so if you find yourself with limited time this is definitely a good option!
I’m so happy I made this spontaneous trip and got to learn about and see a new country!
When was the last time you had nothing planned and didn’t do anything for a longer period of time? I’m talking a day, a couple of days, a week, 2-3 weeks or even longer?
After I had been released from the hospital and went home, a sudden emptiness overcame me but at the same time my head was about to explode. In only 3 months after removing the neck brace I can start with rehab and start doing things again. I found myself in a position I’ve never been in and it scared me.
Two days before my accident I had quit work and I wanted to take a two weeks vacation to think about what I want to do next. With the U18 season being done as well, I literally had nothing on my plate (so I thought) when I drove to Davos for vacation. Once I got there, I realized however how much I still had on my plate with unanswered mails and messages, so I was going to tackle that over the two weeks time of my skiing vacation… So I thought…
Once I was home from the hospital I felt completely trapped and my mind was going crazy. I started to think about everything and nothing, about my past with school, university, jobs, friends, hockey, travel… You name it, I’m pretty sure I thought about it. Once I was through with the past, I started thinking about the future and of course when thinking about the future when you’re just laying in bed without being able to do anything, I panicked. I had many sleepless nights, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me!
I finally had the time to digest everything in my life, digest my retirement, digest moving back to Switzerland, digest finishing my masters’ degree, you name it, I digested it all… Thanks to this injury I was able to do it, and I needed this big time (I didn’t even know before that I needed it!).
As for my future, this spine injury had been a blessing! At some point within the first two weeks of being home, my mind completely switched, and all thoughts became really clear and I started embracing it. For many months or even years I’ve had ideas in my head, however I never had the time to really think these ideas through and put them into words and actually make them happen.
Today, it’s been 2 months ago I fractured my spine and I’m so thankful for it. Although I still have a long way ahead of me, I am embracing every second of it and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! I will definately make sure to always take time out of a busy schedule for reflection.
PS: This morning I finally had four out of my five e-mail inboxes and all of my social media iboxes empty. 😀
Today a year ago I suited up in my goalie equipment for the last time and played my last game as an active goalie… It’s somehow surreal to realize that this has been 1 year ago already.
Throughout this year I’ve been asked a lot whether I miss it… I always hesitate to answer, because do I really miss it or not?
When I announced my retirement, I knew I wanted to stay involved in hockey and share my knowledge, my experience and my skills with the future of hockey. At this point however I didn’t know where, how and to what extent. Receiving the job opportunity as assistant coach of the U18 national team had been a blessing and made me almost completely forget that I’ve just recently retired from the sport I loved so much.
I say almost because there were 4 occasions throughout this last year where I had a bit of a heartache…
- In August last year when I was on the bench for my first game, I watched the on ice-warm up and I saw a goalie do something that I always used to do, and seeing someone else do the exact same reminded me of my playing time.
- In that exact tournament in August, I was watching the end of another game while our girls got ready, this game went into shootout. Some emotions came up while watching that shootout, reminding me of many shootouts that I went through as a goalie and how thrilling that always was.
- In January at the Worlds in Japan seeing the girls go out on the ice with the IIHF anthem, that used to always be “showtime” for me.
- When we lost against Russia in a nerve-racking shootout to Russia in the quarterfinal, I was so upset for the girls cause they played so amazing and they would have deserved to move on to the semifinal. I wish I could have done more for them but my hands were tied as a coach in such a situation and it’s all on the players.
So I had 4 heartaches in 365 days, I would consider that not missing active hockey, but it has been a very eye-opening experience and I am more clear on what I want to do in the future now than ever.
I want to become a coach, not just a hockey coach but also a personal coach for athletes and non-athletes!
Besides the hockey coaching courses that I will attend this summer, I will be coaching at different camps (still to be announced) and also organize a showcase hockey camp with Steve Huard in Halifax, Canada this summer.
Also, I am doing a school to become a Certified personal Coach because I strongly believe that everyone can achieve their dreams with the right guidance! I hope that by the end of this summer I will be able to take the first clients!
And lastly, the Girls’ Hockey Day that I’ve been organizing in Kloten will expand Switzerland wide! 😀
Hockey has and will always be a very big part in my life, even if I don’t miss playing it actively! 😀
It’s been quite some time since I last travelled and spent the night somewhere else then at home. Mission fit-to-fly started some time ago because I am travelling to Sweden and Finland next week and needed to see if I’m actually fit and will manage the stressfulness of travelling and everything that comes along with it.
I decided to accept the invitation from Greenhope for the “Dinner for Hope” in Lugano almost last minute and it was a decision I would not regret. The travelling was tiring, however I managed quite well and only needed one break on the way.
Once we got there, I would relax by the pool and not do too much, knowing that the evening with the apero and the dinner would be quite challenging, and I needed to be well-recovered for that. At 6pm I meet with the founder of the Greenhope foundation, Luca Cereghetti and the moderator for the night, Julie Arlin. They would walk me through the evening and I would then prepare myself for the upcoming interview questions.
I first heard about Greenhope foundation and their cause of Sports against Cancer in Davos through a Charity-Game they had organized there. And then through my own call for action last year about donation of my sports clothes. Their concept of organizing events for the entire family of a kid that is suffering from cancer struck me right away. Other concepts I heard of so far have always been about the kid that’s suffering. Greenhope however organizes events where whole families participate and get to forget about cancer for a day, most of the time not even able to pin point the kids suffering, which in my opinion makes the Greenhope foundation so special and worth supporting.
The dinner at the Villa Sassa in Lugano was a success even though I was completely exhausted at the end of the night! 😀 11’000 CHF was raised, not bad right!? Greenhope is organizing a Greenhope Day #MadeInSweatzerland on the 8./9. June 2019 where you could participate and add to this cause of #SportsagainstCancer!
Get your spot now on Greenhopeday ! Or you get a chance to win 1 of 5 vouchers for this day! How? Let me know ideas of exciting sporting activities that the Greenhope foundation could maybe organize in the future for their families and we will pick 5 winners from these ideas! A little hint: They’ve been organizing really fun stuff like an Olympic Day, Husky Dog sledging, hockey games and much more! So be very creative! 😀
6 weeks ago I had a skiing accident where I feel on my head and fractured the sixth cervical vertebra of the spine. The doctors’ predicted 6 months until full recovery, of which I have to wear a neck brace 24/7 for the first 3 months. Besides wearing the neck brace, my only physical activity that I’m allowed to do is walk and absolutely not lift heavier than 2kg at all time. Additionally to my spine injury, I suffered a concussion and also partially tore my MCL on the left knee (same one that I had surgery on 2 years ago). It goes without saying that I was extremely lucky and will make a full recovery, however it’s a long way to go.
Today I had my first major medical check-up at the hospital in Chur (where I had the surgery) where I got x-rays taken and got everything controlled by the operating doctor. I’m smiling big time right now writing this because the doctor is more than happy with the progress I am making and everything seems to heal the way it should or even better! 😀
I was told today that in 4 weeks (instead of 6 weeks) I can start partially taking off the neck brace and start adapting to my own neck again, so that in 6 weeks (instead of 8 weeks) I can move around entirely without the brace.
I know the next 4 weeks are going to be challenging with me continuously having to practice my patience, but it’s definitely worth the wait to know that everything will be good afterwards!
In 6 weeks I’ll have the next check-up here in Chur and will then start the 3 months of physical therapy!
Thanks to everyone for your continuous support throughout my rehabilitation! It is very much appreciated!