It’s been a while since we checked in with Angie Heuser. Quick refresher: Angie became an LAKA in December 2018, learned to surf about a year later, and ran her first 10K as an amputee a month or so after that. She also raises money (and lifts spirits) for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
A few weeks ago, Angie wrote a blog post about settling back into a sense of normalcy after one year as an amputee and the eight difficult years of uncertainty preceding that. She didn’t write these words with COVID-19 in mind—they first appeared on her blog back on March 12, before the pandemic had completely upended everyone’s routines. But the post anticipated where many of us find ourselves today, as we begin to emerge from quarantine: needing to regain our bearings, restore our sense of balance, and lean on one another as we go forward.
She’s on Instagram @angie_heuser, and her blog is called Stepping Out in Faith. Our thanks to Angie for the opportunity to share her stories.
Grateful for my time away this week with my husband, my support, my soulmate. We took a couple of days to enjoy mindfulness, and peace and quiet to reconnect. This was my anniversary gift to him. We spent our time at Miraval Resorts in Tucson, Arizona. It was wonderful….and needed. You see, I have accomplished a lot this past year, since my amputation, but all of a sudden I realized that I had put all my focus on myself and getting better and achieving my goals, and that I had left him back. Not my proudest moment. But I’m thankful for realizing this and making the shift I needed to regain balance in my life once again.
You see, this hasn’t been just my journey. It’s been my whole family’s journey as well. Every surgery, every physical therapy and doctor appointment, my guys were by my side or giving me support. I am so fortunate for their strength these past eight years, and I recognize how fortunate I am, because not everyone has this in their life. Balance—we need it for walking, riding a bike, eating, everything in life. We also need to have it in our daily routines. Balancing work and play is good for stress relief and for the soul. Balancing emotions keeps us from alienating friends and loved ones. Balancing our time between the people we love and time for ourselves. All are equally important, but if they’re not balanced like rocks stacked on top of each other in perfect form, everything around us crumbles and falls apart.
As I move forward, one year of being an amputee under my belt and many goals achieved, I can now put my energy toward getting long-term balance into my life. I will always set goals for myself and strive for more, but I must remember that the people around me—my husband, my two sons—are what matter most. We cannot forget those who have watched us struggle and suffer through our trials. They deserve our love, attention, and support. I was off-balance then, too, but in the opposite way. I spent so much of the past eight years of injury trying my hardest not to be a burden that I had lost a little of who I was outside of being a wife and mom. I am more than that. We are created as multi-faceted beings. We wear different hats. We share a life with the people we love, but we also have activities that we love and claim as our own. We must find a balance between each. That’s when we can find peace, happiness, harmony, and balance in our lives.
I don’t know where you are in your journey. Maybe you are in a valley or maybe at the peak of a mountain, but in each of those points balance must be found. Step back and reassess where you’re putting all your energy. When my husband and I had time away at Miraval Resort—time to put aside work, electronics and outside noises—we rediscovered each other and what we loved about one another. We had the opportunity to laugh, play, and rest. My wish for each of you is that you stop what you’re doing and put away the distractions in your life. Breathe, focus, find your center, and reconnect to what is important to you. Find your balance. The balance that I have found in my life is amazing. It has created new life and happiness within my heart that no one can take away. Since my surgery I have not only rediscovered who I am but also have been able to redefine myself. I felt like I could be whoever I wanted to be now that I was mobile again. I felt like I had been reborn. However, I got so tangled up in this new life that I became off-centered. I forgot about the people who stayed by my side during the valley in my life. But I am blessed that they loved me so much that they stayed and supported me as I grew, changed, and achieved the things that made me happy.
We all go through trials in life. That’s just part of our journey. With the lows, we can appreciate the highs. With experiencing highs, we can rest assured that when lows or trials hit us, we can get back up and rise. We know that “this, too, shall pass.” Keep looking for balance in your life. Remember to love on those who have walked the journey with you. They might not understand all that you have or will go through, but they have chosen to go through it with you. I am ever so grateful for my tribe and how they have stuck beside me through it all—the good, the bad, and the ugly. And they are going through things, too. Balance will remind you to step back and get perspective. When you feel like your whole world is caving in on you, remember to find that balance. Not all things are going wrong. Find the positive, see where you can rise, center yourself, and redirect your thoughts. You may just realize, like I did, that you are being consumed by one thing, one thought. I was going the wrong direction, and I needed to get back on track so I could live my best life. How about you? What has you off-centered? Do you need to refocus and find your balance?
I pray that this helps just one of you realize that you’re not alone, that you are human, that it’s okay if you’ve lost direction or balance in your life. It’s never too late to regain your focus and still be able to live your best life. I am praying for you. I understand what it’s like to be distracted. You can rise up and find your balance once again. So get out there, get real, find your center. Live your best life now!