My Advocate Adventure Part III

When I last wrote I was on my way to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Associations Leaders Against training. The flight to Denver went on without a hitch, we had a short layover and then onto Salt Lake City. It was amazing flying over the mountains.

We landed at 9:00 a.m. in Salt Lake City.  Yes, that meant we were awoken by an obnoxious alarm at 2:00 a.m.

It was too early to check into the hotel so we decided to check out the sites. We  started with walking to the Salt Lake Temple, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the State Capital, and lunch at The Lion House.

We tried to check in the hotel but they were not ready so we decided to check out the next thing on my Daughters list; Ensign Peak.

1023141446I research everything. It had an elevation gain; 398 feet.

Distance; Just under  a half mile one way  which was a  5,414 foot summit.

We started the climb on a path that was simply dirt and a lot of rocks.

The further we went ~ the steeper the climb.

We had climbed 3/4 of the path when my daughter looked at what was left and she said “Mom, you shouldn’t do anymore”
and at the same time my husband looked up and said “you have to..you have to finish it”.  He was right~it was why I was here.

I had read the history behind Ensign Peak. Bringham Young claimed a vision of God directed him to lead his people to the Salt Lake Valley. It is said that Young recognized Ensign Peak as a landmark in  his vision, confirming his statement. “This is the right place”.

Here I stood at the top of Ensign Peak. I was at the same place that Bringham Young had declared;

“This is the right place” for his people to start a new life

and

I had gone west to the same place to for me to start my new adventure as an Advocate.

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After the hike we headed to the hotel, that night our training started at our meeting with Jan Chambers(President of NFMCPA), Cindy Sharp(Director of LAPN), Sharon Waldrop(Vice President for Education, NFMCPA) and the other 29 scholarship winners.

We spent the evening sharing each others stories and learning about the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association & The Leaders Against Pain.

We were asked who we admire in history.  I said, “I admire is Ellen Gates Starr.  She was the co-founder of the Hull House in Chicago.  She was  a social reformer and activist. She was Advocate for immigrants, children and women.” then I said, “I broke the rules and told them I can’t just say one I needed to share one more.  Celeste Cooper,  a retired Nurse, Advocate, Author and I am proud to call her my friend, mentor and my angel on earth   If you don’t know who she either of these amazing woman are please google them”

We left that evening very tired(I had been up 22 hours), emotional, inspired and motivated.

I am starting the weekend as a FIBRO WARRIOR ~ and ending it as a LEADER AGAINST PAIN.

 

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My Advocate Adventure – Part II

It is only days before I leave for the Leader’s Against Pain conference.

“Are you getting excited?”

Quite honestly, No.

It is Monday and I have only 2 evenings left to finish my introduction, watch 2 videos, make sure 3 people not 1 have everything packed, have our house/dog sitting finalized, attend parent teacher conferences where I work, complete 3 students assessments…. I could keep listing all of the things I need done …oh wait, I need to do make a TO DO list.

As we all know packing for us is not the same as someone who doesn’t have a chronic pain condition.  We first have to consider the best travel situation and comfort. We have to pack heating pads, ice packs, tens unit, sleeping masks and DON’T FORGET THE MEDS!!!!

Usually, I would take the time of day into consideration for my travelling. I would allow myself the time to sleep in and take my time to get started. I would add an extra hour to my arrival time so I have plenty of time to get out and stretch.

This time because of my new job it just didn’t work to leave on Monday. I have the Leaders meet & greet at 6:00 tonight in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It is Thursday and the alarm woke this very tired body at 2:00 a.m. after 4 1/2 hours of sleep. My journey starts after getting dressed (wearing my Fibro Warriors~ Living Life T-shirt), packing the last minute morning items, taking care of the animals and double checking the list.

At 3:15 a.m. I am in the car heading to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. I have a short lay-over in Denver and will arrive in Salt Lake City at 9:00 a.m.

Am I excited now? A resounding YES!

They formed a Facebook group and all of us attending have been messaging brief Introductions and details on our arrival. It has brought back that initial thrill of being asked to be a part of this training.

Last night, I received a phone call from my Mom and Sister wishing me a great trip and how happy they were for me. My fellow Warriors were posting Good Luck Comments and excitement in my reporting what I learned. My dear Celeste left an amazing post on our Warrior page. She is why I am where I am today, heading to Utah for the Leader Against Pain conference. I am going to meet Jan Chambers, President of the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association in person.

Yes…. My excitement is back.

Now, I promise to do all that I can to not let down your expectations of me. I will go in as a Warrior and come out being on the way to being a trained advocate for all of those living with a Chronic Pain illness.

Wishing everyone sun~filled days and rest filled nights!
I am a Fibro Warrior~Living Life!

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