Code Blue: Grand Canyon

We caught the Grand Canyon bug this summer on our way to Colorado and vowed to go back.  Coincidentally, after we returned from our vacation, our friend reached out to see if we wanted to join a group to do a rim to rim to rim crossing to celebrate her milestone birthday.  After learning more of what it would entail, we decided to go for it and dove into running, hiking and stair climbing strength training.


It’s been fun to focus on just building hours (not worrying about times and paces) on the legs to prepare as best as possible for a 46 mile, 10,000 feet elevation gain hike in 16-18 hours in one day.


Ramp up Grand Canyon training. November column will look very different but perfect time to soak up the holiday season and recover.

Well life had other plans for me waking up with abdominal pain a little less than a week before our big adventure.  Toughing it out for 24 hours didn’t result in improvements so off to the doctors and then to the ER and then a 2.5 day hospital stay = no Grand Canyon trip for me this go around.


As a typical type A, I held out hope I could still make it work but know without being 100% healthy it would be a risk for me and the whole group.  I shed tears over my disappointment but at 2 a.m. on my first night in the hospital when the intercom system announced a “code blue” and hearing the life flight landing outside it regrounded me and put things back into perspective.  Here’s some things that recentered me during my short hospital stay:

  • Hospital staff have a really tough job so tried to thank anyone that was helping me during my visit
  • I was fortunate to have so many friends reach out and come visit but my roommate didn’t have a family member arrive until almost the 3rd day and I’m sure others have no visitors at all except the adorable therapy dog, Matilda
  • Shout out to the lefties I know as when my left arm IV was done doing its job and had to switch to a right arm IV was difficult to do daily activities with only my left hand as a right handed person!
  • I knew this from being with my dad in the hospital but big reminder of the lack of sleep patients get based on round the clock care from the staff.  Craved my own bed and silence
  • Meditation and breathing techniques are in valuable when trying to get through uncomfortable procedures or stressful situations
  • Thankful for not being into Grand Canyon hike and getting sick without medical resources
  • While on an NPO restriction, reminder that simple things like food and water are not to be taken for granted
  • Even if you do your best taking care of yourself, the human body is complicated and some things are out of your control

Now time for healing and being gentle to myself during this atypical time for me and to embrace the small things and start planning my next adventure!

8 thoughts on “Code Blue: Grand Canyon

  1. Wow Heidi that is sure disappointing, but you are the most optimistic person I know! I love you and hope you are back to your energetic self soon!

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