Author: Codi Darnell

12 Weeks Later—Final Thoughts on My Transformation Challenge

My 12-week transformation challenge is complete and I know what you’re thinking: She’s not skinny yet. I get it. You hear transformation challenge and expect a huge reveal Biggest Loser style. But as I said in my very first post, the main focus of this challenge with True North Strength and Fitness and Westcoast Nutrition wasn’t on the reflection in the mirror. This wasn’t about finding a quick-fix to achieve dramatic results in a short of amount of time in order to garner attention based on unbelievable before-and-after photos. This was about making a start.  Continue reading “12 Weeks Later—Final Thoughts on My Transformation Challenge”

May I Ask How the Wheelchair Happened?

May I ask how the wheelchair happened?

Getting this question from strangers still throws me off my game. I wish it didn’t. I wish I could respond with some wild fictional story like I worked in a zoo and a gorilla threw me against a wall, and then watch their curious eyes go wide. When they inevitably say Wow, really? I would smile and just say No, not really, and go on my way. But that is not how I function. I’m the kind of person who thinks of great comebacks in the shower, days after they are relevant. I’m the kind of person who feels like I would offend these curious strangers by not offering a truthful answer when, in reality, they have just invaded a random person’s privacy by asking said person to share the most complicated and traumatic event of their life. I’m the kind of person who recently reacted like this. Continue reading “May I Ask How the Wheelchair Happened?”

Me, My Father-In-Law and a Potential Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury

Nobody ever knows how they will respond to trauma—whether it happens to you or somebody you love. In the case of my accident, my family all found their own ways to cope. What did I notice? My husband put all of his energy into caring for me. My dad threw himself into renovating our home and my mother-in-law was consumed with taking care of our children. But my father-in-law, he dove head first into research—he needed to fix this. Continue reading “Me, My Father-In-Law and a Potential Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury”

Three Years from Where It All Began

It was three years ago, on March 10, 2016—in this very spot—I became a paraplegic. Today, it looks nothing like it did on the day of my injury; there is zero indication that this was a place of a life-altering accident. The dirt has been replaced with carpet. Drywall and paint covers the exposed cement foundation. And the staircase fills in the dark emptiness of a basement-in-the-making. But, one thing remains—framed in with wooden trim—and that is the hole I fell through. Continue reading “Three Years from Where It All Began”

Transformation Challenge Update—Half-Way There

I’m officially half-way through my challenge with True North Strength and Fitness and Westcoast Nutrition and the first six weeks has disappeared incredibly quickly. I’d love to say time flies when you’re having fun but I think the more accurate representation would be time flies when you’re busy taking care of a family while attempting to eat well and get to the gym three times a week. The time-management struggle is real. However, taking this time for myself has absolutely been worth all the extra scheduling and calendar confusion. At the mid-way point in this challenge I have had good weeks and bad weeks and wanted to share a little update. Continue reading “Transformation Challenge Update—Half-Way There”

This Spinal Cord Injury Journey Isn’t Just About Me—Inside the Trauma and Grief of a Family

From the beginning of this injury, it was never just my journey I had to concentrate on. It was never just my grief, my trauma or my transition to a new life. My accident happened to my entire family. All five of us—myself, my husband and our three children—were there as our life took a sharp turn in an unexpected direction; we were the only ones there. Our daughter—too young to understand what was happening—has no memory of it. Our boys however, can vividly recall their versions of the story and it breaks my heart. No, it was never just my journey I was worried about.  Continue reading “This Spinal Cord Injury Journey Isn’t Just About Me—Inside the Trauma and Grief of a Family”

How Peeing My Pants at the Gym Reminded Me to Love the Little Things

One of the most common comments I get from people is that my story reminds them to be thankful for the little things—the things that are so easily taken for granted. I would love to say that I’ve learned that lesson for good and always remember to thank my lucky stars for the simple things I am able to do but, alas, I am human. I am eternally thankful that so many of the struggles I faced in the beginning have become ordinary once again. However, as things became easier to do, they also became easier to take for granted. Continue reading “How Peeing My Pants at the Gym Reminded Me to Love the Little Things”

Even in the Happy Moments, Grief Is There

It’s the end of January—the month so many people feel is never-ending. While I’m fairly certain it’s rare for anyone to be living their best life in any given January or February, these two months carry weight for me. This is the time of year I reflect on what were my final weeks before my accident. They weren’t extraordinary by any means, but they were real, simple and honest moments of our everyday lives. Continue reading “Even in the Happy Moments, Grief Is There”

Taking Back My Body—A 12-Week Transformation Challenge

We all have aspects of our lives that we can and cannot control. Sometimes—at least with me—we forget that some things are within our power. While attempting to control my injury would be about as successful as trying to control the weather or my firecracker of a 4-year-old, I can actually control how I protect my body—how I fuel it and how I strengthen it—and I have not done that. It is time for me to stop making excuses. Starting this week, with the help of Sasha at True North Strength and Fitness and Michelle at WestCoast Nutrition, I’m going to make a change. Continue reading “Taking Back My Body—A 12-Week Transformation Challenge”

It’s Time to Represent Everyone—A Paraplegic’s Perspective on Successfully Integrating Diversity in the Media

Do you feel well represented in the media? I did for the first 28 years of my life. Yes, the Caucasian, heterosexual, able-bodied female demographic isn’t usually ignored. But when I added disabled to the description, my representation all but disappeared from the airwaves. The lack of diversity in the media is an ongoing issue that I became well aware of after I traded my legs in for wheels. However last week, two posts appeared on my social media feeds—one local and one viral—that really got me thinking. Continue reading “It’s Time to Represent Everyone—A Paraplegic’s Perspective on Successfully Integrating Diversity in the Media”