The next chapter-

Books almost always have chapters for ease of navigation. The chapters are almost always listed in a table of contents. -Wikipedia

My how things would be different if this were true to the chapters of life. Our chapters are not for ease of navigation and a table of contents will certainly not be found at any point. Our chapters are different, a new fresh start, a time to start telling a story irrelevant to the chapter before. I have once again reached that point in my life where a new chapter will begin but since it has been nine months since the last time I’ve checked in with you all I wanted to give you some cliff notes on where things are at with me since I last wrote.

Love-

It can take an incredible amount of sacrifice to unconditionally love someone. By no means does that mean that everyone sacrifices to love. Ultimately we are all drawn to love someone because of an inexplicable reaction in our brains that overpowers us with the willingness to do whatever it takes to be with that person. I think many people find that in some cases over time it’s natural for love to become less black and white and a little greyer. There are a lot of things that can break relationships down and in my case with Katrina we had led each other into situations that ultimately did not work for us as individuals. We both felt strongly we needed to work on our individuality for a while before we could be good for anyone in a relationship. An important chapter of my life has now come to a close and I hope that both of us are better people for having written it together.

Family-

I’m embarrassed to say that it has taken me way too long to appreciate the importance of family. Another thing that I took for granted I guess. The last few months have been a shuffle of dynamics, roles and support structures for my family and I really couldn’t have a better one by my side. After Katrina and I split up back in October the following weeks and months had me coming to a realization that will be very important for the rest of my life… Help is always there if you know how to ask for it and receive it and there’s no one we would rather help than our own blood. I also recently learned some very important lessons about what I have put my family through over the past three years and all there is to be said is I wish it upon no one.

Friends-

Friendship is something that I have never taken for granted. The beautiful thing about friendship is that each and every one of us has something to teach each other but it takes friends to actually learn from one another. My many friends in this life have taught me so much about who I want to be as a person, who I am expected to be as a person and how I can become that person. The last three years for me have been tough in regards to losing friends. First it was Shane while I was in the hospital then it was CR then three years to the day of my injury I get a phone call about the one and only Sarah. Each of these people had so much to teach us about the way they live their lives, so much we can take on with us every day in their memories and infectious smiles and constant positive energy. I guess ultimately the question is what do we learn from our friends… those that are now gone have just as much to teach us as the next you will meet. I have learned that there is no guarantee at tomorrow, there is no sense in trying to control the uncontrollable, explain the unexplainable and there is no reason not to love yourself because someone out there loves you.

Riley-

I’m not going to lie it’s been a heavy couple months. The stress of buying a house, the end of a six-year relationship, a complete change in my support system and watching a friend slip through our fingers = therapy needed. Being paralyzed is the least of my worries.

As many of you know from reading here it was quite a challenge for me to find accessible housing since I’ve been in Portland. Our ultimate goal was to build or remodel something to meet my specific accessibility needs but getting there was a slow process. I am ecstatic to announce that my search will be over as of the end of this month! Katrina was instrumental in helping me find the appropriate house that could be remodeled for accessibility so I will be forever grateful to her for going through that hugely stressful process. Moving into an accessible home is really going to make a world of difference for me that no able body person could really understand unless you spent a week in my chair. Want to give a huge thank you to my Dad for stepping in as job foreman, Joseph and Julie for all your creative genius and support, my Mom, Brother, Hera, Amos, Coryna, Leana and Kirsten for all their help on the site and once again Katrina for motivating me all the way through closing.

Another big step in the right direction coming around the corner for me is getting back on the road again! I really truly have some amazing people in my life and they want to see me driving so we are going to make it happen! The freedom that driving on my own will bring back into my life is much anticipated… Need to thank Katrina for her help getting my vehicle situation dialed it wouldn’t have happened without her undying dedication to see me moving forward. Now I gets to be at ?? miles per hour…

My body is good all things considered. As far as a medical diagnosis goes I am considered plateaued meaning highly unlikely to gain back any additional function from here forward. Not giving up hope on modern medicine but my body’s nervous system has healed itself as much as possible. I am so lucky to have my mom acting as my personal nutritionist as she is quite educated in the field. Mostly just working on physical therapy to get my arms as strong as can be so I can get in a sit ski this fall!

Work is great, love the challenge, love the people, love uncle Phil and love Nike!

Love to you all thanks for your continued support!

Riley

47 Responses to “The next chapter-”

  1. Andrea says:

    Riley, you’re writing is beautiful, and if i may allude to your opening quote, i think you would write quite an amazing book if you wanted to. You have such an incredible story, and the way you reflect upon it was an emotional rollercoaster of joy, sadness, but most of all pride. I am proud to call you a friend, touched by your outpouring of emotion, and humbled by your strength and courage. And i cannot WAIT to get in your new rig and go for a ride! XO,AC

  2. Kali says:

    Riley,
    Your honesty is beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for putting it all out there and reminding us all of the importance of sharing your feelings with the people you love, for better or for worse. Rock on and can’t wait to party it up at the new spot!!

    LOVE TO YOU!

    Kali

  3. Tommy Bayly says:

    Hi Riley, I really agree with the women above. You have a great talent for writing and should consider writing a book soon. There r many people out there such as my self that need to be inspired but don’t realize it yet…. I have bee through Cancer twice now and am usually happy but I just had a little girl 14 months old now (Rylen- nickname is Riley) and she has a 50 % or more chance of getting Cancer (genetics from me) from her teenage years on…I would like her to be able to read a book or two that you have written to help her stay positive and upbeat with life..(hint,hint) I made friends with u on f.b. just because u were in the industry, but I realize now that their was a bigger reason I chose u to be in my life (even if just in a small way). I wish the best for you – We all will pray for modern medicine to come around for you. Thank Yu Tommy & Rylen

  4. Bean Stash says:

    Damn I’m proud of you, bro. This was an exceptional post…your perspective is inspiring and the way you’ve evolved your thinking over some very heavy emotional issues is something to be proud of. Keep being yourself. Keep being awesome. Love you.

  5. Heather Paul Featherman says:

    Wow, Riley, that was a beautifully written piece, I hope you are keeping all these “chapters” so that you can put them together for the book of Riley…. and to remind yourself how insightful and beautiful you are. It sounds you are growing and moving ahead and it is awesome to hear. Pimp out your ride and come and see your friends here in CB sometime soon. Thinking of you often and sending love, please pass that love to your mom and dad for me too. Be well and keep making us all proud to know you. xoHP

  6. Cameron says:

    I wasn’t really aware of you situation until now, and having read through the majority of your posts, all I have to say is: Wow.

    Wow in reaction to your dedication, motivation, perseverance. You writing is beautiful and I know the word is thrown around alot, but it’s also incredibly inspiring. I also don’t think I’ve ever been as moved by a piece of writing by someone I’ve never met before.

    So happy that you’re constantly moving forward.

    Hope you know you have and will always have the full support from the ski community.

    Keep it going man!

  7. Kimberlee Hayward says:

    Hi Riley… just thinking of you again and wishing you the best. You are amazing… wait… I mean AMAZING AND INSPIRING! I speak for me and all those who care about you — we understand why you havent’ written for a while but IT’S TIME! Update us brother! Loving you and your spirit.
    XOXO
    K

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