After finishing three weeks of training for my internship as a naturalist in Vail, Colorado I felt prepared and excited for the rest of the summer season. However, I soon hit a big bump in the road. Well, actually it was a jump on a downhill mountain bike trail. Needless to say, I did not land safely on two wheels, and instead went over the handlebars at high speed, landing primarily on my left arm. The impact caused a compound break of my radius and ulna in my forearm.
The fracture required immediate surgery at the Vail Valley Medical Center, however, due to complications I ended up in the hospital for a total of 10 days and required a total of four surgeries. Throughout this time I really appreciated the support and flexibility of Walking Mountains Science Center. Walking Mountains had been named one of the best places to work in the Vail Valley and during this time I really felt the love of the organization. I received a card signed by all of the staff, as well as a treat bag, and my fellow interns visited me in the hospital almost every day. Walking Mountains offered to pay me and were extremely flexible in letting me ease back into work after getting out of the hospital.
Now, 7 weeks after my crash, I’ve been able to transition back to normal life. I had to do therapy to regain full movement of my hand, as well as strengthening exercise to bring my arm back to its normal strength. A week ago I got back on my bike and went riding again—this time without crashing. This was a difficult time, but it definitely helped me grow as a person, just like this internship has done.