as you may know, i am releasing my new silver collection this week. a collection that has been born from years of creative making, creative breaking, and creative problem solving. this collection connects all of my processes and pieces- it is the bridge between the many designs i make, connecting the different lines and building an overall cohesive jewelry brand.
what you may not know is, that if you were to ask me 4 years ago if i was excited about my new jewelry collection, i’d be very confused about what you were asking. you see, 4 years ago, i didn’t even know how to make jewelry- most people knew me as the slightly crazy triathlete, not the slightly crazy jewelry artist.
four years ago i had my sights set on the triathlon world championships. i had already raced for team usa in edmonton canada the year prior, and this year i was 2 weeks away from the national championships which would have qualified me to continue racing for the team. i was running down this path steadfast and strong, never considering that i may hit a detour mid-route.
i was out on a long training ride when i hit that detour. it was july 19, 2015- four years ago from this friday. i rode for over 2 hours before nearly arriving back home. this is where it happened- one mile away from safety. one mile away from being back at home with my bike racked, recovering and planning for the following day’s training session.
the car was stopped at a crossroads ahead of me. i was in my bike lane approaching the intersection, one where i did not have a stop sign. i had the right of way. to this day, i don’t know why the car went. did he not see me? did he not care? either way, he gunned it into the intersection. at this point i knew it was too late- i knew i didn’t have enough time to stop it. i felt my entire body realize what was about to happen.
i was conscious through the entire crash. i felt the collision… and then was just on the ground gasping for air. two pedestrians witnessed the accident, and were immediately at my side. now that i think about it, I’m not sure if the man who hit me would have stayed if they were not there, and for that i am incredibly thankful.
and i was angry. i knew i was hurt, but i didn’t know what was hurt. a passenger- a woman- got out of the car and asked if i was ok. i could feel my anger boiling inside my chest… but i couldn’t yell at her, but oh boy did i try. the police were called, along with my family. we didn’t know what was wrong until after i got to the hospital and had multiple x-rays and mri’s. i had 6 broken ribs and a punctured lung… and a broken spirit.
i knew it the first time i heard it, but it took me much longer to accept it. i would not recover in time. this accident was too big. it took weeks- no months- of recovery to realize what this setback really was. it took weeks of me sitting at my desk making jewelry during that recovery time to see clearly where my path was shifting. and this is how it started- with 6 broken ribs, a pair of pliers, and a curious mind.
this practice, this work of making jewelry, became my silver lining. it was the only thing that kept me from going mad from the pile of broken dreams that was my life at that time. that silver lining lit the way for me- it shone down on my detoured path directing me when i did not know where to go. and i simply followed it- i followed it here to today, a day where i can showcase my work to the world- confident and proud of what I have trained for, what i have built, and what i made out of the smallest silver linings shining through the broken cracks of a road under construction.