Two weekends ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Intense Intestines Foundation 3rd annual rock climb event!  I was both nervous and excited about the trip, but lets me honestly, I was mostly just excited!
I had never flown with my TPN before and was extremely anxious about it, but thankfully almost everything went smoothly and I made it to New York with all my medical supplies (I am going to write a post later about traveling with TPN).  I could not believe it that security did not even ask me about my TPN, and when I set off the metal detector, as soon as I flashed my port, the attendant said, “You go ahead girl, I’m not touching that!”  Let’s just say, security was a breeze!
Being the realist that I normal am, I did not anticipate being able to Climb at the event, as I have been sick for so long and lost so much muscle.  However, once I got there, I had to at least give it a try, I mean after all, I am a Type A competitive perfectionist.   Therefor, I got all harnessed up, and got ready to dumb.
I stood at the bottom of the wall hand sweaty and breaths coming in short bursts.
“Climb” Pierre says
“Climb on” I respond, and I reach for the my first hand holds.
Much to my surprise, I flew up the wall.   I think I climbed it in about 1 minute, and held my breath the entire way, Because as I was being lowered, I realized I was running desperately low on oxygen.  As my feet hit the ground, a huge smile exploded across my sweaty face and I felt an overwhelming sense of pride.  Despite my limited physical capabilities and the fact that I have a port, I had climbed the wall, like a genuine Spider-Man, or as those who are politically correct would put it….I climbed that wall like a genuine spider-person!
I then took a much needed break, catching my breath and basking in my accomplishment. I was so proud of myself until Pierre brought me back down to size and pointed to a much harder wall and said, “now this one.”  I was sure I couldn’t do it, but I gave it a try.  I was right, I didn’t make it to the top, but I did learn something.  I learned that the more energy I spend thinking I can’t do it, the less energy I have to actually do it.
Pierre then spent some time teaching me basic climbing techniques. He sent me up one more wall, which I crushed, and then has me try the same wall I couldn’t get up before, again.  I got to the same spot, and reached up to the ledge, and slipped.  Pierre held me there for a minute, I tried again.  This time I came closer, but still slipped.  On the third try, I made it over the ledge, and to the top.  I was sweaty, shaking and out of breath, but from my point of view, I was on top of the world.
I had climbed the wall I thought I couldn’t climb.  I had pushed myself physically to do something I thought was impossible, I had made another small victory over my disease.
Rock climbing isn’t easy, but I’m thinking about continuing, because it gives me the chance to beat my crohns time and time again.  It give me the opportunity to prove, yes I can, and I WILL continue to do the things I think aren’t possible.  Yes I will conquer my crohns one day at a time as I learn to overcome every new challenge and yes I will never stop fighting in my not so normal life!


Overcoming my Crohns by reaching the top of the Wall!


Sarah Brocker

Hi my name is Sarah Brocker and I have Crohn's Disease. I've got 8 scars and am missing two feet of intestines and my life isn't normal, but whose life is normal? I want to use my experiences to help you, even if it means sharing embarrassing experiences. I am also looking to break the stigmas associated with IBD in order to make living with IBD just a little bit easier. All I want to do is help, so please, let ME help YOU!

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *