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Episode 209 – Making Friends with Stillness, Boredom and Courage with Suzanne Boots Knighton
Episode 20929th September 2022 • The Jackson Hole Connection • Stephan C. Abrams
00:00:00 00:50:58

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Suzanne Boots Knighton is an author, ski instructor, educator, aspiring rollerblader, survivor and a friend. In this episode, Boots and Stephan talk about overcoming tragedy, listening to your body, and looking for the magic and joy in the world.  

Boots was inducted into the Heart Warrior club on January 15, 2021, via open-heart surgery for unroofing for a rare congenital heart defect - myocardial bridging. She continues to monitor her other defects which include a bicuspid valve and tortuous arteries. All of this came to light while on a mountain bike ride on in 2020 when she experienced heart attack symptoms at age 42. Thanks to all of this, Boots has been given a priceless perspective on life and wants to spread the gifts of that awareness and joy in knowing we aren't born perfectly, and that life can still be kick-ass despite imperfect hearts or whatever didn't quite pan out for us in utero. She is working on her first of three books and publishes weekly on her Substack, Joyful Beat

Connect with Boots on Instagram @boots.knighton

Photograph by Lara Agnew

This week’s episode is sponsored in part by Teton County Solid Waste and Recycling is reminding residents and small businesses that the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is open on select days, through the end of October, by appointment only. To safely and responsibly dispose of household chemicals or other substances that pose a danger to our environment, visit tetoncountywy.gov/recycle to schedule your appointment today! More at @RoadToZeroWaste.JH

Support also comes from Compass Real Estate, the region's largest and most dynamic real estate company in the valley. For more information and to view current listings visit COMPASS.com or at @compassjacksonhole

Want to be a guest on The Jackson Hole Connection? Email us at connect@thejacksonholeconnection.com. Marketing and editing support by Michael Moeri (michaelmoeri.com,@thatsamoeri)

Transcripts

Stephan Abrams:

You are tuned into the Jackson hole, connection, sharing, fascinating stories of people connected to Jackson Hole.

Stephan Abrams:

I am truly grateful for each of you for tuning in today and support for this podcast comes from:

Stephan Abrams:

Reading and learning is very important to me.

Stephan Abrams:

It's so important.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm running for Teton County School Board.

Stephan Abrams:

So please, when you get out there and vote mark Stephan Abrams for Teton County School Board.

Stephan Abrams:

And what do I take away from reading and constantly learning quotes.

Stephan Abrams:

And I'm gonna share a quote with you today, which is, Inner stillness is the key to alter.

Stephan Abrams:

From Jared Brock, and today you are listening to episode number 209.

Stephan Abrams:

My guest today is a long time, Dear friend, Suzanne Boots Knighton.

Stephan Abrams:

Suzanne now goes by Boots.

Stephan Abrams:

You'll hear me call her Suzanne cuz she's Suzanne to me.

Stephan Abrams:

Suzanne is going to share with us what the past few years have been for her.

Stephan Abrams:

Everybody has a different experience in life.

Stephan Abrams:

Everyone has a different story, and I'm honored and delighted that Suzanne has taken the time to share with me and you what life has been like for her.

Stephan Abrams:

And I'm gonna pull a little segment out real quick because what she said is, she had to make friends with stillness, boredom, and courage.

Stephan Abrams:

She's gonna tell you all about it.

Stephan Abrams:

there are some parts of Suzanne's life that she didn't have a chance to share with us on the podcast.

Stephan Abrams:

So hopefully in the future, Suzanne and I will reconnect again, on the podcast.

Stephan Abrams:

We're definitely gonna reconnect and reignite our friendship.

Stephan Abrams:

But she is an author.

Stephan Abrams:

She's looking to publish a book, and also she's gotten into rollerblading.

Stephan Abrams:

And that's helping her do the rehab that she needs to do to reach the health goals where she wants to be and to just be free.

Stephan Abrams:

I, I know you're gonna love listening to Suzanne.

Stephan Abrams:

She'll inspire you, and I'm gonna turn it over to her now because it's Suzanne's story.

Stephan Abrams:

And thank you all for tuning.

Stephan Abrams:

Welcome to the Jackson Hole connection.

Stephan Abrams:

To have you sit down and speak with me today is joyful and.

Stephan Abrams:

This is making my day and my week right now, so thank you.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you.

Stephan Abrams:

Same.

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

There, there could be some tears here, Suzanne, cuz it's been so many years that you and I have actually spoken and we've known each other for so many years.

Stephan Abrams:

but this is not about me.

Stephan Abrams:

This is about you.

Stephan Abrams:

This is you being able to tell your story and, we all moved here when we were so young and I'd love for you to share with people.

Stephan Abrams:

where did you grow up and, well, let's say where were you raised?

Stephan Abrams:

Because growing up is a whole nother conversation.

Stephan Abrams:

, Suzanne Boots Knighton: Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

Just recently grown up and I'm You did.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm

Stephan Abrams:

still working.

Stephan Abrams:

, I'm still working on it.

Stephan Abrams:

How'd you land out here?

Stephan Abrams:

How'd you

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

make it?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Well, thanks to National Outdoor Leadership School, Nols.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I signed up for a backpacking trip when I was 19.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

so I'm from North Carolina, that's where I was raised and on the coast.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I signed up for this 28 day backpacking trip, Wyoming in the Wind River range.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I had never hiked, I had never camped.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And this Southern Bell at the time, I was very Southern Bell.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I showed up to Lander, Wyoming at 19 for this 28 day trip.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And it obviously, like most Noles people would say, most Noles participants would say, I mean, it transformed me, thank goodness.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and I.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Kept seeing the Tetons from afar once we crossed over the continental divide and I was like, I need to go see that place.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so I went back and kept participating in college and just kept thinking about out west and being outside.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so I took a semester off and came to Jackson, intending to only stay for a few weeks cuz I had signed up for a semester course.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But I ended up kind of chickening out.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I actually just worked on the tea, were not lift in 1999, and was like one of the first female lifters at the resort.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Still kind of southern bell, but was starting to, you know, get a little rough around the edges, an appropriate amount.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and, you know, I had to go back and finish college, because my parents would've disowned me, um, at the time, and I mean, I would have anyway.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

but I went back and finished college and then, after some short travel, I wound back up here in 2001, May of 2001.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And actually my first job was with the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance as, an education outreach intern.

Stephan Abrams:

Woo.

Stephan Abrams:

Good.

Stephan Abrams:

Oh, I'm glad that you finished college.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Yeah, we all are.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I mean, you know, and I would go on to get a master's degree after that because that was, you know, the assumed trajectory for me.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

you know, but I did it online years later when that became acceptable.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I, cuz I never wanted to leave.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like I knew and, you know, as I was hitchhiking in the winter of 1999 to get to my lift operation, job , that I was meant to be here.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, I loved the intensity, I loved the extreme of the weather.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and at the time, it was small, Right.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

We knew everyone.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And this is hilarious.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I remember all of us at the village that were not ski school at the time, you know, I was lift operations, ops, you know, I, all of us fit into one locker room under the tram.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I loved that.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I loved the community.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I loved the, the warmth, but also kind of like the cowboy mentality cuz the southern lifestyle, I love it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I love going back and visiting and it just was not for me.

Stephan Abrams:

I understand now you've described that locker room, the size and the community very well.

Stephan Abrams:

Can you describe the smell

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Oh, yes.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Actually, you know, it's funny.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Reed Finley did an article on me several years ago for the Jackson Hole magazine, because he remembered me from 99 Uhhuh.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I mean, I must have been pretty impressionable.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I mean, I was 20 years old and well, you're like

Stephan Abrams:

four foot eight,

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

of course you stand up four more inches.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I'm five feet.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Oh.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I just, you know what, I got remeasured this summer Uhhuh, at the Mayo Clinic, and they actually gave me three fourths more of an inch.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I'm five feet in and free force, but.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So

Stephan Abrams:

should everybody go get heart surgery to grow

Stephan Abrams:

? Suzanne Boots Knighton: I, I've grown in so many ways.

Stephan Abrams:

Okay.

Stephan Abrams:

But yes, yes.

Stephan Abrams:

Reed and I laughed about how smelly the locker room was.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, and then I, you know, I eventually, I landed in ski school in 2001, December, 2001, and that was a separate locker room.

Stephan Abrams:

And at the time they all, we all fit into one locker room, and now there's three, and people are still sharing lockers or just not having a locker at all.

Stephan Abrams:

I mean, it's like there were the employee, the number of employees now compared to then, like mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

we could have all of our own zip codes, each of their own departments at the village compared to when I first came on the scene in 99.

Stephan Abrams:

Well, everything changes.

Stephan Abrams:

Yes.

Stephan Abrams:

With, with time.

Stephan Abrams:

Yes.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Thankfully.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And in some ways right?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's like, and,

Stephan Abrams:

and yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

And, and so now I, I'm calling you Suzanne, and you know, now, Most people who meet you now know you as Boots, and that is your given middle name.

Stephan Abrams:

Correct.

Stephan Abrams:

Tell folks the history behind you having a middle name Boots.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Well, four generations back.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I am named Der Footwear, but the woman I am so honored to be named after, her name, her nickname was Boots, and then she was nicknamed after her grandfather.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

so sorry, two generations back.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

She was nicknamed after her grandfather who always wore a pair of boots and he even slept in them.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so they nicknamed him boots and he was apparently such a standup guy and they wanted to continue his name.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So then they nicknamed Boots, Boots, and then now I'm Boots.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you know, it's interesting, she died at 96 of a heart attack and as she's dying of a heart attack, I mean, this is how amazing this woman was.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

As she's dying of a heart attack, she's saying, Oh, I hurt, but I want to thank all of you for being here.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like, as she's surrounded by medical, per, you know, personnel.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And she was like, she just went into, you know, the next realm, whatever that is, with like so much grace, no fear.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

She just was this amazing angel who walked among us.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And for years I did not feel like I was deserving of her name.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and I didn't really start asking people to call me boots until, 2019 ish.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

That's when I really felt like, you know, I, I feel like this is okay now.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And it was definitely a transition.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

None of my family calls me boots.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

my husband doesn't call me boots.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You don't, A few others don't, and that's fine, you know, But it's like, for me, I've just transformed so much, in the past few years, and then particularly through this heart surgery, that heart surgeries that, I to be called Suzanne now.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like, it doesn't bother me, but like, it just doesn't even, it doesn't resonate either.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And like, it's amazing how much, like I'm in awe how much I have transformed mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and I feel like.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Going by, you know, such an honorable name.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

is is just my way of expressing my transformation.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

If like, people don't have time to like, understand or read or hear about the story, it's like, Hey, I used to be by my first name, but now it's boots.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, Stephan Abrams: do you wanna share what happened in 2019 that, had you feel that you now were worthy to be called Boots?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, I think it was, it was like kind of over time.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

you know, we all kind of have our own dark nights of the soul, right?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like, and if you don't, then I don't really think you're paying attention.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, like I'm not afraid of suffering and I'm not afraid of feeling.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Less than joyful all the time.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, I, like, I look for the lessons, I dive into the discomfort and I'm like, Okay, what is this trying to teach me?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I mean, really the transformation really began in 2014 when my best friend was murdered.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you know, in all fairness, I don't think a lot of people could say that they have coping skills for, you know, to lose someone so close to them in a violent way.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But I really did it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so like I had to like really work at, being able to cope with, first of all her death, you know, But then how she died and.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

That's kind of what started the process.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

but then in 20, in January, 2018, I hit my head, while teaching skiing.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, you know, I was just saying to my physical therapist the other day, Hayden Hki of p PT and Kilter.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I am so glad that happened.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and that's probably like a whole separate podcast, , but it, it, to hit your head is such an opportunity.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's like, it is the most horrendous thing and it hurts.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, you know, it depends on how hard you hit your head.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But like, I hit my head really hard, and I, within the first month, I, I was able to have enough awareness to think to myself, I have an opportunity here to either be really depressed.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And hate my life and hate, you know, that I can't do anything, or I can just like really dive into the muck and rebuild my life in a really beautiful way.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so it took a while.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so then by 2019, you know, I started to really kind of come around.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I had to go through a lot of grieving of lost time, lost memory, lost abilities.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I had to relearn how to ski.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I even had to relearn how to put glasses in my cabinet without losing, like I broke so many glasses cuz I couldn't see well enough.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I mean, the whole story is bananas.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But the point is, it's like I either could have let that tear me down and destroy me, or d try to make the most awesome outcome possible from the situation.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Very brave.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

. I had some dark days.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Brain injury is not for sissies, you know?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, you know, thank goodness I was in that locker room in 1999 where they kind of started to rough me up a little.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

. But yeah, I, like I said, I, I wouldn't change any of it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, even on my darkest days, I, I would not change any of it.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you for sharing.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

. And in your, your bio that you wrote for me, you talked about your life changing event and some things that you're doing now, you're now writing.

Stephan Abrams:

As well, you're looking for a publisher, is that right?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Yep.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Okay.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And an Agent

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

. Stephan Abrams: And an Agent

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I'll see if I know of anybody.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Yeah.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Anyone listening to this podcast?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Reach out.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Have your people call my

Stephan Abrams:

people.

Stephan Abrams:

But I know some people that have done self-published as well, and yeah, they liked going that route also, I do know somebody who's written a book and I'll put you in touch with him, and he is from South Carolina and his name is Ed Brer.

Stephan Abrams:

And varied your friend, and I think you and Ed would connect quite well together and he might be able to share some, insights for what it was like for him to write a book and going published and having an agent as well.

Stephan Abrams:

Cool.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you.

Stephan Abrams:

but I, I do want you to share with us.

Stephan Abrams:

What your life changing and I don't think it was an event.

Stephan Abrams:

It was events.

Stephan Abrams:

. Suzanne Boots Knighton: Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

so I still laugh and comfortably when I think about it cuz it's just been so literally epic.

Stephan Abrams:

Jason, my husband and I were mountain biking, June 24th, 2020 in the big holes.

Stephan Abrams:

And I had not been feeling well for 24 hours.

Stephan Abrams:

the night before actually, we were out on a stroll of Moose Creek and I started to feel crushing chest pain and my left arm was killing me.

Stephan Abrams:

I was super nauseous and we were actually out just walking off some stress because I am not kidding on like, almost the same exact day both our moms had been diagnosed with cancer.

Stephan Abrams:

And my car engine blew up.

Stephan Abrams:

I mean, it was like the red, most ridiculous week we were having.

Stephan Abrams:

And, well, people we love were having, and it, we were feeling, you know, fear about our moms.

Stephan Abrams:

so we're out, you know, walking and I don't say anything to him now.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm a wilderness first responder, and so is he . So, but as I'm walking and I'm feeling all these symptoms, I'm like, this feels like a heart attack.

Stephan Abrams:

There's no way.

Stephan Abrams:

This is a heart attack.

Stephan Abrams:

This has gotta be stress.

Stephan Abrams:

And so I don't say anything.

Stephan Abrams:

We finish our stroll.

Stephan Abrams:

I lay down that night for bed and it kind of goes away.

Stephan Abrams:

So I'm like, Yes, just stress.

Stephan Abrams:

No big deal.

Stephan Abrams:

And so then, the next day we're out in a mountain bike ride and all the symptoms come back, but this time.

Stephan Abrams:

Really severe and we're starting to kind of approach the top of the, ride we're on.

Stephan Abrams:

And Jason's like, What is wrong with you?

Stephan Abrams:

Like, I'm like pushing my bike, you know, I'm white and but sweating and you know, I was like, I think I'm having heart attack symptoms.

Stephan Abrams:

He's like, What?

Stephan Abrams:

And like, we're almost to the top.

Stephan Abrams:

And he, I'm like, But I'm sure it's stress.

Stephan Abrams:

And he's like, We need to like go to the hospital.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was like, Well, we're almost to the downhill.

Stephan Abrams:

Let's go ride the downhill . And I'm like totally talking myself out of this because at the time I was 42 and really in the best shape of my life.

Stephan Abrams:

Had really kind of finally put my brain injury behind me.

Stephan Abrams:

so I was just like, there's no effing way.

Stephan Abrams:

this is happening.

Stephan Abrams:

Okay.

Stephan Abrams:

So we get home, I, I enjoy the downhill.

Stephan Abrams:

We get home.

Stephan Abrams:

My arm is still killing me.

Stephan Abrams:

It is like the classic female heart attack.

Stephan Abrams:

I cook a dinner, I take a shower.

Stephan Abrams:

Jason is like, we're call the doctor.

Stephan Abrams:

We have a doctor friend we can call.

Stephan Abrams:

And he's like, get to the hospital.

Stephan Abrams:

So by the time we got to the hospital, they couldn't find the heart attack, thank goodness.

Stephan Abrams:

And you know, they're like, But something's up.

Stephan Abrams:

You should see a cardiologist.

Stephan Abrams:

And so I, I do follow up with a local cardiologist and he's like, You know, this is probably just stress.

Stephan Abrams:

And at the time I, we had planned to go up Bo a peak with a couple of friends and I was like, Well, can I go still climb Mount Bora, you know, which is the highest peak in Idaho?

Stephan Abrams:

And he's like, Yeah, you'll be fine.

Stephan Abrams:

Nice

Stephan Abrams:

I am so not listening to my body.

Stephan Abrams:

Okay?

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

. And this is what I want to tell people.

Stephan Abrams:

Like here I am trained.

Stephan Abrams:

I've actually been through two wilderness first responder forces, and I'm educated and I am like telling my body to F off, basically.

Stephan Abrams:

Right?

Stephan Abrams:

Like, I am gonna ride my bike.

Stephan Abrams:

I am gonna go climb this peak.

Stephan Abrams:

Okay.

Stephan Abrams:

Complete.

Stephan Abrams:

So yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

So I go climb Bora and I feel.

Stephan Abrams:

Just complete poop going up.

Stephan Abrams:

Like my hands and feet are tingling, my chest is killing me.

Stephan Abrams:

I summit the thing, which is just astonishing.

Stephan Abrams:

I didn't die because the congenital defect.

Stephan Abrams:

I later find out I have most athletes end up dying from it because they don't listen to the warning signs.

Stephan Abrams:

And then they dropped dead of a heart attack.

Stephan Abrams:

And I remember on the way up, I'm we're climbing with our friends, Greg and Sue and I, I had to keep laying flat because my feet were swelling so much and my hands were swelling so much.

Stephan Abrams:

And remember I did not turn around.

Stephan Abrams:

I summit it and he's.

Stephan Abrams:

Gosh, Suze, you know, he's like, Why are you, He's like, Don't blow up and have like a coronary honest.

Stephan Abrams:

And he did not know what was going on, but he could sense that like I wasn't myself.

Stephan Abrams:

And I just kept telling myself on the way up, This is just stress.

Stephan Abrams:

This is just stress.

Stephan Abrams:

Cuz my mom's cancer, like Jason's mom is great.

Stephan Abrams:

She's, she's on the other side and doing great.

Stephan Abrams:

Unfortunately my mom has passed on and, AKA died and, I just, you know, her cancer, it was just not good news.

Stephan Abrams:

And so here's how I knew I was in deep, deep due due to, on the, the moment we turned around on the summit, started coming back down once, I was not taxing my heart anymore.

Stephan Abrams:

All the symptoms went away.

Stephan Abrams:

Hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was like, I, I am in trouble.

Stephan Abrams:

So we get back down.

Stephan Abrams:

The hilarious piece is at the time.

Stephan Abrams:

Okay, so then I'm worried about my Strava time.

Stephan Abrams:

I mean, I, I, I say all this now and I'm like, Who the heck was I back then?

Stephan Abrams:

And I was like, ninth fastest of all time up of, for women up Bo peak of women who've been like, you know, using Strava or whatever.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was like, Woo.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, Strava times they mean something, right?

Stephan Abrams:

They like determine who you are as a person.

Stephan Abrams:

Hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

Of course I don't believe that now, but like, I think about all the people who like really like put their self worth and their Strava mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

times and it's just, I didn't know that was a thing.

Stephan Abrams:

Oh, I, you know, that's why we're friends.

Stephan Abrams:

So anyway, i, Well then maybe I am fine if I'm that fast going up.

Stephan Abrams:

I Idaho's tallest peak and then the symptoms really hit and I called the doctor immediately the next day and I'm like, I am, I'm going to die.

Stephan Abrams:

And that's when he started like doing all the testing and he first did, He's like, Well, we're gonna start looking for all the things that you know, I'm worried about and you better hope I don't find any of 'em.

Stephan Abrams:

He ended up finding all of them.

Stephan Abrams:

Oh, wow.

Stephan Abrams:

So I had a bicuspid valve, which is, So your aortic valve should have three cusps and when they open and close, only step and can see my fingers right now, but when they open and close it, she would look like a Mercedes sign.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

tracing a Mercedes sign.

Stephan Abrams:

So mine only had two cusp.

Stephan Abrams:

And then, the other, issue was at the time the, cardiac MRI showed that my, all my coronary arteries were hypoplastic, meaning they were too small.

Stephan Abrams:

according to that radiologist, I've had other testing since then that has, you know, all, all the cardiologists I've talked to said, you know, actually given my size, that's okay.

Stephan Abrams:

but, you know, it was like scary when I first heard that.

Stephan Abrams:

And then the other big thing was myocardial bridging.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was like, What is that?

Stephan Abrams:

And it's where your coronary arteries can get trapped in your heart muscle while you're forming a utero.

Stephan Abrams:

And so, we don't want any, think about it.

Stephan Abrams:

Like you don't want any of your coronary arteries getting squeezed with every heartbeat.

Stephan Abrams:

Cause what that does is it cuts off the blood flow to the heart, into the body.

Stephan Abrams:

And my main artery, the l a d, which a lot of people refer to as like the widow maker artery, it was tunneled and it actually had tunneled all the way into the, to the ventricle.

Stephan Abrams:

And for quite a distance it was over a couple of inches.

Stephan Abrams:

and then, excuse me, nine inches, centimeters.

Stephan Abrams:

And then the same for the artery that goes to the back of the heart, the lcx.

Stephan Abrams:

And so a significant amount of my arteries were being squeezed.

Stephan Abrams:

And so what happens, what I've learned with myocardial bridging is eventually, The arteries just give out.

Stephan Abrams:

And so, that's what happened with me.

Stephan Abrams:

My arteries were giving out and you know, I, I had like, the only way to fix this, it's an anatomical problem.

Stephan Abrams:

Like there's just not a medication to fix it.

Stephan Abrams:

there's not, like, you can't do a bypass, you can't put in stents.

Stephan Abrams:

Like you actually have to cut into the heart muscle.

Stephan Abrams:

And it's called un roofing, where you pull the arteries out of the heart muscle, and just lay them on top.

Stephan Abrams:

So there's like 12 surgeons in the United States now who like, are comfortable doing the surgery, or at least that was my last count around my surgery time.

Stephan Abrams:

My, open heart surgery time.

Stephan Abrams:

So, That was a lot to learn.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, It was like, here I am 42.

Stephan Abrams:

I thought that my brain injury was behind me.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, like I said, I was like doing so well.

Stephan Abrams:

But like when I looked back, actually I'd started to get more breathless.

Stephan Abrams:

I remember a, a mountain bike ride I tried to do with girlfriends at Mill Creek, a couple of weeks prior to the heart attack event.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

and I threw up like within the first five minutes of writing and I had to just go home.

Stephan Abrams:

I, and I was like, What is going on with me?

Stephan Abrams:

And I kept brain blaming my brain.

Stephan Abrams:

My poor brain got blamed for so much that it didn't deserve to get blamed for.

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

Because the other thing that happened, I passed out a few times.

Stephan Abrams:

I even passed out on the Marmon lift, this Mar Marmon ski lift.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

by myself.

Stephan Abrams:

I was, I was riding by myself.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank God I had the bar down.

Stephan Abrams:

And you know, I remember I had been skiing really hard with two girlfriends in the morning and started to feel funny.

Stephan Abrams:

This was a few months prior, obviously, in the winter.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was like, you know, I'm gonna ride by myself.

Stephan Abrams:

I just need some quiet time.

Stephan Abrams:

Get on the chair and I pass right out.

Stephan Abrams:

Wake up, didn't know where I was.

Stephan Abrams:

I didn't understand what I was doing on, you know, a chair in the sky.

Stephan Abrams:

Like it was crazy.

Stephan Abrams:

And like, come to find out, that was a warning sign.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm.

Stephan Abrams:

And I'm just so glad I didn't fall to my death.

Stephan Abrams:

. Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

but like if you look up Mycardial bridging and athletes, I mean, people are dying from this or they're having extreme symptoms like I did, and their only way of moving forward was to have an open heart surgery.

Stephan Abrams:

But the real fun part about all this was, this all happened during.

Stephan Abrams:

And remember, two moms have cancer and I need a new car.

Stephan Abrams:

and, and I laugh.

Stephan Abrams:

I, you know what, I, I laugh about this sometimes still, and I call it emotional farting because it's like, it is so, like nothing about this is funny.

Stephan Abrams:

And like, it was just so, it was so hard and stressful and lonely because people, we didn't have the vaccine, you know, we still didn't understand, you know, the virus very well.

Stephan Abrams:

So everyone was like, Get away.

Stephan Abrams:

Oh my God, you sneeze.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, like, and so it was like, okay, I have to do all this alone.

Stephan Abrams:

And I couldn't go see my mom.

Stephan Abrams:

We didn't have the best relationship anyway, but like, you know, it was just like still your mom.

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah, exactly.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, it was, it just sucked.

Stephan Abrams:

And so I find now that like, sometimes I just have to laugh and it's just like, I'm still kind of releasing the, the horrible energy of it.

Stephan Abrams:

So I just call it emotional farting.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

. So,

Stephan Abrams:

Whoa, that.

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

That's, that's a lot.

Stephan Abrams:

Suzanne.

Stephan Abrams:

I, I, I gotta take a break.

Stephan Abrams:

There's a lot to digest right here.

Stephan Abrams:

And we're gonna get a word from one of our sponsors and we're gonna come back.

Stephan Abrams:

welcome back, Suzanne.

Stephan Abrams:

We're talking about emotional parting

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Glad that's catching

Stephan Abrams:

on.

Stephan Abrams:

And, and I, I get what you're saying, even though everything that you experienced were living emotionally, psychologically, physically, it is really serious.

Stephan Abrams:

, but I understand why you want to laugh as well, is one, it's a relief, I would imagine.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

, but then two, you just can't Keep it all inside.

Stephan Abrams:

You gotta let it out somehow.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

and I'm, I know there's been the tears.

Stephan Abrams:

I know there's been plenty of tears.

Stephan Abrams:

No, no tears.

Stephan Abrams:

Not really.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Okay.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, that's, that's an interesting, thought you would think so, or assumption.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, you know, it, I just got to a point where Jason and I were actually just talking about this a couple of nights ago.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

cuz I just had my eighth surgery three days ago.

Stephan Abrams:

So you didn't have one open heart surgery.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I had one open heart surgery.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I've had complications since then, and then I've had other procedures, which I'll briefly explain in a minute.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I'm fine.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Really, it was no big deal.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I even drove myself to the hospital.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I didn't have anesthesia.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It was like when you hit number eight, it's like, let's just do this.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Right.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I have medical anxiety though.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, I definitely have medical anxiety, but at the same time I just put my big girl pants on and I deal, and I think that's what I did this whole time.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's like when things just get that difficult, I, I just didn't have the, bandwidth, or the energy to really respond in the way that you think I would have.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, I mean, I can't, you know, we, we don't know war here thankfully, you know, but like we were in a war, in a visible war with a virus, Right.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Which, you know, people had, you know, I remember people saying, I'm so worried about you getting covid and blah, blah, blah.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you know what's interesting?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I didn't give it a whole lot of thought.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And it's not that I was like, you know, there's not a virus or, you know, all, you know, all that early red rhetoric that we heard, I just didn't have the bandwidth.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I was like, I cannot even talk about Covid right now.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And it wasn't like I went out and like kissed everyone on the mouth and like, you know, I was careful, but like, I just didn't worry about it, you know, because there were literally bigger things in front of me.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I felt like I was dying most of the time.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I was almost out of time.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like my, the middle of my heart was not getting enough blood supply and I couldn't even wash my dishes.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And my mom had rectal cancer in South Carolina.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, it was like things were not okay, . And the craziest part was I had to, like, the amount of advocacy a person has to do for such a rare congenital heart defect is really ridiculous.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, you know, I, I ended up having to do my own research of all things.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Facebook helped.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I typed in myocardial bridge support group in Facebook and found that there was one, and that's where I learned that Stanford was the place to go.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I called them.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I had all my records sent.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Even though a cardiologist would, you know, was saying it's not appropriate.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I sent them anyway, and Stanford was like, You absolutely need to have UN roofing surgery.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, But here's the kicker, They didn't let me know.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Okay.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So the heart attack was June 20, or the heart attack, like symptoms where June 24th, 2020.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I didn't get word from Stanford until towards the end of September that they would help me and they couldn't get me in until mid-December.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I had to wait until December.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I, by then, I couldn't work.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I couldn't cook, I couldn't clean the house, I couldn't walk my driveway.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I had to sit until December until I could get help.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so I sat.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I was like, I learned to watercolor.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I think of my friend Reva, who gave me a set of water watercolor paints.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I taught myself that I journaled and I also just made friends with boredom and stillness.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I, I worked a lot with my therapist, on, you know, we did a lot of emdr, which I so recommend, for, you know, prepping for open heart surgery.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I did a lot of visualization of the surgery and of just traveling to Stanford, which is, you know, out in California.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, it was, it was unreal.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It really was.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

To just be stopped so dead in my tracks and to have, my whole identity ripped apart because the brain injury did that.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And then I got knit back together.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And then, this heart situation to think I was born okay.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And oh no, I'm not okay.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Oh, and there's more than one thing wrong.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

We can only fix this one thing.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And then, you know, this other thing, the bicuspid valve, you're gonna have to keep watching for that too.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It was just like so much, Oh, and your mom has rectal cancer.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It was like, you know, I had no choice but to like evolve and to lean in to the discomfort and to just continue to, to like learn new ways to cope.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

. And so we got to Stanford.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Of course, I'm like in a wheelchair.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

By then, Jason's like pushing me through, you know, the airports in a wheelchair.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

We arrive in this San Francisco airport, which was like bananas for us.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And we go through all the testing and they're like, You, this is a very severe myocardial bridge.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like, no wonder you feel so bad.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you know, surgery is scheduled for next week, but we're not sure you can do it because we're running outta ICU beds because of Covid.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so here I've had this carrot dangled in front of me of like, I'm, my life is gonna be saved.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

We're flying to Stanford.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, I was gonna have to be there for three weeks.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It was like such a process.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And then my surgery got canceled last minute because of co covid and all their ICU beds were full.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I had to fly back home.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

With no surgery date.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I was so outta hope.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I get on Facebook while we're on our way to the airport in the cab, and I type into the myocardial bridge support group site.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know what had happened, You know, I'm not, I wasn't sure I was gonna survive because they're like, maybe March, maybe April.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I was like, I won't live.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like, there's just no way.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like my heart was like done.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you know, at the time when I was at Stanford, they did a heart cath on me, which is where they go through your wrist and they test the heart and they on purpose, stressed my heart.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

To see how much, of the, like as the heartbeat, how much of the l a d and the lcx were squeezed.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And almost a hundred percent of the blood supply was being cut off with every, when my heart was stressed.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Which explains why even just the simple act of washing my dishes was just not even possible anymore.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

. And so, I, I type into the Facebook support group help.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I need a surgeon.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Does anyone know of anyone who would be willing to do it soon?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And by God if there wasn't someone down in Salt Lake at Intermountain hiding in plain sight this whole time who had trained at Mayo.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so I call like, all this happens on Facebook, which is just amazing when you think about it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

while I'm in a, a cab to the airport.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And

Stephan Abrams:

good part about

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Facebook.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Exactly.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It can be a tool, Right.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like it can be a very helpful tool.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and so, I get the phone number, like this woman who's now my heart buddy, we're like buddies now.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

She messages me, says, Call this guy.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I just had surgery five days ago.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I mean, I cannot believe my fortune, my good fortune.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so, I call the office and they're like, We're so sorry to hear this.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

We'll call Stanford right now and get the records transferred by the, I had a direct, we had a direct flight from San, from San Francisco to Jackson.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

By the time I landed in Jackson, all the records had been transferred.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

The surgeon had reviewed everything and had set up, a phone call for January the fifth.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and then I had surgery January 15th for un roofing of the myocardio bridging

Stephan Abrams:

It's quick and the, And the sche of things.

Stephan Abrams:

And the schema things.

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

When you look at, Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

How long you had been waiting.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

. Suzanne Boots Knighton: Yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

But you know, that experience, you know, and then my mom would die nine weeks later after my open heart surgery.

Stephan Abrams:

Hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm sorry.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, it was, it was just a time.

Stephan Abrams:

Right.

Stephan Abrams:

And it's like, we have two choices in, in a situation like that.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, we can be victims or we can be like, okay, like I'm gonna allow this to shift my perspective.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was listening to this other woman this morning talking about like, you know, you hold a kaleidoscope up to your eyes and it has all these beautiful colors, but if you rotate it a little bit, it changes.

Stephan Abrams:

And that's what I feel like this whole experience has done for me.

Stephan Abrams:

You know, like if we wanna like zoom all the way back to 2014 when Karen was murdered, my best friend.

Stephan Abrams:

That's when the kaleidoscope started to shift.

Stephan Abrams:

And I was kind of slow at first on like, you know, leaning into this evolution of self.

Stephan Abrams:

And then when my, when I hit my head, like actually my vision did literally change.

Stephan Abrams:

And, and then also reshaped how I saw the world.

Stephan Abrams:

But then to literally have my chest cut open, my heart cut into, and I remember, you know, I went in in a wheelchair and after my surgery, after I got over, my recovery in the ICU was pretty brutal.

Stephan Abrams:

but once I got over the first 24 hours, you know, when it was time to move to my PCU room, I walked.

Stephan Abrams:

Wow.

Stephan Abrams:

And I remember how I was, I said to Jason and the doctors and the nurses, I said, I remember, I was like, I have a whole new lease on life.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm not gonna die anymore.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm gonna live.

Stephan Abrams:

That's beautiful.

Stephan Abrams:

That's beautiful.

Stephan Abrams:

So you walked, you knew at that point you're gonna live, and now you have gone through this.

Stephan Abrams:

Long journey and, and you said it so well, you became bud's, friends with stillness and boredom and courage and, and courage.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

. And so what brings you joy now, Suzanne?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

so much.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

the moments, I'm not in pain.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

so real quickly, you know, I, I would need another surgery.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It wasn't on my heart.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

My heart was doing great.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

but when, after when you have open heart surgery, the way to like cast the chest is to actually.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Basically wrap or push wires through your sternum, through your ribcage.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so I had seven wires and it took a long time for the swelling to go down.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

but by June, the wires were pushing through my starting to push through my skin, and usually people keep the wires in for the rest of their life.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

That's the hope.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But I, I'm just too petite, and too sensitive, to have that much, to have wires poking through my skin.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I'd have a wire removal surgery, which was pretty intense, because the bone had already adhered to the wires.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so my recovery from that was a little rough.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And then for the rest of that summer, by then I was pretty deeply grieving my mom's death.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

but I was also having a lot of physical pain.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I fi, I checked in with my surgeon in August.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

He's like, We should do another CT scan.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And to our dismay, he had left a wire behind.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It had broken off in my sternum.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And not only that, the top of my breast bone had not knit together correctly.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I had something called a non-union.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I needed a titanium plate.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So I had to have a third surgery.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I will tell you, you know, dealing with a medical professional who has made a mistake, taught me a lot.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you asked what brings me joy and.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I, I think what brings me joy is assuming the best, like making the active choice in assuming the best of others and looking for the good in others, and looking for the magic in the world and the joy in the world.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Because the most amazing thing happened with my surgeon, who I would recommend 10 times over, even though he left a wire behind, like he handled it with such grace and care.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

There was no ego.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And it's because I didn't run it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like, I didn't call him yelling.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I, I, I just said, you know, let's figure this out.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, like, I'm not firing you.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You, you made a mistake.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And he's like, Wow, you're not gonna sue me.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And no, like, like we, you know, that's the biggest thing.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's like we have a choice every time we interact with someone or you know, our thinking.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's like we could either go in assuming the worst, like I could have sued him.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I actually, I, and I probably would've won money, you know, like, but who cares?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Because the thing is like, if I had gone that route, it would not have helped my healing.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It would've affected how he did his surgeries.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I chose the higher road.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And you know what?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

We still keep in touch.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And yes, the third surgery was free , as was the hotel.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and that was what he wanted to do for me.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, and it was great.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And so what brings me joy now is like, first of all, I know I can do hard things.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

That like the hardest things in life don't have to be that bad.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

When Jason and I walked away from the hospital, from my open heart surgery, we actually both looked at each other at the same time and said That actually really wasn't that bad.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And it actually really wasn't.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Now what I choose to do it again, well, my bicuspid valve, I may have to have another open heart surgery, but nothing scheduled is looking great right now.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But we have a choice in how much energy we give something and what we assume about it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, I was thinking earlier today, I.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Picking up my dog's poop.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I've got two cattle dogs and they're the joy of our lives.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I was out in the yard actually looking for their poop.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I was thinking, you know, like, Oh, it's just so gra, you know, satisfying to like go around, pick up their poop, throw it in the woods, and, and how happy I am to have them in my life.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, I wasn't like, ah, I have to pick up their poop.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's so smelly and gross.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

It's like, no, this is, sure it's smelly, but like, I'm so thankful for my dogs.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

They get, bring me so much joy.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I was like, looking for their poop.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But I was thinking, you know, people go out and they look for the bad things and they're gonna find the bad things, or they're gonna go look for the good things and you're probably gonna find the good things, right?

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So like, I went to Facebook, I need a surgeon.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I went to social media , which you know, has habital and all kinds of horrible things.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

But I had a purpose, I had an intent, and I got it.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And my life was saved.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I'm very grateful for that.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Me too.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I don't think people realize how powerful we are as humans.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Like we create our lives and we can either create poopy, crappy lives mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

, you know, full of heart attacks and bad things, or we can like, make the most of something and create amazing lives.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So true.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And that's what I'm about now.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, it's like, and that's what I wanna help people about through my writing.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

and, you know, doing things like this, Like I, I would love to do more podcasts.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, like there's just so much amazing stuff to talk about.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

There's so many cool things happening, you know, but yet people are just looking for the poop.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Mm-hmm.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

. Stephan Abrams: Yeah.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

So true.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Suzanne, we could do a few volumes of interviews with you and, and talk.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I know you and I, have always been good conversationalists around each other.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, I think what you, I know that what you have shared today, there's gonna be people that want to connect with you just to be inspired by you and energized.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

how can they best connect with Boots Night and.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

you're welcome to email me, Boots in Sea State as a North Carolina State Gmail, Go Wolf Pack, Instagram boots dot night 10.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

those are probably the best two ways, and I, I would love to help others.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You know, like you don't have to go through a hard medical thing alone.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And I think that's the biggest trap any of us could fall into.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

And, you know, that, you know, I was in originally and it didn't help.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

it only like exacerbated my suffering.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

someone has likely gone through something before you who has wisdom, lean on them.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

I think the biggest thing is you have to be, be willing to ask for help.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

You have to be vulnerable.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm, I'm gonna end on that one piece and, and I so appreciate you sharing that, sharing it and what that piece is.

Stephan Abrams:

You have to be vulnerable.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

. And when we as individuals, when we as people can strip away the bravado and realize that to be vulnerable means that we're human, our lives are gonna be so different.

Stephan Abrams:

Yep.

Stephan Abrams:

In, in a better way,

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

in a more meaningful way.

Stephan Abrams:

So meaningful.

Stephan Abrams:

Mm-hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

, without a doubt you said it.

Stephan Abrams:

But a wonderful way to end this conversation today, Suzanne.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm making a promise to you on this podcast that it will not be several years before you and I connect and see each other and talk to each other again.

Stephan Abrams:

I will not.

Stephan Abrams:

I love you, Stephan.

Stephan Abrams:

I love you.

Stephan Abrams:

It is the joy of my life to have friends like you.

Stephan Abrams:

Hmm.

Stephan Abrams:

And I just wish that more people, I hope that more people have friends like you and that they have friendships like we have together.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you, Suzanne, for your time, and thank you for your, for your life, and thanks being here to continue inspiring others.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Yeah.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Y'all have a good weekend.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Thanks, Stephan.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Thank you.

Suzanne Boots Knighton:

Bye.

Stephan Abrams:

To learn more about Suzanne Boots Knighton, and her journey about suffering, being bored, finding courage, being joyful, living a joyful life, check out the Jackson Hole connection.com, episode number 209.

Stephan Abrams:

That's right, 209 episodes.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you to so many people's support for keeping this podcast going, but also thank you to Suzanne for sharing her heart and sharing her story.

Stephan Abrams:

It's friends like Suzanne that keep me doing this podcast every week, and it's knowing that people are listening is why I do this podcast.

Stephan Abrams:

I appreciate you sharing your time with me.

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