Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How do you know you've found your strength?

Spaulding Rehab's motto is "Find your strength."

Building strength as a 60 year old survivor of paralytic polio who was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease is no small feat. As a matter of fact, I'd say it's a miracle.

And sometimes we wonder how do we measure that strength?

A few months ago, I tried to do the bicycle using a noddle (think riding a horse) in Aquatics Therapy class at Spaulding Rehab with five pound ankle weights on. It was a flat out no go. There is no way this is happening.

Today, as the therapist had us get on our noodles to ride into the deep end of the pool "as though you're on a bicycle", I hesitated for a moment.

Should I take off my ankle weights given how last time it was an impossible task.

No came back the answer. Let's see what happens.

I amazed myself to feel the difference between then and today. As I bicycled with weights I had to put forth effort but it was not an intensely challenging experience. I felt thrilled and delighted. My therapist celebrated in my accomplishment.

Often times we intuitively know we are getting stronger, climbing to higher and higher ground in our rehab journeys. With the support of everyone at Spaulding, the joy is in the journey.

On a day like today, however, when there is tangible evidence in being able to do something I couldn't do several months ago, I know that I've found my strength.

The first 7 years of my healing odyssey are chronicled in Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility available on Amazon. I donate 50% of royalty payments to The One Fund Boston to help survivors and their families who were affected by the tragic events of 4/15/13.

I'm working on my 2nd book, "Journey Well," due out later this year:

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