Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pivoting - Like a Boss!

During last evening's class with Karis Antokal (who by the way is running Boston 2014 for Spaulding Rehab) she up leveled the exercises for Tom and me. Rather than simple side stepping, she wanted us to move quickly as though we were pivoting in a basketball game.

As a survivor of paralytic polio, I never could play basketball. The polio virus had damaged my spinal cord; neuromuscular development to allow for learning contralateral movements was affected. After coming out of a leg brace three years after I contracted polio, I experienced 9 years of unrelenting trauma taking a further toll on my body and neuromuscular system. Seven years ago, my body virtually shut down in the guise of post polio syndrome.

It's been an incredible healing odyssey and this past year, I have experienced profound healing of mind, body and Spirit. You'll be able to read about it in my soon to be released memoir, "Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility."

Last night, in the warm, healing waters of Spaulding Rehab's pool, and with the coaching, coaxing and cajoling of Karis and Abbey Turner (who is the pool coordinator), I closed my eyes and went within channeling my inner Larry Bird. I could feel the awkwardness of my movements but it didn't matter. I was creating and nourishing new neural pathways. Tom Myers, in his article on Kinesthetic Dystonia speaks to how important it is to create new neural pathways through movement especially after an injury or disease that affects neuromuscular coordination. We also did a circuit with jumping jacks, squats, twists and high knees.

For the past 54 years I had been searching for ways to come out of being trapped in a form forged by paralytic polio and trauma. Since regular bodywork sessions and now the blessing of the Aquatics Therapy program at Spaulding, I am discovering the joy of movement in my body. I am aware of the blessing of grace in this second chance and being able to get out there and twist and pivot - like a boss!

Next week I turn 60 years old on Christmas Day. My birthday Christmas wish is that you donate to Karis' Boston Marathon Run on Crowdrise. Bless you!

The Shell from A Celebration of Life now available on Amazon

The shell of a person
a shadow of the me I was meant to be
broken heart
broken hearted
or so I thought…

a protective shell
as a cast protects a broken bone
a chrysalis
fragile inside and out
tender protection
facing death
beyond what eye can behold

free now

to fly!

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