Visiting an inpatient spinal-cord, brain injury and stroke rehab center, I am surrounded by people using wheelchairs, walkers, and canes, trainers, physical therapists and family members. I watch as they go through the difficult movements over and over until so fatigued they can’t do another rep. I smell sweat, see tears, hear laughter and not a few groans as they fight to regain muscle after tragedy. I hear encouragement coming from those on the sidelines.
It seems so long ago, but I remember those days. I remember being wheeled back to my room after a session and not having the energy to chew the food on my supper tray. I remember the victories of small first steps and the heartbreak of working with my flaccid and uncooperative left hand. I remember family, friends, trainers and physical therapists cheering me on with each tiny victory.
I am filled with emotion as I observe this group at the beginning of a “new normal.”
Life will never be the same, but if they keep this up—there’s no telling the heights they will reach! There is hope after disaster. There is life after pain. It all begins with a little courage.