A hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
-- Christopher Reeve
The gym is full of heroes.
There's Ernie on the LT machine next to me.
Charmaine and Jeff on the treadmill behind me.
And Mark, ready to save the day when I sweat out of my prosthetic socket!
Magee therapists surround us, working patients' legs, stretching their bodies, and spotting them when they walk. They're heroes as well, doing what they do best -- helping us find a way back to the life that was ours.
Magee Rehabilitation is one of the only hospitals in the area that offers Locomotor Training (LT), a specialized, labor-intensive therapy that helps people with brain and spinal cord injuries learn to walk again. Just one LT session requires at least 4 therapists, a computer, a specially-designed treadmill, and an anchored harness system.
But LT is much more than equipment and staff. It takes coordination. Strength. Discipline. Endurance. Trust. The therapists use their own muscles to move and train the muscles of their patients.
It's like they've got superpowers!
WALK IT OUT supports the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the NeuroRecovery Network, which supplies vital funding and resources for Magee's LT Program. It's powered by the belief that we can WALK TO VICTORY over paralysis.
|We all have a hero inside us!|
I have never seen a therapy so powerful or effective.
In the 3 years I've participated in Walk It Out, I've watched my friends go from hanging in their harness, virtually unweighted, to walking on the treadmill completely on their own!
Miles rack up quickly. There's so much to see. Heroics wherever I look.
And fun too!
I rock out with PT Mary, like we're on stage high above the crowd.
Mid-afternoon, Ian and I buddy up for a mile or two.
And friends Donna and Jenn stop by to celebrate the homestretch!
We all keep walking as the hours go by. At 4:00, my Fitbit reads 8.80 miles, and I realize I'm making some progress of my own.
If I keep going, could I really walk 10 MILES in one day?!
The Walk It Out clock ticks down to its final hour. I climb onto my 3rd treadmill, and PT Liz comes over to set the speed.
"You know we only have till 5:00, right?" she jokes.
(As if I could walk more!)
My right foot is aching. My socket is soupy with sweat.
"Boost it up," I say.
Then I start walking again.
This event -- more than any other -- reminds me what a PRIVILEGE it is to put one foot in front of the other. I keep walking until the very last second.
Thank you Superman. Thank you Magee.
To support this life-changing program (and get your "5 Years Strong" t-shirt!), please click here.
Thank you so much!