Detours Part 1

Dec 08, 2010
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High Expectations

In the spring of 2010, I experienced an interruption in my defined goal of walking device- free.  I injured my upper back.   Many people with mobility impairments can experience back, arm, and shoulder injuries from over-use of repetitive motion or certain other factors.  A compensatory rotational motion that I use to move and walk, due to Spastic Cerebral Palsy, caused a herniated disc in the middle of my back.  Most often golfers or 1 out of 1000 people will sustain an injury like mine.   This injury slowed the progression of where I hoped to be by the end of the year.  My expectations for certain evidence of improvement like changes in balance or gait, or other notable sign of progression did not come.

Instead I was weighted down in the long MRI tube listening to the rattle, bells, and general noise of the machine as sets of pictures were taken to discover the cause of the new and lingering source of pain in my upper body.  The weights were designed to restrict my movement and keep my body still for accurate images.   As I came out of the MRI tube and spent the subsequent days waiting for the test results; I had to swallow frustration and accept that desired goals needed to change.  I had to recognize that the path to walking without devices would be longer and would have yet another unexpected detour.  In five years of working with my training team – five fitness professionals and encountering similar hurdles, there is a process of re-assessment, re-defining the goal, and an overhaul of the approaches we use.

James R. House, III, was the newest addition to my team.  James became a crucial partner to navigate the unforeseen detours of the most recent injury.  Decisions needed to be made quickly.  Did I need to seek outside expertise in addition to working with James to beat the injury?  What new practices needed to be put into place to return me to my goal of walking without devices?  What had to be given up?

People with disabilities have to be educated, informed, and proactive about their disabilities and take charge.  I now had to be proactive – retreat, reassess, plot a course, and respond to the injury.  I engaged James to help me push forward beyond the injury.

Read Part 2 of this 3 part series on Friday December 10, 2010.

Kerry began working with James R. House, III in December of 2009.  James is an experienced fitness professional who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Physical Education with concentrations in Exercise Science and Athletic Training.  He has over 15 years experience in the sports and fitness field.

Author: Kerry