Last August I was faced with a terrifying reality: my health may never be the same. As I lay in ICU, reality slipping in and out, wires and cords connected to me from all angles, I clung to the hope that maybe, just maybe, I would come out of this medical tragedy and be able to recover well enough to be a functional parent again, much less run another race.
As I recovered in the surgical unit of the hospital, I could not even look at the happy pictures that friends had brought to me of finish lines and running races. That was a reality so far removed from my current situation that I could not even face the reminders.
Once home in my own apartment, friends and Godparents bringing my son over in short periods of time until I was able to regain enough strength to have him home with me on my own, I began to realize the doctors and physical therapists were right. I needed to get moving EVEN IF it was only down the stairs to my apartment and back. So, everyday I had friends come over to “walk” with me at least twice a day.
In the beginning, I was only able to make it down my stairs, a few paces down the sidewalk and back upstairs. Then, it was the cul-de-sac. And then the stop sign at the end of the street. And then half a mile. Each day I tried to make the same distance or farther. There was magic in that movement. Even if it was slight. Each day opened up a new portal of insight into my body and feeling in get stronger. My mind started to wake up and be happy again. In that movement I found strength and hope.
I could have stayed inside and wallowed in my setbacks and injuries. But I chose to find the magic and strength within. Each day we make choices that determine our paths. I urge you to move. Find that magic, for there is magic in movement each and every day.
“There is magic in movement, and yes, movement is medicine.” – Michael D’Aulerio
By: Ashley Kate “A.K.” Whittaker