At ProBalance, we have been so accustomed to hearing about the great stories of recovery and life changing events, we decided to hold a contest to hear it from you. They were fun to read and a great reminder of how powerful focused movement to restore balance and function can be. Out of all of the entries, this one stood and was declared the winner. The winner, as you’ll read below, didn’t even want the gift certificate as she was so grateful for having her function restored…and still comes to ProBalance on a regular basis. We insisted that we donate the $100 in the charity of her choice. So, in the name of her mother, ProBalance will donate $100 to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Read her story below:
Three years ago I had sudden, fluke injury that caused me, in the blink of an eye, to lose my ability to walk or stand. I was confined to a walker, and could barely put weight on either leg… I could not even do a task so simple as holding a cup of water unless seated.
I spent over a year in conventional physical therapy barely walking, unable to take care of myself and in a great deal of pain… and despite huge amounts of effort, making very little progress.
The main progress I made during the first year and a half of my injury was with a Pilates trainer I worked with outside of a physical therapy setting. This trainer helped me regain my ability to stand and put weight on both legs, to do limited waking and she helped decreased the pain I was having in my shoulder…all through work on a Pilates reformer. It was that glimpse of how a skilled Pilates professional could help, above and beyond what could be healed through conventional PT, that pointed me in the direction of Pro Balance PT.
When I first began physical therapy at Pro Balance, I worked with Cicely. I remember the first day I met her, how she listened with so much empathy and caring to my story and struggle. She took super thorough notes, asked me so many questions, and so clearly cared about my answers… that I felt heard and supported from day one. Within the first few sessions with Cicely, I could feel my core begin to engage in a more stable way than it had since my injury, and I remember having glimpses of normal walking and movement even from that first week. Cicely worked with me ongoing twice a week for almost a year, so patiently (some days even talking me through the trials of living with such an injury…) and giving so generously of her own time. I soon saw steady progress, and over the months I could walk a bit more and a bit more. The emails I would send Cicely telling her things such as “I just walked from Panera Bread Company to See’s Candy at Southshore” (….maybe 5 minute walk….) would get responses of “Wooohoooo!!!!!” that would keep me motivated. Cicely worked tirelessly and every milestone I had over that year… such as taking my twin toddlers on a very short trick or treat jaunt, being able to get a child out of her crib by myself, or being able to bounce a ball around with my family… seemed as if they were milestones for her too.
Cicely was also encouraging when I had the idea to get a reformer for home, and even researched models on her own time, to help me get just the right tool to help myself further. She created a video taped library of basic reformer exercises that we had worked on together over time, like leg presses and pulling straps so that I could do the exercises I felt comfortable with at home, and keep gaining in strength and functioning. Having this reformer and a home routine has accelerated my healing tremendously.
When Cicely went away over Christmas this passed year, I worked with Ada for the first time. Ada showed the same caring as Cicely right from the start, and even offered to come over to my house for our first session to help me on my own reformer (as she said this would help me translate exercises from PT to home). Ada spent over an hour at my house that day working with me, and although she had never worked with me before, her eyes very quickly picked up the details of my movement. She put me through a long, thorough workout that engaged my body in so much the right ways. When the session was done, my husband and two kids were waiting outside for me, and one of my two year old twin girls ran into my arms. I was amazed and overjoyed that I could stand there holding her in my arms for the very first time ever!
Ada has since seen me through many more milestones. I have gained the ability to drive for the first time in over three years, and have been able to care for and enjoy my daughters on my own for hours at time without fear. She too has given so much of her own extra time, and so generously made time to see me as much as she thinks necessary to get me to stable ground. Ada gets emails from me too, but instead of “I walked 5 minutes from Pinera to See’s”, she now gets emails these days about how I took my kids out alone and walked around the neighborhood….and I just as quickly get an email response that says something like “Yay!!!!!”. That lets me know she too cares deeply about my gains.
I am not sure I fully understand how Pilates can reinstate movement patterns to the point that I am relearning to walk, lift, drive….but I know that it does. I have seen that it is a powerful tool, and one that I would love really learn and understand from “the ground up”…as I intend to keep Pilates practice as a regular part of my life long after I am fully better.
I also know that Pilates alone could never be giving me back the joy I have in caring for my kids and living my life…..it is Pilates guided by caring and skilled practitioners that is transforming my world.
Please don’t let me forget Nancy who has driven me home on many occasions before I regained my ability to drive, who thinks one step ahead about scheduling to make sure much needed appointments are always on the books (even if I forget to book) and whose genuine caring also has lifted my spirits so many times as I walk through the doors of Pro Balance
So…if I win this contest I get $100 gift card…..??? Pro Balance…If I win… Please keep your gift card.
When I can walk around the Park street festival with my kids only thinking how much fun I am having, go down the slide at the park with a child on my lap… dance with my husband with one of my toddlers wrapped around my leg at the same time. ~J.S.
I am living again and I couldn’t pay you enough for all that you’ve given me back.