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Well, it’s been a year out of hospital. I met a woman yesterday, a lifetime adventurer, trail runner, olympic class rower, ocean kayaker. It’s been like that, how will I challenge myself today? First it was getting out of bed and getting to the toilet. Then doing that unaided. The more you attempt, fail, and attempt again the more you can do. I love to challenge myself. The other way of looking at fear (terror on a bad day) is excitement. Recovery days are cool, I love to hang out and read. This is based largely on the philosophy of Epictetus around 2,000 years ago: “Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them.”
I rented a special needs car for today, left foot accelerator and left hand spinner on the wheel, -30 snowing and I’m going to the mountains, me and my camera, to see if I can.
12 months ago the neurologist fired me, explained the freaky injury in my brain with a shrug; it’s life dude. These people don’t do guilt obligation and fear, these are not new age leeches after all. His nurse had asked me questions about what I can do, took measurements of range of motion, and pronounced that I had what they call a slight handicap. What? I can’t use my right arm and hand and can barely walk, I was sort of outraged. She said in our world that’s slight. Oh. I thought of colleagues in hospital who will never eat again, or speak, or remember. The movie Groundhog Day is based on a stroke event in a way, people asking me the same question every day, forgetting the answers of yesterday.
It’s all in how we look at things…
The mountains are my symbol of excitement in the attempt, the accomplishment is the journey, whether from the bed to the toilet, or the house to the mountain top, this is my strategy for satisfaction today. I have learned to rate that, and leave myself unrated. Self esteem is the worst disease known to mankind. This is the real recovery, the body takes care of itself.