Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Coach Woody

Today I had Physical Therapy after work. As I entered the building, one of the therapists was leaving and said, "Hi Shannon, have fun today. You're with Woody." I grinned. I haven't been with Woody in MONTHS. In fact, I used to be a little sad if I wasn't with Woody. Today I was a little sad I wasn't with Z. As usual though, not a minute was wasted with Woody. And, it wasn't long into our session that I wasn't sad at all. *grin*

Today Woody asked me what I wanted to work on. I was caught a little off-guard by it, as he usually has ideas on what to do. However, it turned out to be GREAT. *grin*

I told him I wanted him to help me stretch because last week Z. and I stretched my legs, and I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I also shared that we had been doing a lot of balance stuff, and it has helped me in walking and catching myself before I fall. He said that sounded great.

We worked on stretching for half an hour. He always teaches me a lot, as we stretch, about how each stretch helps each muscle. I can't say it was "fun", as each we stretch until it kinda hurts. However, after it was over I felt really good. *grin*

Next up was balance. Woody and I have never done balance activities. We have always focused on walking.

Speaking of walking, Woody did stop me when I came in and watched me walk. He and I talked about how far I've come. He made an interesting observation, that really spoke to my spirit. He was telling me how far I've come and what I'm doing RIGHT now, and even modeled how I used to walk compared to now. And I said, "Yeah, but my toes aren't pointing out yet." I guess I really want it "all". *grin* He said, "Yes, but look at what you can do that you couldn't do before."

He's right. TOTALLY right. In that moment, I smiled wide and said, "You're right."

So, back to balance activities.

I was excited to see what Woody would do with me because all balance has been with Z. We started out with the rocker board. (The checker board that you stand on and lean) I am good at side to side. REALLY good. Forward and backward are difficult. I'm pretty good at forward, but backward is really hard. However, Woody said something else that I really liked. He said, "I would rather you NOT hold onto the balance bar and trust that I'll catch you." He went on to explain that my brain is learning that if I'm off-balance, I'm grabbing. I need to learn to get the balance without the balance board. Trusting Woody was easy, and we did several exercises. I did need his help a few times, but it got easier.

Next up was the blue board. That used to be hard for me, and now it's easy. I didn't realize that until tonight. He put in a new challenge though. First, I just stood on it. That wasn't bad. Next, he had me look at various sticky note throughout the room. (I always wondered what they were for. *grin*) That added challenge, but I did pretty well. Side to side was easier than up and down. Next up, THE GREY FOAM.

We talked about it before I did it, and just standing on it wasn't bad, but I was still relying on the balance bar to hold onto with my hands. So, we moved to the corner of the room. That was good for me, as I learned that I can do that exercise here at home too. *grin* Anyway, my goal was to stand on the grey foam in the corner without touching the walls or needing Woody's help for 30 seconds. My high score was ten seconds. *grin* I think I have room to improve. *giggle*

Then he gave me an obstacle course. I WAS EXCITED!!! Woody has never given me an obstacle course before!!! It was initially easy, with steps and the blue balance board. We did it a couple times and then he said, "Let's add something."

Guess what he added!!!

Yep, the GREY FOAM.

That was the BEST learning tool of all! After seeing my challenge of stepping on and off of it, he understood my love/hate relationship with the object. *giggle* After getting caught off-balance a couple times, I said, "So what do I do here?" I wasn't mad, just curious. *grin*

He taught me what our bodies automatically do (All of us, not just me!) when we're off balance. I didn't realize it, but I am literally re-programming myself to slow down and balance on this board. I also realized that my calves are not strong enough yet, but Woody was optimistic that I will get to where I want to be. *grin*

We were there until 6. I started at 4:50. I REALLY appreciated Woody giving me extra time to work with me. I'm exhausted, but it was all REALLY good. He is a great coach for me on this journey of walking straighter.

As I drove home, I thought about it all and had one big thought. Everyone needs a coach of some sort this side of Heaven. I suppose for most people, that is their spouse. For some, it's a literal coach of a sport.

Coaches push us beyond where we see ourselves.
They remind us where we once were and where we are now.
And they never accept less than our best.

That's what Woody and Z. are for me.

I'm so blessed to have Woody and Z. in my life. I have not just one coach, I have two.

Thank You, God.

AWESOME, with some great coaches in my life.

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