Since my last entry, things have been on the up and up. After being sick for a week I charged into the gym on Monday feeling energized and ready to go. I’ve been able to make up the hours I missed during my sick week so many of my days were long and tiresome but it felt great. To just be out here and working towards a goal which I have desired for so long is very invigorating. Most of the time I spent at home in Charlotte, it was difficult to believe that recovery is possible. But while being at Project Walk, the attitude and atmosphere provided actually makes it hard not to believe recovery is going to happen.
Most of the time my workouts leave me feeling motivated and confident that strength is going to be gained and recovery is inevitable. There are days however, when I get frustrated at the slow progress and lack of anticipated results. The ups and downs are inevitable but through it all I must stay the course and continue to give it 100% each and everyday. Some days I may notice new exciting signs of recovery and other days I may not, but I try and remember that whether I see the signs or not each day of exercise is just as important as the last. I may not be able to see it or feel it but my nervous signals are always firing beneath the surface and only through my hard work and dedication day in and day out will these signals become stronger and awaken my body.
I am now becoming a firm believer that recovery is always possible for spinal cord injuries. In the past beneath my positive attitude there has always been skepticism concerning the effects of exercise and recovery. I wanted to believe it so badly but yet my subconscious was not taking the bait. Ted Dardzinski, cofounder of Project Walk, graciously talked to my Dad and I after the lights were turned off in the gym and the doors locked. The firm belief and confidence which he maintains that recovery will happen is amazing. There is no doubt in his voice as he speaks of the techniques which have been tested and incorporated over years of hands-on experience with various spinal cord injuries. The medical establishment furrows their brow and snarls their lips at the lack of science behind these methods, but as Ted told us story after story of once hopeless paralyzed individuals rising above the odds to walk again, I could not help but believe every word he said. Sometimes his techniques cannot be understood or scientifically explained. It is simply an action which has been shown to cause a reaction, and then that reaction has been shown to enhance recovery. He told me that recovery will continue to occur as long as I’m willing to work for it. The only reason recovery will stop is if I give up. I can take it as far as I would like.
I’m currently at my fourth week here and the wheels of my mind are constantly turning. I am always on a constant quest for understanding but recently my understanding cannot be put into words. It is not an understanding of knowledge which I seek at the present moment but an understanding of experience. An awareness which is gained not through words or philosophical ponderings but through a constant awareness of what I see, hear and feel on a daily basis and what type of unexplainable understanding of the unknown is reached. Teds words did not necessarily provide me with a great amount of knowledge but it did leave me with a great amount of comfort knowing that I can and will get better. It is doubtful that I can maintain this approach in the great city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The possibility that I can is of course there but right now the unknown is all around me as it will be forever and ever until I transcend all that is.
A powerful point Ted made which struck me was that they don’t know what they’re doing. Doesn’t quite makes sense does it? In my mind it is absolutely wonderful that he admits this, because admitting that you don’t know anything opens the door for limitless possibilities to occur. The thought that you could know something with absolute certainty is completely impossible and only limits you from growing towards the direction of discovery concerning what can actually be reached. This is what is wrong with the medical community, that they think they know what they’re doing. If only they would admit that they don’t know anything at all. It is then and only then, that the great, groundbreaking discoveries of our time will be reached.
Great peace is found in not knowing. To not have to know anything at all completely releases a great amount of weight off of my shoulders. I no longer have to know why things are the way they are. I no longer have to understand my past or know what the future holds for me. To accept this with an open heart and surrender all the unknowns to a divine being which contains the infinite understanding will open the doors for creation. I strive to open my heart and allow the fulfillment of all my desires. Then I will ironically know, yet have no understanding why.