I’m only now starting to fully understand is that this is an inside job. It only works if I believe.

But what I’m only now starting to fully understand is that this is an inside job. It only works if I believe. I’ve always been confident, positive, doggedly determined; but doubt is beginning to mitigate my conviction. Who am I to think I can accomplish this, when so many have struggled with similar setbacks; some with Parkinson’s, some with the aftermath of spinal surgery? I may be the only one who has taken on this particular two-headed beast…

I have to learn to walk again; to reclaim my mobility, remaster my motion. I consider this fundamental to my therapy —  for me, it all starts and ends with walking. And I understand that it’s more complicated than that. So many tiny disciplines have to be observed, and neglected muscles and ligaments need to be restored. I’m exhausted by the effort I’ve already put in at Johns Hopkins, and daunted by how much work I still have to do. It’s like being nibbled to death by ducks.

Back in the days of carefree ambling, I would have considered the topic of walking to be rather pedestrian. Now the acts of stepping, strolling, hiking, and perambulating have become an obsession. I watch Esmé gliding through the kitchen, grabbing an apple while opening the fridge door for a coconut water, closing it with a quick shift of her hip and pirouetting out the swinging door at the other end of the room. Down in the lobby, my neighbor and her daughter are quickstepping to catch a taxi. I spy on a man walking with a slight limp, which he counterbalances with a bag of groceries. I secretly watch the way they all move. Easy, breezy, catlike, or with a limp, every one of them is far better at it than me. It may be that the most difficult, miraculous thing we do, physically, is to walk…

It’s tough. With PD and the aftermath of the surgery, something as simple as remaining upright is often sabotaged by a rogue army of misfiring neurons. I try to stay organized. I have memorized a litany of admonitions, not unlike my golfer’s list of swing thoughts: Keep my head centered over my hips; hips over my knees; no hyperextending; stay in line with my feet; eyes forward; shoulders back; chest out; lead with the pelvis. All of this kinetic vigilance can dissolve in a nanosecond of panic, or come apart with some other distraction. A tiny nervous jolt or spasm, and like a house of cards in a sudden gust of wind, the only messages that make it through the debris are: Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall

—  Michael J. Fox, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality (Flatiron Books, November 17, 2020)

Comments

  1. Great catch. A a former runner/ competitive tennis play . . . One who walks with a limp today as the cartilage in my ankles has disappeared, I see the wisdom and share the sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. take nothing for granted, and walking is something that i love and never think twice about. this puts it back in perspective for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. He is amazing!! Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I heard him interviewed about the book just yesterday on NPR. Have always marveled at his relentless positivity and utter lack of self-pity. A truly admirable guy, and obviously thoughtful, too. I was particularly moved by his observations about what it’s like to be in a wheelchair… here’s the link to the interview in case anyone’s interested. Hope that YOU enjoyed your morning walk, pal….

    https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/11/19/michael-j-fox-memoir

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Love this so much! I received my copy of the book on Wednesday. Michael J. Fox is an absolute inspiration to those of us in the field. Forgive me posting this link but it’s easier than elaborating here. https://bogeyandruby.blog/2014/10/13/re-walk/ 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Perspective, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry about the formatting. It was written several years ago on that other blog site. Looks like things got a bit roughed up during the transfer.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I listened to his first book, it was very inspiring. I want to hear this one too. He has amazing will power. I don’t know if i could push forward with what he deals with but he does. He gives every person with P hope and every one to come for with P hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amazing person. Special tks to Lori & bogeyandruby. He must be giving heaps of hope to those who knew/know him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael Zahaby says:

    Reading this, i’m overcome with gratitude. No more complaining (at least for a week). We take so much for granted. Thanks for the sobering share. I needed to be centeted

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lori has said it all for me. What an inspiration he is.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Amazing!! I watched one of his interviews … “All of this kinetic vigilance can dissolve in a nanosecond of panic, or come apart with some other distraction.”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reflective of our own fears and incapabilities, which only grow as times goes by. Hoping we all find that level of belief when our tide turns.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You know how I feel about this! He is honest and real. Something we could all learn more about. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How ironic you share this today when just yesterday I listened to Q wit Tom Power on the CBC… how about a little dose of Canadian, DK? https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-50-q/clip/15809243-full-episode-michael-j.-fox-anique-jordan

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have always been a fan of Michael J. Fox. I appreciate his candor and especially his humanity. Inspirational. Thank you for sharing, David. Erica

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: