Chris Rock said, “I have had horrible cars, because I never had money, so I’d always end up broken down on the highway. When I stood there trying to flag someone down, nobody stopped. But when I pushed my own car, other drivers would get out and push with me. If you want help, help yourself, people like to see that.” I could not move, I was a paraplegic. In addition to that, I was allotted only forty-five minutes per day in physical therapy. With that being said, I gave it my all in those sessions, and then some. Therapists began to take notice and push me me beyond everybody’s expectations, including my own. When I was transferred to the next facility, I pushed myself even more. This time however, whenever somebody did not want to go to go to their therapy sessions, management would elect me to go instead. In addition to that, when I left those sessions I would also bring back a piece of gym equipment back to my hospital room. Fast forward to yesterday, when I went to water therapy. At this facility, I have taken up every program that they have to offer. A man named Joseph shook my hand and asked, “would you mind if I worked on you with physical therapy intern for four months?” This brief conversation, in addition to my hard work, netted me a scholarship for four months of free physical therapy. With that said, I am sharing my experience of when applying myself brought me through a journey of meeting Edgar, Tiffany, and Edward.
At this point in my recovery I was a paraplegic and I told myself, “You are never too old, never too weak, and it is never too late to keep moving forward.” Apparently this holds true for not only me, but my first water therapy intern, Edgar. Edgar was the first intern that I started therapy with and when I first met him, I could move my legs. Everyday I would spend eight hours a day, like it was my job, trying to move my legs. Edgar saw that I was trying very hard to mobilize my legs again, he knew water therapy would benefit me but there was one problem, he did not know how to swim. In fact, he told me a horror story of a time he drowned in the ocean and was rescued by some surfers back in Mexico. After telling me about his near death experience he told me, “I sense you are willing to charge through brick walls in order to get better so, I will do the job I am supposed to do – physical therapy in the water.” See, there’s something about Edgar that you must know, the more motivated I was to help myself, the more enticed he was to get behind my efforts to break free from my bedridden condition. I do not believe Edgar is unique to this principle, in my experience, many people will help you if you choose to help yourself. With that said, with Edgar, I was beginning to break out of my paraplegic spell. I kept on pushing myself and in return, Edgar began pushing himself as well. I kept on pushing myself through the incredible pain and I was exhausted after every workout. Incredibly, at the end of Edgar’s internship, I broke free from being a paraplegic and he overcame his fears and learned how to swim.
Remember, There are only two types of attitudes to consider when we are dealing with fellow humans: useful and useless… The sooner you know what you want and which attitude will help you get it, the sooner your body language and voice will change to help you get it.”
One morning I was in my gym and the director approached me asking, “ You worked really really hard with Edgar and we don’t need to tire you out but we found two more physical therapy interns and we want them both to work with you this way you will get double the therapy. Please let us know if you get exhausted.” When you help yourself, others will go out of their way to help you and momentum builds behind it. Sometimes the boost from both the excitement and outside forces becomes so strong that the encouragement a support pushes you beyond your perceived threshold. My next interns name was Tiffany, keep in mind I just got mobility working with Edgar, and on our first meeting, she said, “Hey! I just found this walker, let’s try it out!” Tiffany was a very outgoing girl who did not believe in barriers or excuses. Tiffany taught me that if you demonstrate resilience by putting in the effort to make progress, radiate positivism, and have a solution based state of mind to overcoming obstacles then you will have the encouragement of people around you. I pushed myself and Tiffany reacted by pushing me beyond what I thought I was capable of. Tiffany’s internship came to an end however, people took notice of my effort, and progress and that is when I met Edward.