This is part of a series of video-clips. For the full story go to my personal website: http://www.myscirecovery.com.
Oh my god. These standing exercising sessions were just all pain. My whole body was wanting to fall back, and my arms were pulling me up and forward with less assistance from my back, pelvis and legs. Once I learnt to connect to them, they helped me stand and made it less agonising on the arms.
Can you see how my bum sticks out a little? My hip-flexors were so tight in those days from my life spent sat in a wheelchair. Because of the pain, I'm constantly wanting to sit down and rest. Now I want to be up all the time.
It was a constant battle between the pain in my arms and trying to take it away by focusing on the parts of me that would hold me up naturally. This is what Hratch is talking me through with his clear instruction.
Can you see my reluctance to go back. Hratch says “Don't worry, you will not fall.” Looking at the clip, it is obvious that I would not fall, but having spent so long in a chair, I had a fear of being up. I denied this for ages and said it was just that I couldn't stand, not because I feared it. Then one day, when I switched to loving the standing exercises because it felt so incredibly good, rather than painful, I realised the immense psychological shift that I had just undertaken, and another barrier that paralysed people have to get through before walking. Not an easy one to explain as it is outside of our everyday lives and understanding.
The instructions that he is giving me to “push on your legs and stand up” are all about the brain making the connections. My brain processes the instruction and although in reality at this stage it is my arms that do most of the work, my brain is already going into its instinctive memory and trying to send the instruction to the right muscles, and receive the feeling back. Little by little, these connections open up. It just takes a long while and much repetitive exercising. Same with pushing on my toes.