How much have I craved that freedom. That word drenched my lips like a juicy steak dripping when you sink your teeth into that meat. So crucial to emancipate yourself, so desperate have I fought to regain it again.

How would life be if you couldn’t get to the place you belong? What if you’re stuck where you’re at now, for days on end? Or even worse, you don’t know how long you are going to be tied to a future with barely a view?

Lying in my hospital room I dreamed and craved for running. I was never a runner and there and then that I couldn’t walk, I desired to run. It was a recurring dream that (maybe) moved me to move my toe. I literally saw myself running before the first “magic” happened. I remember well how I was dozing off and dreaming of running freely when I suddenly moved my big toe (it’s the big one on the left of your right feet). I couldn’t believe what I just did, so I did it again. And again. And again and again and again. Every moment of every day since, I wiggled my toes believing that if I could feel what I was feeling with those sensations, I could feel more. I could do more. I started envisioning myself hiking with my 40 lbs backpack. Again a reoccurring (day) dream. It wasn’t a wish, it was an indigestible desire.

A couple of nights later I woke again from this dream that I was running. I couldn’t see where nor can I tell how far. It was unreal. I woke up from this realistic dream, I thought I was running but II was lying in bed and just merely lifting my knee. As I realized I was actually awake and not running but lifting my knee from my hospital bed (at 4 in the morning). I got excited, threw the covers off me and watched in awe how my knee was moving at my will after being paralyzed for a month. I wanted to call the nurse, my mom, my friends. I wanted to try to stand, but I soon realized, this was just a small step on a long road and running was not an option (yet) but my dream to walk was more than alive.

Running changed to hiking and climbing my favorite hills (we call them mountains here). With every bit of progress I kept repeating to myself just one more step. It didn’t matter if I was with my physical therapist or training by myself, I kept seeing that mental shot of me running but now hiking up a mountain (yes, hill…)

During a trial walk a month ago (I’ve rehabilitated now for 3 years and 4 months, but who’s counting) I wanted to take a hike for 30 minutes. Instead I ended up dragging my feet after an hour and a half, my tongue dried out, my head exploding and every nerve in my body screaming me to please stop.

So when my Body Stress Release therapist Bjorn asked me if I was interested in climbing a mountain (yes, hill, we know…) I loiked up to him in surprise. He had just squeezed and twisted my skin, muscles and nerves so hard, he finally got me crying after 4 sessions. Almost in shock I looked at him; “Hell. Why not? It can’t get any worse.” (Physical therapists are the worst!)

Mobility is one of our precious gifts.

If it is walking, crawling,  or riding your walking chair as a baby. Maybe finally cruising down the road on your custom bike or your first beat-up car, remember the days that it wasn’t so ordinary. Recognize a blessing or a gift for what it is. Legs, wheels or any means, to be independent, to do as you choose and above all…

to stand as a Pirate in this world.

Music of Choice: Enigma – Return to innocence

Don’t be afraid to be weak Don’t be too proud to be strong Just look into your heart my friend That will be the return to yourself

On top of the Ronde Klip Mountain (Yes, yes, hill...)
On top of the Ronde Klip Mountain (Yes, yes, hill…)