Able to get on the first plane, I prepped my body for the next. This time I was building a body to vehicle me towards my dream. Since I’ve made it back, I want to share this gift with the world and help others too.
So I trained even harder, accepted my offer into physiotherapy, and bought an aeroplane ticket. Though scared, I had just talked myself into going, and so was ready to face it with no reservations, until…
..My dad fell down the stairs and hit his head, losing consciousness… the week before the flight.
Should I stay, or should I go? I want to be here for my father.
The scan came back and it said, on top of all his other failing ailments, his head hit the ground so hard that it gave him a stroke.
I pulled my mother to the side and sat her down. “ Mum should I stay or should I go?” I asked. “ Well, it’s really up to you…” She looked at me wide-eyed and staring with sincerity. “ It’s how you feel. Do you want to go?”
“ I guess before my injury it was my dream, so I can help people, but with dad like this, my heart is not at peace.”
“ You can stay, or go if you want, but you have to live with the decision you make.”
I moved my hand to my chin, staring at the floor and thinking.
The next few days pressed with an ever-growing weight upon my shoulders. Before this event, I was already insecure of my decision. It took a lot of hyping up before I had the courage, but once I started to exhibit such valour, a leash of concern yanked me back.
“ I should go.” I said.
“ Go?” My mother replied.
“ Yes, because if I stay I can’t help his healing. I’ve noticed that everyday, even though I go to the hospital, I can’t bring anything really to his healing.”
“ If you have made up your mind, then go. Know that if you change your mind, fail, or if anything happens to dad, you can always come back.”
“ Thanks mum. I think my course will be useful too, because stroke patients need physios.”
“ Yeah, dad will need a physio when he wakes up, or if he leaves the hospital, so you should go do it.”
We went to the hospital one last time. “ Dad are you awake?” I asked standing by his bed.
There was no response.
I stayed by his bedside as long as I could, then being time pressed for the flight, we gathered for a prayer as a family.
“ Dad, if you can hear me, take good care of yourself. I love you and I’ll see you soon.” I looked at him, lifeless and with tubes running in and out of him, tracing the tubes to his limb lifeless state.
“ Please squeeze my hand if you can hear me.”
He lay still not moving a muscle.
Everything within me was fighting me and telling me to stay, but after having spoken to my mother and realising the importance a physio would make in his life, I went forth.
When I come back I would have to teach him to move again, but this time it would be learning to do the basics even before walking. I was torn.
Entering the aeroplane, I wanted to get ready for the huge flight ahead of me, so I opened my bag for my back-brace and some comfortable clothes.
What did I find? No back-brace! How was I going to survive this nerve-wrecking journey? I know I packed it. My mother must have unpacked it… There was nothing I could do now, but get into comfortable clothes and do the best I could within the circumstance I was in. I grabbed my clothes and headed to change.
It was my basketball shorts. I haven’t worn basketball shorts since the day of the accident, I’ve been trying to stay as far away from it as I could, however now it’s here. I packed it, and on purpose, because I know wearing this assimilation to the sport that broke me, and flying away from my ailing father would be a huge obstacle that I’d have to face, and I’d have to face it sooner or later. So I changed.
The flight had a lot of turbulence. I just kept saying to myself, “ If I can make it through this, then I can survive the day, and if I can survive the day, then I can make it through anything.” Worst comes to worst, is I end up in the hospital room next to my dad.
We touched down in London, and it was different. I wasn’t on holiday. I was here with a purpose.
The month before school I trained hard. Everything was training. I had to get use to the bumps of transportation, the exhaustion of daily independence, and edge of nerve pain that sliced against me with every bit of activity I did. I had to try get back to normal life.
This consisted of building myself and building life. To further my knowledge in my healing I took two online courses. One taught me how to train the nervous system from scratch to progression, and that new nervous grow rapidly for 8 years and plateau around 10 years, while the other course taught me how to activate my core so that my nerves can fire off sequentially.
I worked tirelessly and everyday, balancing over the floor, swimming in water, and analysing my progress. Who would have thought that I would have ever made it to London, and speed pass cars in traffic?
Life building into normality was hard. I didn’t know where to start. I had to heal from constant sickness, familiarise myself with my surroundings, and make friends to enjoy the experience with.
This was hard, because it moved from internal control to external forces. Healing from sickness was independent, familiarising with my surroundings was half way out, and making good friends was beyond my reach, they were by the way normal and by no means patients. They had no restrictions of normal pain, and had a bountiful energy supply that got them going into the early morning.
One night when we were out, a crude drunkard pushed me from behind, swearing in his inebriated state. I turned around to face him, he swore more. Initially my emotions flushed through me and I clenched my fists, but then, suddenly a thought of realisation clicked in me and I awoke.
Instead of getting angry, it was a sign. I was on the wrong path, and it was a nudge in the right direction. I shouldn’t mould my lifestyle just to hangout with friends, I should do what is good for the grand scheme of life and the people I want to help, not become a conformist to society. So like Cinderella, I unclenched my fists and left. From then on I made a rule to myself, to always go home before midnight, so I could start the next day fresh.
Getting my priorities in place, this transition into life started to feel real. It happened with goose bumps when I first moved into my flat, when I was confirming all the arrangements for the coming years, and when a professor started a presentation on the nervous system. I felt with so much commitment, I couldn’t pull out now.
The presentation got me thinking about my nascent body and how I could help myself to help others. My nascent body is made up of cells, so to heal, I have to concentrate from the inside out, aiming to make my cells happy.
Basketball may have crushed my spine, but not my spirit. Just like healing our cells, we have to think of progressing inside out. With our intuition, there is a driving force that will point us on the right direction. Which way is your intuition pointing? Follow that force and go towards that direction.
What decision do you have to brave, to make the difference that matters?