After enduring years of monotonous rehabilitation, then somehow reinventing myself & incorporating my rehab into my everyday regime, I decided that 13 years after my stroke, I needed to challenge myself. Both to break out of my comfort-zone & simultaneously to show others that recovery years later was ongoing but changes were still possible.

I realised that walking with my trusty frame’s help & adapting to the number of deficits had actually become ‘normal’. I had become used to managing my nerve pain, new it’s triggers & how to best navigate/ deal with them. I’d adapted to my temperature loss in my left side, always checking the object’s warmth or coolness with my right hand. Over the years, I had also really tried to change my mindset and (for the moment anyways) was feeling quite positive. Given the stable nature of my realm, it was a great chance to step up!

A video of me chasing my niece & nephew on the beach where I seemed less unco triggered a lot of ‘what’s next?’ comments & questions by my supporters. To be honest, I was grateful that I hadn’t fallen on my face in the sand! However, after soaking up the messages of encouragement, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. So… I’m choosing to return to weekly rehabilitation.

I naively thought this ‘choice’, the fact that my deficits were ‘normal-ish’ & I was in a better mindset, would make the regime easier. However, rehabilitation is hard. It is so hard. I’m trying to improve my running technique but 1. I can’t run. 2. I’ve forgotten how to run. 3. The emotional effort that is required to semi move my rigid body is still immense. In fact, trying to incorporate this into my already busy schedule is so difficult. However, I love the challenge, have learnt over the years that ‘it will take time’ & am surrounded by amazing support.

There’s no right time to challenge ourselves & step-out of our comfort-zones but anything is possible if we just try. I may never run again, but that’s ok by my me – I’d hung up my running shoes years ago. But knowing that I can still improve, can help others see that it’s important to never give up, makes it all worthwhile.