Last week, as I watched a blond, blue-eyed toddler clump her feet on the grass in the park, each of her tiny hands supported by her adult-helpers, struggling her best to touch the soft green grass with the soles of her feet, I identified completely, FLASHBACK - re-learning to walk at Rusk Institute was part of my past. My stroke occurred in February of 2004. At first, the physical therapists would guide me - holding my hand and I would get winded after only a few minutes. Each day they also gave me exercises to strengthen my legs.
"Don't let your left leg flop down. Pull up from the waist."
My mind drifted to Le Mimodrame de Marcel Marceau in Paris where we were taught the classical mime walk by Marceau, himself. We walked and walked and walked in circles. BORING.
Marceau: It may seem simple, but on the stage a simple walk is incredible for the audience to watch. They will follow you with their eyes.
I now realize the classical mime walk helped me to recover from the stroke. The ability to walk, to balance, was an incredible feat. I craved the individual attention in being educated how to walk, but did not allow my mind to realize how much worse it could have been - paralysis.
I had the amazing opportunity - to understand through experience that walking is balance. Were I asked ahead of time if I would like to have a stroke to gain great insight, I am sure I would have refused. Yet, I did not have the choice. Walking is a balance act. Beauty is in the act of balancing.