Katherine was kind enough to write this month’s greeting and we are so excited to share it with you.
In Katherine’s own words:
Neuro-plasticity is the idea that the brain can “re-wire” and that the intact/functioning part of the brain can take over for the damaged/removed portions. During the life-saving surgery after my brain stem stroke, 60% of my cerebellum was removed. The cerebellum is the part of the brain which coordinates your body movements, balance, and fine motor skills. As a result, the entire right side of my body was severely weakened. Obviously, having an impaired sense of balance and coordination nearly took away my ability to walk forever.
Re-learning to walk has been one of the most difficult challenges of my entire life. For the first year and a half following my stroke, I was confined to a wheelchair. I could barely even hold up my own head. As daily therapy and time progressed, I was able to walk very slowly with a walker. Today, I am able to get around using just a smaller-based quad cane, and sometimes, particularly around my house, I hobble around with no cane at all!
My walking will likely always be pretty slow, and I am still very limited in how I can get around as different surfaces and levels can be very tricky. Honestly, I will probably never run any marathons, though who am I kidding, I would’ve never done that before my stroke either! Unfortunately, I still take a bad fall now and then and never completely feel in control of my body. Though I must say, since I began my lovely friendship and training with Risa, I have never felt more in control of my body. I totally understand why they used to call Pilates “body contrology.” Walking and moving from my core enables me to confidently stand up every day and take that next challenging step.
I can’t thank Risa and the whole Sheppard Method Pilates family enough for this priceless gift. Thank you so much!