Every Thursday I join a select group of people in the Epsom Girls Grammar School Pool for an AquaTherapy class run by the amazing team at Rope Neuro.. It's a select group because everyone in the pool either has MS or has suffered a neurological event (e.g. stroke) or has a neurological disorder in my case Parkinsons. We arrive in wheelchairs, walkers or our own two feet and climb (or are assisted by the MS Auckland volunteers) into the pool for an hour or so of pushing ourselves in whatever fashion we can on the day. These days I am fortunate enough to still be able to swim some freestyle as well as engage furiously in activities supported by and resisted by the water. But this story isn't about me..
It's about Christine whom I met a month ago. My guess is she's around 50 years old. Confined to a electric wheelchair Christine is winched into the water where she floats on her back supported by her son-in-law, two caregivers and an assortment of floatation aids. She can barely move her arms and legs and yet you can tell she is giving it everything she can and her squeals of delight are Ebola-like. She usually gets cold and/or seasick pretty fast buts resists getting out as she loves the freedom and space. She is a beacon of spirit too.. she can't see you because she is flat on her back yet she says gidday and engages merrily with all around her. I admire the hell out of her guts and spirit and zest for the moment.
Thanks Christine I owe you one.