406. Topics of Discussion


When I was facing my switch to Medicare I knew I’d probably have to leave Planet Rehab (NRH).  I broached the subject with M37 on one of our wandering trips around campus.  She decided we should climb all the steps in a particular parking garage.  I went along with it since it only looked like three stories from the outside.  It turned out to be five.  Booooo for visual disturbances.  You know, M, if we go up we have to come down, I said.

That’s the point, she confirmed.  And she turned her attention back to making sure I didn’t touch any railings or walls throughout the (arduous) process.

When we reached the top of the garage we had a nice view of DC against a sunny blue sky.  I took the opportunity to bring up the possibility of continuing treatment at Planet Rehab under Medicare.  Blah blah blah…I might have to leave you but we can’t talk about it bc I might die, I blurted out.

I actually informed her via letter (I know – very passive aggressive) or perhaps there was a text message, too, that I would not be returning after my  3 month stay at Ai Ai and Tim’s.  Remember how I said I might die when we were on the top floor of the parking garage?  Well I just might, I wrote.

I thanked her for a couple of very significant things that I’ll never forget, but there were also a lot of insignificant things that helped me, too.  For example, when Matthew died on Downton Abbey she prepped me for the general shock on Tuesday and I decided I needed to know specifics by Thursday.

Now that I work with Trainer D and Coach R, these sort of discussions don’t happen.  Questions I’ve fielded lately are, “Do you know what a bicycle kick is?”  “Do you know how to say goal in Arabic?”  “What about penalty as in penalty kick?”  I try to educate them a little since neither grew up with sisters, Trainer D has no kids, and Coach R only has boys.  Examples:

When I was bemoaning the uneven wear on the toes of my shoes (the left toe is ripped up on my sneakers bc my left foot still drags and has been acting up lately):  This is awful.  I’m a girl – we measure things in cost per wear.

To Coach R while I was on the leg press – I have no idea why we were talking about this:  The length of your pant leg is influenced by the height of your heel.  (C’mon, ladies – you know what I mean.  What if you want to wear high heels that day but you want to wear flats on the Metro?)

Trainer D:  You have little baby hands!  (i.e. they are not all ripped up like his)
Me: That’s bc I’m delicate like a flower :).
Trainer D:  Girls moisturize too much.

This comment led to a teaching moment regarding exfoliation.  It was a completely fruitless exercise. That’s two minutes of my life I will never get back.

I was soooo sore last Saturday I thought, It’s just as I suspected.  D and R ARE trying to kill me on purpose.  

And yet I keep coming back for more.  Have a great long weekend.  See you in September!

Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

404. A Goodly Child


When I understood that Ernie, Ruth, Karine and Ezra had come to Portland to see me while I was sleeping my first thought was, Oh, good – now my friends will how beautiful my children are.

PS.  They’re really smart, too – all of my nephews and nieces – in addition to the good looks.  I’m just saying.

So I’m a little biased. It is what it is. I do, however, try to be ungrudging when it comes to confirming for other people that their children are cute.

I was getting stretched out today at the Running Gym and suddenly a wiry little guy in a bright orange t-shirt appeared out of the corner of my eye. He was just saying “Goodbye” and “Thank you” to Coach R since their session was over. That boy was so polite – as he walked away I was like, That is a well-mannered child.

I guess it’s easy to like kids who are cute, smart, and polite. Moses’ mom saw that he was a “goodly child” and hid him for three months instead of throwing him in the river as Pharaoh had decreed (Exodus 2.2). My rough translation is that baby Moses was cute as a button.

It fascinates me that many great figures in the Bible were good looking. I’ve already mentioned Moses, but there was also Joseph (“a goodly person and well favoured” Gen 39.6), David (“ruddy, and of a fair countenance” 1 Sam17.42), and Daniel (who was taken to Babylon since he was good looking and smart, too Dan1.4). I’m sure there are more, but I need to go to bed soon. If you think of anyone else let me know.

But the pattern is broken when it comes to the Lord Jesus. When people looked at Him “there [was] no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53.2).

There was an element of physical attractiveness in the characters who populated the flannel boards of our childhood Sunday School classrooms. Of course, the more important factor was the kind of men they grew to be – but it’s interesting to me that they “looked” the part.

Based on what the Word says in Isaiah 53 I don’t think people followed the Lord Jesus bc of what He looked like. I love the fact that while He could have chosen any human form to take He confounded the wisdom of this world and chose one that did not look the part.

So why did people follow Him?

376.  Where else can I go?

376. Where else can I go?

Because they heard what He said and concluded, “Never man spake like this man” (John 7.46). Grown men left everything and followed Him bc what they heard and how He treated people was so compelling they were like, I want to be near that.

Me, too.

Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

403. Worlds Collide

I gave Ezzie this 'Skins outfit.  Now P2 wears it.

I gave Ezzie this ‘Skins outfit. Now P2 wears it.

153.  Happy (Early) Anzac Day! |Ezra was Peter's age when I came home.

153. Happy (Early) Anzac Day! |Ezra was Peter’s age when I came home.

Wow. I am exceedingly sore.  I have been plenty sore since I started going to Therapy and since I met my Trainers, but this takes the cake. I was right that Friday would be tougher with Trainer D but my stalling strategies did not work. Coach R was in fine form on Thursday and Trainer D followed it up with “Leg Day” on Friday.

A staffer at The Gym asked me how my workout was and I said, You know, the longer I work with D the bossier he gets. She did not try to defend him in any way. It seems that Bossy Smurf has rubbed off on him. If he’s gotten bossier I’ve gotten sassier, but I’ve always had it in me – it’s just been magnified by the brain injury. He tells me to do stuff and I just say, No. (I do it anyway, I just like to lodge formal complaints prior.) I don’t bother doing this with Coach R – I just giggle for a while.

382.  Laughing at the  Wrong Time

382. Laughing at the Wrong Time

Actually, no – this does not take the cake. I was sorer the first time I got a massage from Gen. Her medical background made her immediately see that many body parts aren’t in the right place or aren’t functioning in the way they’re supposed to. So she went to town starting with my shoulders and when she moved to the legs that’s when I tried to crawl away but she has superhuman strength and was gripping my calf.

Coach R was not amused that I was so sore when I showed up at the Running Gym later that day. I told him it was an experiment. I scheduled a “run” right after on purpose to see what happened. On that first day I knew immediately that I felt fantastic. I avoided CMD that week bc I didn’t want her to see the bruises. The next time I saw Gen I asked her to go easier on me bc I’m not a big athlete like she’s used to and she eased up. It’s still painful sometimes, but it’s great – I know good things are happening.

I told Trainer D about Gen one day: She grows in fantastic-ness every week!! I told him to go see her and was so proud when he actually made the appointment. I told Gen to take good care of him and the front desk people to be mean to him. I also told Gen, You’ll know it’s him bc of the overt air of insanity. :)

I was right. Gen immediately gave me the download at my next appointment. I recognized him from your description, she said. I was like, ummm…I can’t remember ever saying what he looks like bc I’m not really sure – I have guessed wrongly in the past on the question of facial hair (does he have any or not?). But she clarified that she recognized him bc of his “demeanor” and I immediately burst into laughter – I called it!

Apparently Trainer D has a lot more scar tissue than he thought. He said he’s like a walking scab. The problem is that proficient people have trouble entrusting themselves to others. He prefers to work on his own muscles and does that foam-rolling thing. But now he has Gen! He agrees – she is super strong and he admitted he knows what I meant when I told him I tried to crawl away.

To be clear, Trainer D is a lot of things, but he is not a sissy. I told him she was strong. She is also absolutely hilarious, which I enjoy, and Trainer D does, too. So the benefits of our sessions with Gen are multiple.

Trainer D has already scheduled his next appointment. Gen told me, He really needs to take some time for himself. So this is a good thing – she’s a great resource and I am thrilled to have connected them.

My other major success story in this area is that I got JJ to see CMD during their visit at the end of July. I had asked CMD several months ago if acupuncture could help his fibromyalgia and prayed regarding if it would be good for him to go. I wasn’t sure bc he’d only be able to go once, I thought, and I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it if he couldn’t continue it in the future.

JCJ opined that it would be great to try acupuncture so Mommy took JJ to CMD’s office and she worked her magic. She did all the verbal questions and then tapped his spine gently, Does it hurt here?

It was so apparent, even during one session, that she really is a Ninja, that I had no trouble getting JJ to take my Friday appointment, too. So he ended up going twice! He was concerned about taking my slot but what I did not explain to him was that I do this thing (naughtily) where I avoid CMD when I’m feeling really poorly. I was just starting to really go downhill at that point. I know, I know – I’m shooting myself in the foot. I know this bc when I saw her the week after, and the week after that I walked out into the waiting room and told her assistant (loudly, so everyone could hear), I feel SO much better. It’s truly remarkable.

319.  Who's Going to Help Me?

319. Who’s Going to Help Me?

I am thrilled to have amassed this group of fabulous professionals to help me. I no longer feel the old panic that bubbled up inside me when I left The Place. We have made enormous progress in the area of Who’s going to help me? I love finding great people bc I can send my friends to them so they can get help, too.

Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!


402. Pep Talk


On August 2 I celebrated 2 years of freedom from Corporate America. Plainly stated, I lost my job on August 2, 2012. Let me say again that Intel took great care of me when I was well and when I was sick. They kept me on longer than they were legally obligated to but the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) doesn’t cover cases like mine – i.e. when there’s no timeline for a return to work. Multiple docs have filed paperwork for me with heartbreaking assertions of my inability to work but I have to concede the point when I’m so grateful that I can shut down my online presence at the drop of a hat bc I’m not feeling well.

This does not take the sting away from not being able to earn a living. When I was terminated I was terribly sad even though they gave me a couple of months to get used to the idea before we had to have the actual conversation. I cried and cried. My siblings and their progeny were visiting and on “Separation Day” my brother, Ernie, gave me that fabulous pep talk while we were at the mall with our cousins. We sat in the food court and he told me, Ning, now you can do whatever you want.

101.  I Eating Chicken!

101. I Eating Chicken!

How’s that for perspective? Thanks, Ernie! Way to have vision.
PS. Seriously, read 101. “I Eating Chicken!” This story makes me laugh so hard.

He told me I should write children’s books. A week or two later I had written Ed goes to DC. Then I roped my friends into taking the pictures for me downtown. I set up a Flickr account and asked them to send the files there. After I got a slew of them obviously taken from a moving vehicle from the driver’s side I was like, Thanks, guys – I’m all set. Xoxooxo

I love having helpful friends. They encourage me daily and I am so grateful.

But I have multiple friends who could use a little pep talk themselves. They are facing situations where they must grapple with the possibility of leaving their profession entirely, or handling circumstances that will make their professional life extremely difficult.

I won’t sit here and tell you, Hey, it’s a privilege to be able to earn a living (even though it is), so do whatever it takes to put food on the table. There is an element of baseline maintenance to working that makes slogging away at whatever job is available a financial necessity sometimes. But the situations I’m thinking of are geared to the “personal fulfillment” side of employment. You were trained for this, you’ve invested money and heart into this, and now, through no fault of your own, you’re staring down a professional path none of us would want to walk.

But I will say that I’m privileged to know people who have walked that path even though they didn’t want to. They were forced to bc of severe injury. I told a friend recently, Life didn’t turn out the way you thought it would, but you made something of it anyway…and from where I’m sitting, it’s looking pretty good right now.

245.  I'm Rooting for You

245. I’m Rooting for You

So I know it’s possible even though it’s a messy and a completely not-fun process. As you get ready for combat please know that I’m rooting for you.

Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

401. This is how Tans go on Vacation



Isn’t this picture funny in the context of 389.  We are Tans?  We spent a week together (except Timmy, who had to travel for work), and this is one of the many meals we shared.

389.  We are Tans

389. We are Tans

Even though I’ve not been feeling well for the past month or so, this was the most enjoyable vacation I’ve had since I got sick.  The question of how to take a vacation has weighed heavily on me lately, but now that I’m getting used to This Disabled Life I know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

390.  Vacation

390. Vacation

There was a lovely pool area but I never saw it since getting to it involved some accessibility issues I didn’t feel like dealing with.  So I consoled myself by going to the gym (Mommy Daddy or Boo Boo walked with me) and tried to keep moving.  It’s taken several weeks for me to really admit that I was feeling bad.  In many ways I’ve tried to force the issue by insisting on working out etc.  But CMD told me yesterday that it’s really important for me to keep on exercising even if I’m not feeling well bc my blood has trouble moving around in my body.  This is easy for me to agree with since Dr. Dogan told me it wasn’t the AVM that was so destructive, it was the massive amount of bleeding that accompanied it.

So I’ve been keeping all of my appointments at The Gyms and trying hard to feel better.  I told my Trainers about Z who used to carry me around at Vibra (2nd Hospital).  I miss him :(.

I’ve missed him a lot this past week bc the drive home was really rough since traffic was awful.  I was terribly uncomfortable for a few days.  I did Ceragem at 3am on Monday morning and counted the hours until I saw Gen.  I told her everything was all messed up, pointing to my hips, but she took one look at my shoulders and shuddered.  It’s like you’ve been sitting in a box with your knees up, she told me while she was working.  (PS.  I’m writing this 4 days later and my shoulders are still sore.) Yep, that’s what sitting in a car is like for me.  I guess we’ll take a break earlier next time.

I saw Coach R right after.  He could tell something was wrong by the way I was sitting to put my AlterG shorts on so I unweighted myself more, did my “running” thing and got stretched out fabulously.

I felt really good after that but the situation deteriorated overnight and the next morning I was in the middle of some weighted squats and asked Trainer D plaintively, “So do you feel sorry for me yet?”

Answer:  No.  I think I might have used up his supply of sympathy a couple weeks ago.  Incidentally, a couple weeks ago we had a hysterical conversation in which he said he was “concerned” about the timing of my pain reporting relative to our workouts.  I fought hard on this one, insisting that there was no discernible pattern – BTW this is not the party line, I think it’s the honest truth.  Side note: I have a great fear of being made to sit down quietly. I was forced to do this when the hemiparesis surfaced after I learned to walk. It was frustrating and boring and I will go to great lengths to avoid having to do so again. Anyway, I’m glad Trainer D knows it’s his job to be watchful about these things, just like how Coach R knows he’s supposed to be the grown up in this scenario.  So if Trainer D pushes me it’s my own doing.  It is, after all, why I joined a gym and got a trainer.  I just like to say sassy things for fun.

But the good thing is that right now my custom is to see CMD mid-week so I feel better enough to finish the week strong with full workouts with Coach R and Trainer D on Thursday and Friday.  Mondays are just “running” on the AlterG – Coach R doesn’t make me do squats or anything until Thursday. I see Trainer D on Tuesdays sometimes.  This Tues was a little lighter bc I spent a few minutes protesting about how I didn’t want to do XYZ and then he spent some time working on my gait.  I bet Friday will be tougher, but I’ll try to distract him with more gait questions :).

The reason I spend all this time and money going to see all my peeps is so I can enjoy moments with my family like when we were on vacation last week.  This is a common practice – people earn a living so they (and their families) can live on a day-to-day basis with occasional vacations.  Even though I haven’t been feeling great the fact that I invested a lot of energy in physical improvement pre and post Oregon paid off.  I rode the wave as long as I could and although things went south I’m still better.

400. Yield


When I first learned how to drive Uncle B(W) shared this piece of advice with me in his amazingly Southern drawl: “That’s right, Naaaaang – give everyone the right of way.”

8.  I like to keep a constant speed

8. I like to keep a constant speed

Yep, Mr. “I like to keep a constant speed” said this to me. I guess he was aiming for me to arrive alive vs. arrive first. It makes sense, though, in that Uncle B(W) is also the one who coined the phrase, “Let it ride” – another gem that is now the stuff of legend in our shared memory.

88.  Let it ride

88. Let it ride

As I’ve recovered Mommy has reminded me of the “Let it ride,” concept several times. Now it’s developed from a don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff attitude to the ability to yield when the occasion calls for it. 2 examples:

A while back I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for my turn for an evaluation. I overheard (amazingly, despite the hearing loss) a lady explain that she was from Florida and was visiting a friend in the area (still an hour+ away) and had showed up hoping to get an appointment for her little boy. The schedule was too tight that day and there was no spot for her, but after I consulted Mommy I beckoned to a staffer and asked her to step outside with us. I explained that we lived very nearby so if she could reschedule us we’d go our merry way and that lady and her son could have our evaluation time slot.

When I reappeared later that week my doctor told me that he had been very touched by this act. Really, though, it had cost me very little. And I knew that if that lady had taken the trouble to show up when she actually lived in Florida, it was a shot-in-the-dark move because she wanted to get good treatment for her son but was not having success in her hometown.

“That lady needed help,” I told my doctor. “I know what that feels like.”

Example 2:

A month+ ago I was getting ready to climb in the AlterG when another “regular” – an elderly man in a chair wheeled by his nephew showed up early. I immediately told Coach R I’d go play on an elliptical instead while this gentleman took a walk. I was already moving in the direction of the ellipticals so he didn’t have much of an option but to let me :).

Half an hour later the AlterG was free but I tried to get out of doing it since I had already sweated sufficiently. Are you sure? You could just do 20 minutes. I know it’s important to you, Coach R said.

This was code for, You have 30 seconds to climb in the bubble before I put you there myself.

Heh heh. Just kidding. I like to put words in Coach R’s mouth bc it’s fun. But I do think my chances of leaving the Running Gym without actually “running” that day were slim to none.

As I put on my funny shorts I explained that my general rule is You yield to the guy in the chair… bc people did that for me.

It’s true – plus many people still do kind things for me even though I’m not in a chair anymore. When I was in a chair people could see that I was not an overly proficient user. Apparently the way I was sitting in it pointed to the fact that I wasn’t really with the program so they made my day run smoother when they could.

Now that I’m getting better it is a great pleasure to me to be able to yield to others when I can. Being able to yield (a time-slot, a position in a queue, etc.) means that I recognize that someone else has a greater need and I have excess (e.g. time, alternate routes) so I can use the wiggle room at my discretion.

This was not always the case. Yes, I still have strict parameters that guide the times I venture away from home, but it’s a lot easier than it used to be. I told my Social Worker at The Place that getting ready to go anywhere is like an Olympic sport. To get dressed and groomed appropriately was something to be relearned. I still need to take breaks (my regimen is quite prolonged) but I know how to do everything more efficiently than in the early days.

The better I get at living This Disabled Life the more I can yield to others who might really need a bit of kindness that day. Like I told my doctor, “I know what that feels like.”

Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!

399. Resonance


I recently had a couple conversations with Trainer D that started like this:

Me: I feel crummy…so 2 Things: 1) I need you to be nice to me, and 2) I need you to speak English…

(5 minutes later)

Trainer D: [Lapses into Spanish. Not Spanglish, and not Soccer Player Spanish. He breaks into This-Is-What-My-Mother-Tongue-Sounds-Like Spanish]

Me: WHAT did I just say about the English?!?

When I’m not ill and not being picky he sprinkles some Arabic and German words in there for kicks and thinks that if he speaks louder and slower in Spanish I will miraculously understand him. :/.

Coach R only speaks English to me but I still don’t know what he’s saying sometimes. Example: One day I asked him to check if I’m still leaning to the right. Answer: yes, a little. Booooo. He observed intently and instructed, Try to engage your left oblique.

Me (internal): Sure, R, like I’m gonna know how to do that.

But in the same way that he does not joke about agility, Coach R does not joke about obliques –so I tried for a while, looking at our reflections in the mirror with the mute appeal, Is anything happening?

Answer: Not a thing. So I did some twisty exercises (he made sure I didn’t fall off the table). A few days later he vowed, We’ll get you linear yet.

Happily, I’m not always trying to engage my left oblique – I routinely get to rest at the Running Gym. We’ve been talking about music lately while I get stretched out and I’ve been wondering why I enjoy these discussions but they also make me sad. It’s because Coach R is a musician and the way he talks about music was what I was looking for so desperately in the hospital but all I found was discordancy instead.

When I got my digital piano back I played the songs I had recorded before I got sick. I anticipated getting it back for years but when it actually happened I looked at it in the corner of my room and wondered if this was such a good idea after all. One reason was that having your piano in your room reads a little Beth in Little Women to me – but I’m not dying, I’m getting better! But really, it was the association with my Old Life that made my eyes water when I first touched the keys.

I waited until I was alone to play my old songs (thankfully I recalled how to work the buttons). I remembered being in my apartment when I made those recordings and cried through the first couple. But then I came to a favorite I played all the time: Fernando Ortega’s version of the old hymn, “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”.  I was alone when I recorded it so I played without reservation and at the moment when it transitions from a minor melody to a major chord I used my left digits to emphasize the change to the point where I could feel the vibration through the recording. I had forgotten this would happen so when I heard it for the first time I felt myself sit back in my chair. The crying stopped and my body relaxed. After 3 years the music still resonated with me and brought me comfort even though everything is different.

I’ve written about the concept of recognition before on my blog but lately I’ve started using the word “resonance” more. One of the definitions of resonance is “a sound or vibration produced in one object that is caused by the sound or vibration produced in another,” or simply, “a quality of evoking response” (m-w.com). The way people respond to me now is something I never would have imagined or looked for in my Old Life. Oftentimes I don’t say or do anything in particular but sometimes people see the way I edge myself into my seat at a restaurant or how I push my cart around at the store and they feel compelled to venture beyond the perimeter we maintain around ourselves in public.

Sometimes I do say something pointed, hoping for a response. It’s usually an act of reciprocity – someone trusts me with information and I reciprocate. It has been such a joyful surprise to me to make friends Post-AVM. One of them (a new friend I’ve never met in person but who entered my life bc she’s a caregiver to a loved one in a similar situation) recently emailed me saying she bought my book and been encouraged by it.

This is why I do this. Resonance doesn’t always happen. Reciprocity is an ideal, not a rule of RecoveryLand (or life in general). I have learned that the experience that cost me everything is easily passed over when people are looking for a way to spend their spare time. But it was my choice to write a book and maintain this blog. It was an extremely calculated move – I knew why I wanted to do this long before I was physically ready to dive in. The physically ready point might be debatable sometimes, but whatevs. Since I went to Oregon I’ve started writing exclusively for me and, combined with my physical improvement, it’s a lot easier than when I started. The fact that my body of work is growing means that Resonance can happen completely impersonally – people can order my book or read my blog; they choose their own level of engagement. But personal encounters are a critical part of Recovery for me, and when someone lets me know (thank you!) they’ve been blessed by something I produced  I feel the same feeling as when I heard my old recording. The minor key resolves into a sweeping major chord, my insides relax, I stop crying, and I smile again bc I know the right thing is happening.

320.  Why she not friendly?

320. Why she not friendly?

Ann Ning Learning How |Nonprofit books on Amazon!



398. Water Damage

The boys at Ezra's Fire House field trip

The boys at Ezra’s Fire Station field trip

I’m getting spoiled. I’ve often been blessed with so much more than I ask or even imagine during this Recovery. Of course there are setbacks, but that’s how this gig works and remembering the many blessings the Lord has strewn along this bumpy path strengthens me to face every day – especially the hard ones.

Prior the Summer of 2013 I asked God for an AlterG to use while I visited Ai Ai & Tim. It is not overly common to find one available for public rental – it’s often for patient-use only.   The first place (a running store) I found on the AlterG website emailed me to say they no longer had the machine. So I called the second place on the list – the Southern Gym. SCORE. It is 5 minutes from Ai Ai’s house. Plus it’s an actual Physical Therapy practice with a very experienced PT at the helm. This was great bc he kept me from getting too excited.

I went in expecting it to be a clean transaction – I barely looked at the machine and I was like, Do you take AmEx? My Southern PT was like, Ummm…maybe you should try it out first. :).   And the next time I came in I got a full evaluation, a chart and everything.

I had a game plan for building my mobility credibility and pursued it doggedly but three weeks in my Southern PT informed me that there would be no running for me that summer. This is understandable given that he had never seen me before and I was beginning to regress bc I was away from acupuncture. But when I showed up this year in April I informed him that I now have a Personal Trainer and an Athletic Trainer who help me run so he was very pleased to let me have at it. I thought he wasn’t monitoring me as closely but I was wrong – I still had a chart and he kept on writing his little notes in it.

So it was huge for me to secure AlterG usage in a super convenient location and in an experienced PT environment, but the story gets better. When I enlisted Boo Boo’s help to prepare for my visit she informed me that the Southern Gym had sustained major water damage due to a burst pipe. All the tenants had to move out of the building. The Optical Practice next door was being completely gutted. I was heartbroken – not just for me, but for the impact this would have on business. So I prayed that they would be able to move back in soon, and that the AlterG survived the flood.

The trailers were lined up outside to hold the tenants' things.

The trailers were lined up outside to hold the tenants’ things.

My first day back at the Southern Gym was also their first day after 4+ months at another location. Happily, the only thing broken on the AlterG was the TV screen and they had gotten a new one lickety split. As my Southern PT carried boxes around Boo Boo whispered, Maybe you should just try running and he won’t notice. :) Bahahahahaha! She was just kidding, don’t worry, Mommy. I gained permission for a sanctioned run. It was all good.

When they moved back in they posted a sign saying "We Are Open"

When they moved back in they posted a sign saying “We Are Open”

I was so pleased to be able to continue ORFR without a break. I sent postcards to my Trainers and M37 with my stats. When I came home I was looking for a massage therapist to fill out Team Tanimal. I had found massage to be really helpful while I was away (per CMD’s suggestion) and I was feeling so good I hoped to be able to reduce my visits to her to once a week.

I have mentioned that I have a new massage therapist before but I haven’t introduced you yet. I found her because I stopped by the massage place in person one day – we were running errands nearby – and said, this is less about relaxation, more about medical necessity. They immediately signed me up to see “Gen.” When she greeted me in the waiting room a couple weeks later I ascertained that she was not unfamiliar with mobility deficits.

My impression was correct. When I gave her a brief health history she said, You’re in good hands. I’m an orthopedic surgeon and a [former] physical therapist.

I raised my fist in victory. Yessss! I love it when this happens.

Told you I was getting spoiled.

She does massage as part of her pro bono work and she keeps on meeting people who need help (like me!! I am very needy). She immediately did the eyes-only diagnosis thing like Coach R does and she approaches muscular intervention like Trainer D. Except Trainer D scolds me if I laugh – D: Don’t laugh, it changes everything! Me: Well then stop saying funny stuff. Gen is okay with laughing, or at least she understands that it’s impossible for me not to laugh at most of the things she says. Working with her is like Trainer D in “strength & honor” mode except he might work for 10-15 minutes, tops. She goes for an hour.

Strength and Honor |Proverbs 31 | Ann Ning Learning How

When they’re not tending to me, Team Tanimal serves the NBA, NFL, and US Soccer. Gen also used to work on baseball players back in the day. So I’ve got my major sports covered. Pfewf – that’s a relief. But after that first day (when I tried to crawl away from her but she had a grip on my leg – boooooo) I asked her to go easier on me bc she’s used to big athletes, but I’m just me. Since then it’s been fabulous and I’m booked until November.

Random pic:


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