Monday, January 16, 2012

Adapted CrossFit

OK, so Mike's most favorite hobby, besides being with me- he, he, is doing CrossFit and learning about CrossFit.  CrossFit is a type of exercise that combines gymnastics, endurance running and olympic weight lifting.  At our house, cars are banned from the garage... that is the CrossFit gym.  And my brother just built a new storage shed in the back to get all of those pesky things like lawn equipment and tools out of the garage gym.  Why am I talking about this?  Let me tell you.  Last night after the big kids went to bed Mike and I watched this video about this high school that adopted CrossFit as their PE.  It featured a teenage girl with cerebral palsy who did awesome in this gym class with adapted equipment and moves.  It was hard for me to watch because this wasn't a patient... this was my kid in 16 years.  In case you don't know what cerebral palsy is, it is a condition that affects the motor movement and coordination of the person, normally due to some sort of hypoxic injury around the time of birth.  Think about trying to reach out to pick up a glass of water from a table.  A person with CP would find this very difficult because they have to coordinate keeping their balance while making just that one arm move, steady the rest of the their body with the other arm by keeping it in weight bearing on the chair, determine how hard to grasp the cup, balance their body that is affected by tone to make sure they don't fall out of the chair, and keep the cup steady so the water doesn't spill.  One of Dominic's diagnoses is cerebral palsy, or CP.  He is not severe, but it is still there, black and white on paper from a physicians consultation.

As a pediatric PT I have treated lots and lots of kiddo's with CP.  The one that sticks out the most was a sweet little boy named David.  I was helping David learn how to do all sorts of things, with the final goal of walking.  He had this reverse walker (it wrapped around the back of him instead of the front so it was very stable) that he would use and he would literally run and pick his legs up and let it roll.  It was always a fight to make him walk, not run and roll.  The tone in his arms was enough that he could hold himself up on the walker while he picked his legs up from the floor and rolled.  Come to think of it now though, I bet that was alot of fun.  No wonder he hated walking with me... what kid wouldn't want to roll around like that?

I'm telling you this for a couple of reasons.  One, I have this stigma attached to this diagnosis from years of treating kids with it.  They can be from functional with just some difficulty with movement all the way to completely unable to do any purposeful movement at all.  I have this face attached to this diagnosis, this body I see contorted like a pretzel, this wheelchair that requires a special seating system due to the extreme contractures and malformations of the body.  But I also have another picture of it and it looks like David.  Happy, mischievous, pestering big brother, "normal" kid who loves to roll on his walker.  And now Dominic.  Sweet, chubby little man who smiles with his whole face, not just his mouth.  Who likes to bury his face in my shirt to cuddle.  Who likes to be held in just the right way, who lights up when the noise of play from his siblings surrounds him.  God is for sure releasing me from all my past prejudices of treating kids with special needs.  You know, the fear you secretly feel that your own kid could ever be like this?  The tiredness you feel after a 45 minute session with them.  Being unable to imagine life with that kid... and not giving it much thought after he leaves the therapy gym.

OK, back full circle... last night the video with the girl with CP doing adapted CrossFit broke down some of those walls I have in my mind.  It gave me hope.  Who knows what Dominic will be able to do as he gets older, but I now know that whatever his functional level is, he will be able to CrossFit with his Daddy and brothers... just one of the boys in the gym.  Just when I feel stagnant, God continues to move me forward.  Giving me hope.  Nudging me to move on.  He is so good and faithful, even to me who is seldom faithful and mostly nonchalant towards Him.  Won't He ever tire of constantly getting my attention?  I don't think so.  After all, He paid a high price for me.

In Jesus and Mary,
CrossFit Daddy and Son snoozing

Mary reading my Magnificat

Dom loves being held by Mary... and she is very serious about he job!

1 comment:

  1. And just another way He has prepared your hearts...imagine...crossfit! So cool.
    Love your family to pieces!!