Lifting weight

To some people holding onto a one-pound dumbbell is a pretty easy task. For others, its a celebration.

For Josh, the venture into personal training is new territory. When I withdrew him from the school system to home school him, we lost access to the therapists. For many years, I was able to maintain his range of motion but I’m only one person. Instead of a team of people working together to help Josh, we were down to one. And the one had no training in physical training, speech training, or any kind of training.

All I had was a strong faith, and an absolutely unshakeable belief that Josh can do anything he wants to. And this year…right now….I see him wanting this. He wants to communicate. He wants movement. He wants his body to be healthy.

He’s been working with Abby for three weeks. On week one, he couldn’t even wrap his fingers around the dumbbell without help. Week two, he was able to hold onto the dumbbell but he needed help to maintain the grip. Week three, the picture tells it all. He’s gripping it with such strength and determination I could cry. I’m so proud of him. He maintained the grip for quite awhile. His right hand was stronger than his left. But he managed to hang onto the dumbbell with his left hand but not with the strong grip that he shows on the right hand.

I have no idea where this journey will take Josh. I know that the thirty minutes we spend with him, watching him participate fills me with a remarkable energy. There isn’t any success he could have in life that brings me more joy than watching him follow instructions.

This week we sat him on the ball. I sat behind him to keep him upright. Abby sat in front of him, holding his feet. We wanted to see if he could maintain a sitting position on the ball. He pulled himself upright and Abby asked him to drop his chin to his chest. She showed him the movement she wanted and he did it. Then he proceeded to look up, look right, look left, look down. Slowly, and carefully, he did what she asked.

I don’t have words to adequately describe what it feels like to be the mother of a disabled child. A son who has been non-verbal and non-ambulatory from birth. It’s not so much what he’s physically doing so much as the intent. The want-to. The absolute determination. Those are qualities that come from within. I can’t give that to him. When I see his eyes, and his joy, it’s an indescribable joy to help him on this journey of discovery. I hope you check in often to follow along. He’s amazing and I feel very blessed.

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