I think this was Bri’s idea, although it screams of Fener’s ferocity. The chair is around 25 pounds. It’s not terribly heavy, but it’s cumbersome. The balance required for Nick to pull this off is impressive to me.
Tonight I asked Nick how he is feeling, how he’s coping, accepting, finding peace with his life now. I don’t expect him to be happy about his life right now, that would be unrealistic especially because he had surgery nine weeks ago that forced him back into intolerable pain and dependence. Compared to the life he used to live, I know his current life sucks. Instead of skydiving everyday, he is juggling doctors appointments, therapies, and chores. His life lacks the excitement and passion it once had, but we understand he’s on a mission and he’s investing in his future by doing what is necessary to have the greatest chance at a fulfilling life in the future. I hope that one day he can find intense happiness that he once had despite what has changed in his life.
But right now, he says he’s found quite a bit of peace with losing his legs, his mobility, and some of his most intimate functions. He’s accepted where he’s at, even though there are moments when he still hates it. These moments are fewer, shorter, and milder. At only fifteen months post-accident I think any level of acceptance is an impressive feat. Just dealing with and working through the anger and depression that naturally accommodates a permanent injury is outstanding. And he’s done it while maintaining a good attitude and laser focus on his goals.
Nick Fener represents Chuck Norris strength and Energizer endurance. He’s suffered and survived through misery that would cripple many of us, and somehow has never lost his sense of self or sense of humor. I’m so proud of my partner. Everyday he inspires me to be a better person, live with more love and gratitude, push through what scares and intimidates me, be authentic and honest, and appreciate and cultivate my health and happiness.
Thank you Nick.
I love you!
I want to express the gravity of what going back to therapy at Project Walk means. This won’t be easy because it means everything.
Nick’s therapy at Project Walk from January through June this year gave him his glute muscles back, his hamstrings, his core. Working with Bri and Eric three days a week for over five months infused Nick with hope and had him flirting with freedom. His time at Project Walk cultivated the strength to push forward and the tools to do it safely. He swiftly graduated from parallel bars to a walker, from a walker to forearm crutches, from forearm crutches to hiking poles, from hiking poles to taking wobbly unassisted steps. He summited the Mt Everest of recovery, but only because they’re bad ass sherpas! The extensive knowledge and experience they have working with people who have spinal cord injuries made the critical difference in Nick’s stunning progression.
Not being at Project Walk, not moving forward, not seeing his friends make progress, not being around the community of amazing people, was all really hard on Nick. But even though he spent nine weeks away, having surgery and starting from scratch, nine weeks away filled with emotional turmoil and physical agony, nine weeks away with no formal therapy and very little energy to do his own exercising, even with all of that, he returned to Project Walk today just as strong if not stronger in certain areas than when he left nine weeks ago. I’m not saying he didn’t get his ass kicked. He did. Bri took him to the brink, but no further. It was a tough workout and he’ll be GRATEFUL when he is sore tomorrow. He GOT to workout hard today, he didn’t HAVE to.
I guess what I’m saying is it was lip-smacking, gooey gourmet chocolate cake, scrumptiously delicious to be back.
The hugs, the smiles, the stories from friends. Pure awesomeness!