What a cool job. She helps people. They go to her with aches and pains and she puts out their fires. But she causes others -- prescribed burns -- the good kind, the kind that says your muscles are working hard and getting stronger.
She helps people bounce back after surgery and illness. She helps people increase their strength and avoid surgery. She helps people improve their mobility, sometimes drastically so.
She shows me what decades of slouching have done to my body. Can you lift your hands all the way up when you slouch? You canít do it, can you? It doesnít sink in for me till I try it myself. Itís impossible! But we can do it if we sit up straight.
She has me slouch again and she pushes down on my head (not too hard), and my spine buckles beneath the pressure. -- This is what gravity is doing to my slouching body. She does the same thing when Iím sitting up straight and I can bear much more pressure, with ease. When I stand erect Iím steadier, stronger, and even taller! -- This is how Iím supposed to be.
Iím learning. I do the exercises sheís teaching me. But Iím not quite done with her physical therapy just yet. Change takes time, but this petite fire-fighter is putting out the fire of my neck and shoulder pain.
Iím lucky; I never knew what chronic pain felt like. But now I have some idea. I think my physical therapist is a hero. Just like the fire-fighters who put their lives on the line battling every blaze, she wins battles, too.
Are you a fire-fighter in some way? I put out fires for customers by fixing the bugs in their software. I donít consider myself a hero, but someone whose problem Iíve fixed might. Do my kids see me as a hero? They know Iím not perfect. They know only God is.
My kindergartenerís class celebrated ďLoving DayĒ on 9/11. Everyone was supposed to do something special for someone. Weíre not all fire-fighters, but we can be a hero in our own way. The kids learned motions to go along with this powerful song which brings tears to my eyes.
ďThere is amazing strength
And a willing hand.
There are victories
That youíre never planned
Thereís a hero
In everybodyís heart.
Thereís a fire
Inside of everybody
Burning clear and bright.
Thereís a power
In the faintest heartbeat
That cannot be deniedÖĒ
-- That hero, that fire within, is Jesus. How can we bring that light to life?
Lyrics from ďThereís A HeroĒ by Billy Gilman.
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