LINDA GROSHEK (long bio)
I was walking out of a store when a man in a wheelchair caught my eye. Instantly this vision went through my head of him getting up and walking away. My thought that proceeded was, “There has got to be a way to free someone walk from wheelchair, it didn’t make sense to me that not one person had figured this out yet.” I was about eight years old at the time these thoughts occurred. From that day forward the same thought would play through my head every time someone in a wheelchair would cross my path. The pain in my body would never compare to a person having to stay in a wheelchair, but having severe migraines for as long as I can remember and Fibromyalgia later in life was extremely difficult. The older I became the more pain I had throughout my body. The pain was in my pelvis it traveled up my spine, across my shoulders, through my neck, around my head, and into my eyes creating migraine that put me in bed for roughly three days every two weeks. I could not walk around without running into walls; my eyes would water because the pain was so severe. I couldn’t stop it no matter how hard I tried.
My social life fell apart because of the fear having to cancel my plans yet again. I felt like a ninety-year-old lady in a twenty year old body.
Then one day my sister, a Feldenkrais Practitioner of twenty-five years (that did not live near me), said: “Linda, you need to take the Feldenkrais training, you will learn how to move away from pain.” Being a stay at home mom and my kids ready for college, I thought, “Okay, it’s my turn to take care of myself.” I went into the most incredible life changing experience: a Neuro-movement method that re-establishes the body to brain connections. Everything that happened to me physically and mentally started evolving at the same time. The pain started going away from my tailbone and pelvis, up my spine, across my shoulders, up my neck, around my head, and finally in my eyes. The dizziness became less and less, while the thoughts and feelings of my life all became clearer like a fog had lifted from my head.
There were many defining moments in my training but this one stood out more than the rest. A girl with Cerebral Palsy walked into our classroom bent over with her knees together, rocking back and forth, gripping two poles to help her balance. Our instructor, from Germany, worked on her four times: one hour each day. He then asked her to standup without the poles (as he stood close by) and then asked her to walk. She went to walk and her whole right side went straight up not bent over anymore, my mouth dropped. She was standing tall on one side and would go back into her bent form on the other side. She was scared to walk without her poles, but there she was walking across the room. What? People with Cerebral Palsy can’t do that! She’d had her condition since birth. I knew right then that this was something amazing and people needed to know.
After a short time, I decided to ask my instructor the question that had lingered in my mind since I was eight years old: If a person has had their spinal cord cut completely in half, should I even consider working with this person? She came within a few inches of my face and said, “Linda, if you don’t think that can happen, you’re in the wrong business.” That was all I needed to hear. There is the possibility that a person can walk from a wheelchair.