Tales of Wiisdom

I outdid myself yesterday. First there was my standard workout in the pool, which these days consists of swimming, walking backwards and jogging – yes, jogging. Later, I went bowling and boxing, played baseball and tennis – yes, tennis… from the comfort of home, with GG as my partner in mime. All thanks to the wonderfully wacky world of Wii.

The road to the kingdom of Wii started innocently enough, with my first post-accident visit to my long-time podiatrist, Dr. G. A gifted hands-on practitioner, always on the cutting edge of the latest orthotic developments – technological and otherwise, Dr. G. wasted no time in getting me back on my feet. We’re going to treat you like a football player!, she exclaimed the first time she saw me. Given our shared passion from years back, which included comparing notes about our respective cross-training and running routines, I would have been insulted had she suggested anything short of a rigorous comeback. In the athletic realm, it might have been a punishing regime; but I was prepared as she held my feet to the fire.

With no prompting from me, Dr. G. casually slipped into the role of ad hoc ‘quarterback,’ drafting copious notes; a well-calibrated play-by-play into properly-fitted orthotics; an urgent referral to a neurologist; and a letter accompanied by a request – nay, demand!, that I immediately call Doreen’s office (have I written about Doreen’s twenty senses?) and book an appointment – regardless of her six-month waiting list. These were not suggestions; they were outright coach-style demands: This is what you’re going to do, how and when… and we’ll have you back to yourself soon enough…

So, more dutifully than a daughter and alert as a track athlete, I heeded Dr. G.’s every word. I purchased pricey insoles, insisted on squeezing into Doreen’s tight schedule, and religiously followed my newly-minted quarterback’s directions; they were my guide, my bible, a tangible sign of a practitioner’s commitment to my healing and well-being. Who was I to mess with such a blessing?

And who was I to argue with Dr. G’s sense of remedy when she piped up at our last orthotic-adjusting visit with the sudden directive: Get yourself a Wii…and read up on its rehab benefits! (Have you heard of Wiihabilitation?!)

Here’s to yet another angel showing me the way.

Flash forward to yesterday. We plug into the Wii, GG and me. We dance and we bounce (ok, he bounces). I coax my colorful 3-D-ish avatar (no resemblance to me) to swat, prance, pitch and throw. No matter that I’m shaky and achy on my feet, my sacrum wants a rest and my thigh muscles are gnawing at me… I push my petite athlete virtuelle past the point of my pain and way past the point of what I imagine my body can do.

Falling back onto the couch with a thud, I realize that what matters isn’t only what I can accomplish, activity-wise in ‘real’ life. The Wiisdom of Wii, according to me, is that in this virtual world, where your generic little avatar has no clue about your true physical limitations, your body can do what you never thought possible. What a timely invention (therapeutic and otherwise) , I think to myself. It’s not just for couch potatoes! Don’t give up because, without a doubt, Wii will hit that sweet spot again.

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