In A Single Bound

Tears streaming down her face, Nadia tried again.  Her muscles flexed just right.  Her arms swung perfectly.  Her jaw clenched; her abs tightened.  But her feet wouldn't leave the ground.  She took a step back, and a step forward again.  Clenched.  Braced.  Willed.  But didn't jump.

That devilish box may only be 14 inches tall, but that sucker grows with every missed attempt.  Size it up all you want; it can smell fear.  Just high enough to trip over, it's a major barricade for a lot of people at the gym.


Face wet and pink, Nadia kept going.  Laughing at herself, swearing like the honest Portuguese she is, she alternated between missed attempts and kicking the box.  It was painful to watch; every halted jump made my legs tense up.  If I could have done it for her, I would have.  But that's not what we're about here.  

Holding PVC pipe in each hand, she ski-jumped up – plop! – and landed perfectly.  One foot at a time?  No problem.  A galloping stepup?  Easy. Take off on two feet and on two?  Incomprehensible.

Diastis Sympis Pubis happens when the ligament between the pubic bone is stretched greater than 1cm. put into perspective a regular gap in the pubic bone is 4-5mm…mine, was 2.5cm, it was now considered a complete separation, a tear. DSP can be attributed to a car accident , or falling from a horse, mine was from childbirth. March 10, 2008.


Laying in the hospital bed I knew something wrong had happened. I had no control of my lower half of my body…to get to my recovery room, i needed a wheelchair. To get into bed I needed my dad, my brother, my fiancé..whoever was there to help. In recovery I noticed that my right leg would involuntarily start moving outwards…i couldn’t stop it. As much as i tried to move my leg back onto the bed, i couldn’t…i had to scream for a nurse to come catch my leg. Looking back I’m not sure why no one thought this strange, why to get to the bathroom took me 20 minutes getting there by dragging my feet…to actually take one normal step was now impossible. My legs didn’t come off the ground more than 1 inch.


The next few months was not what i expected coming home with a new baby girl. I was in bed, my mattress now lowered to the floor so I could very carefully back in. When I did sleep, I could only sleep flat on my back. Rolling or turning in any way was not an option and has only just became an option early this year. I didn’t get to bathe my baby for 2 months. When company came over, we were restricted to the upstairs because I couldn’t walk downstairs…my legs only shuffled….my eyes never left the space where my next step would be for fear that i would slip…this fear still exists. To get in and out of the car, i backed in, grabbed my pants and lifted both legs into the car…i couldn’t separate them. To get dressed I used the aid of a long metal claw thingy that opened and closed in on anything within 3 feet, and if this wasn’t available … my 5 year old coming over to put my socks on for me when I couldn’t. The worst perhaps was not being able to get down on the floor and play with my new baby girl….because I was by myself at home and if I sat down I couldn't get up. Things that i never stopped for one second to think about were now virtually impossible without help. Months later the pain was still overwhelming, my lower back felt like it was on fire, the
 chiropractor didn’t help. My physiotherapist helped with the pain and helped with some range of movement. But my strength was gone, & my confidence in the ability to take care of myself and my girls was shattered.. Someone could’ve walked over to me and raised a finger..I would’ve buckled…i went in a lion, and came out a lamb.


Over 1 year had passed and although i could now walk, sleep, sit and drive myself,….I was still very aware of everything i did, things still clicked, popped and numbness in my leg was an everyday thing, fearing a slip or a tear putting me back to the place i don’t ever want to go. My fiancé had done this awesome interview with a guy named Chris Cooper. I looked him up..researched about him…My favourite thing now was to google everything.. since i spent many many hours laying in a bed ,. I was on a need to know basis. I mentioned his name to Dom, and thats about all it took. Dom got the ball rolling for me, apparantly emailing him. I hesitantly added Chris as my friend to facebook…but I never messaged…I was a chicken. He apparently is not. He made our first appointment to meet August 19th, 2009 4:30pm, hhad already researched DSP …. To say thank you wouldn't do Chris justice..I haven’t looked back since.

And so, an eternity later, we set the sticks down.  We jumped, landing on one foot at a time.  Her shoes made a "pat….pat" sound as they landed.  "Speed up the feet." I said.  She did: "Pat..pat." &#
0160;"Quicker," I said.  "Pat-pat!"  We were close.  "
Together!" I yelled.  She hesitated once.  I had a moment of doubt. And then, she rose…..


Nadia Amaral does box jumps.  10 in a row! Not in picture: cheering women.

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