View Full Version : what tai chi means to me

Sue Rupert
08-08-2004, 11:33 AM
I know this is long, but I really want to share this with you:

In 1952, at the age of 9, I had Polio. I completely recovered (you don’t actually recover, but you think you have). I lead a “normal” (and VERY active) life. Then, in the 90’s, everything changed. I didn’t seem to have any energy. I was tired all the time. I hurt all the time. I was depressed. I just figured it was all “menopausal.” But I found that I couldn’t do “anything.” At least not the stuff I always had done, all the stuff I wanted to do. I hurt all the time. I was fatigued. I was very bitchy (and yes, that IS the word I mean to use). I went through a prolonged period (as in 5 years) of depression. I spent way too much time on the “I can’ts.” I can’ hike, I can’t ski, I can’t even swim much distance any more. I can’t work a job anymore (too tired). I can’t keep up with the housework. I can’t keep up. I was tired ALL the time. I can’t even walk without a cane for balance. I can’t even shop!
In 1999 I was diagnosed with PPS, Post Polio Syndrome, (I am not going into a “What is PPS” here). I got a wheelchair. I got an electric scooter, both of which I had to use only occasionally). I got a walker, which I used frequently at home. I used the electric carts at the grocery store. We got a new bed (trouble sleeping). We got a new car (trouble riding, traveling). We even put an addition on the house so I didn’t have the stairs I had lived with for 30 years. I spent hours just doing nothing except feeling sorry for myself. Nothing seemed to help.
I was very lucky to find a masseuse that did wonders. My balance seemed to get somewhat better. I lost 40 pounds (on purpose). Both these things helped some.
Then last winter I found Tai Chi for Arthritis. My life has completely changed. I have found something that not only has helped my balance, it is something I CAN do! And I can do it well. For the first time in over 5 years I can do something well! I have learned a new skill. I LOVE Tai Chi. It has improved my muscle strength. I am no longer “crooked.” My mental health has improved. I am not as depressed. I am able to start physical therapy. I am gradually increasing the distance that I can walk. I have started swimming again. I recently bought an exercise bike and am up to five minutes (a huge step).
And I have just become certified as an instructor for Tai Chi for Arthritis!
Thank you Dr. Lam for a wonderful program. I do not feel it is too strong to say that it has saved my life. And thank you Master Trainer Pam Kircher, you are a wonderful instructor and a warm, caring, sensitive and supportive person. And thank you Ginny Brown. My Tai Chi instructor, who in her gentle, non-judgmental way, has kept me going this last year. You have changed my life.

Durango CO

08-08-2004, 12:05 PM
Hello Sue,

What an AWESOME testimony--I am so happy for you!! The gains you have made through tai chi are truly amazing, and I think it's great you are willing to share your success with others. If we don't tell other people what tai chi means to us they will never know. I also agree with your opinions about Dr. Kircher--she is a fantastic individual and teacher. Your personal tai chi instructor also can be a role model for all of us instructors as well. You have given us all something to share with our students, especially those with physical difficulties. Again, thank you for sharing your most inspiring story. Take care and best of luck to you always.


Dahlis Roy
08-08-2004, 01:34 PM

What a Tai Chi wonderful story. Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us!


08-08-2004, 08:15 PM
said it before and i'll say it again,i've NEVER heard anything but top shelf reviews for Dr.Lam's programs.thanks for sharing your inspirational and amazing story;truly moving

08-08-2004, 11:38 PM
That is great stuff and truly motivational... excellent...

08-09-2004, 12:15 AM
Thank you for sharing this amazing story. Yes, a good supportive and non-judgemental instructor can do so much in addition to the program itself.

I have printed out your letter to show it to my patients and students, have translated it into many languages(german, French and Dutch) to share.

Do you agree with me doing it? I haven't distributed it yet.