Life Transformed Through Movement
By Gregg Fuhrman, MPT, OCS, CFMT, CMTPT and Kathryn Zalewski, PT, PhD, MPA
The image chose me. It invited me to bring together aspects of my life shaped by movement, literal and figurative. It is only through age and experience that I begin to see that personal lenses on movement—physical therapist, parent, and teacher—are in fact anchored in the same understanding. The photograph invited those different perspectives to join on a single reflective path. This photograph is of a path in the fall, at dusk, when it’s cold and the winds through the trees sound like voices. This story is told here as a personal chronology…
the physical therapist
I am the voice whispering
what my patient cannot
understand, at least not now.
He is early in recovery,
focusing only on “getting better.”
One step in front of the other,
parallel bar sentinels,
a therapist’s touch
holding him up as he begins
the mother of a child with disabilities
I hear the whispers—
those that point out differences and
those that seek to understand.
I look at the path wishing it diverged into two,
a sign of independence.
We are forever bound to walk a single path,
transformed together by movement.
They come to me now, eager to know
the “right way” to walk the path.
I tell them they are Student Physical Therapists,
but they hear me whisper that they are students,
who will someday be physical therapists.
Many will see the sentinels, and will learn
to find comfort on a path, grey, dimly lit.
They will hear the whispers and learn to decode.
Their path, too, transformed through movement.