Ispectrum Magazine Ispectrum Magazine #06 - Page 23

constantly repeating movement patterns and focusing on trajectories - over the space of thirty years - Waterman created a new way of controlling his body At Oddstock Hospital the long road to recovery started. Upon being admitted Waterman was full of anger at his situation. But from this anger sprang his great determination. Although he could hardly stand up and walk he was dogged in his desire to not be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. With his nerves so badly damaged the doctors had no real way of helping him, and if he wanted to move again he would have to bypass these nerves and create a new link between his mind and his muscles. Sitting up was the first major problem, and he likened it to falling over as a child as he constantly practiced how to keep himself upright. After these difficulties he turned to a different method. Waterman began to think that if he could visualize moving his muscles in his mind this might have some affect on his body. He tried sitting up by controlling and tensing his stomach muscles, which after much practice he finally tasted success and raised himself up 22 in bed. By investigating what muscles controlled which specific movement he set himself a punishing practice regime. Without proprioception his movements would never be automatic again, but if he could start building connections between mind and muscle it started to look like he may regain some semblance of a normal life. Every action would have to be plotted. Every movement would have to a carefully thought out and executed. Waterman’s tenacious attitude was rewarded when after one year he was able to stand up for the first time.