Everyday, each and every one of us, experience our own challenges. How we chose to face those challenges, the goals we set for ourselves and the outlook we have on our future depends entirely on our own unique perspective of life. Our January Ambassador, David Solomon may think of himself as a pessimist… maybe he’s more of a realist.
We think David may be a bit of a romantic.
SideStix – What challenges your mobility and how do you overcome this challenge?
David – Severe osteoarthritis of the right hip and osteoarthritis of many other joints are my major challenges. The hip osteoarthritis is so severe that five years ago I was told by a physical therapist that I would definitely be bed-bound and wheelchair bound within three years. I have done my utmost to prevent that prediction from coming true. I have walked two miles most days on a local track since April, 2015.
The exercise along with nine years of a vegetarian diet has helped me to prevent an earlier prediction by a cardiologist that I would suffer a heart attack within five years if I did not allow him to do an angiogram and associated cardiac stenting. That was eight years ago.
SideStix – What does “Defy Convention” mean to you?
David – To me “Defy Convention” is the concept that no matter what kind of condition we find ourselves in there is always a way to get around it. The means to “Defy Convention” and get around a medical limitation may not always be what the medical profession suggests. I have found that medicine (at least as practiced in the United States) has many limitations. The most glaring limitation is the inability on the part of many physicians to think beyond the scope of treatments that are “generally” accepted by their fellow physicians. For instance, I have been to several physical therapists over the years and not one of them suggested that I might use forearm crutches to aid my mobility. More importantly from my perspective, not one of them even knew of the existence of SideStix.
SideStix – Do you have a passion in life and if so,
can you describe a little about it?
David – My real passion in life is reserved for my wife, Marilyn Russell. This November 10th we will celebrate our 36th anniversary. This past July 5th was the 38th anniversary of our meeting. There are many things that I have loved in life (both before and after meeting my wife), but without her I would lack too much to consider… I was always a serious reader, but Marilyn has also introduced me to other worlds like art and life.
SideStix – What’s your favorite thing about your SideStix?
David – My absolutely favorite thing about my Boundless Pro SideStix is that they are definitely going to take me into the future upright, mobile and in as good physical condition as I can possibly attain. They are lovely to hold, being very light and extremely comfortable. They are also a work of art.
More importantly they were designed by two very passionate individuals (one with a long time mobility problem and one with an engineering background). Anyone who purchases SideStix can be certain that they have been carefully designed for the mobility challenged individual by people who really understand the difficulties one can face.
My hip osteoarthritis (severe as it is) is nothing compared to the difficulties many other people who use SideStix have faced. I really recommend SideStix to anyone with a mobility difficulty and particularly individuals who like me simply do not make good candidates for hip replacement.
SideStix – What is your idea of a perfect day?
David – Since Marilyn and I are retired, my idea of a perfect day is a good cup of coffee at our local coffee shop and a chat with acquintances, followed by a good healthy walk with my SideStix. Of course, the walk is always better when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. Later, we look forward to a good home-cooked dinner and hours reading. Oh, and also never forget the importance of wine and / or beer in your life… It makes dinner so much better.
It took some time to get accustomed to being retired, but it is great. Of course the hip osteoarthritis was not planned for, but that is where SideStix come in to provide substantial assistance. I cannot recommend them enough. They have literally changed my life.
“Keep on moving, because that is the best way to stay healthy”.
SideStix – What are your top 5 favourite ways to stay motivated?
David – No one has ever accused me of being an optimist. Some would say I am a pessimist, but I prefer thinking of myself as an realist. Please bear that in mind when you read the following ways I stay motivated.
- More than anything else, I want to do as much as possible to mitigate the osteoarthritis pain without taking pain medications. I take one 325 aspirin in the morning and one around 11:00 pm before bed. The aspirin relieves the inflammation from the osteoarthritis.
- I am (like my father before me and his father before him), motivated by the thought of completing a goal. In my case, the goal is to complete at least 400 miles of walking this year and more next year. Ultimately I have set myself the goal of walking the distance between New York City and San Francisco (about 3,150 miles) over the shortest number of years (That’s a figurative cross country walk as I will not actually be trekking outside of Norwich).
- The goal of staying upright and mobile for as long as Marilyn and I are both healthy definitely keeps me motivated.
- In the same light I have always wanted us to attain our fortieth anniversary and our fiftieth as well, if our health holds. To that end I will walk as much as possible on whatever sets of SideStix I will need for another fifteen years of so.
- I am motivated to keep on moving, because that is the best way to stay healthy.
SideStix – Do you have a message for other crutch users?
Yes, exercise as much as you can. If you are just starting to use crutches, keep in mind that it will take some time to build up your arm muscles and to help strengthen whatever other muscles you have the use of, but keep at it. Walking on SideStix will make you feel better and better. Remember these words come from a man that very few people would describe as an optimist.
Name: David Solomon
Location: Norwich, NY 13815 USA