Major Progress in Maui

As I’m wrapping up my time in Maui, I want to share a quick update on the incredible progress I’ve made through my work with Alejandra. This is going to be short and sweet as I’m going to let the videos do most of the talking.

We spent a good chunk of time everyday working on a specific exercise that was meant to target my glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles, areas of my lower body that I had very little connection to prior to my trip to Maui. In addition to the variety of other exercises and movements that have all been crucial to the development of these muscles, this exercise was consistent as Alejandra felt that it was necessary for my ability to establish new cerebral mappings and create mental connections to the back side of my lower body.

We started like this, with me standing on the Core Align, a machine with wooden, ladder-like beams in front of me, foot plates that slide back and forth, and with Alejandra crouching in front of me, bracing my hips and pelvis in place, and manually moving one of my legs using her hands while I held on for dear life:

About 10 days later, we had moved on to me bracing myself solo against the Core Align, maintaining pelvis control on my own, and extending my leg back on my own! I could only kick back in a short burst, and let the foot plate pull my leg back into place. This lasted for 2-3 minutes per leg before I got fatigued:

Today, only a week since the last breakthrough, I was kicking my leg back like before, only this time, I was able to control the leg against the resistance of the foot plate and slowly bring my leg forward to resting position. No loud slamming of the foot plate, no short bursts, but more leg control both extending back and coming forward. Although one leg was certainly stronger than the other, I was able to do this for 15 minutes per leg, which means a HUGE increase in endurance.

It’s been so satisfying for me to see the progress so clearly and so quickly as it’s a true testament to the value of the work I’ve been doing. I’m just sad for it to end, but already looking forward to the next time I can come back.

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66 thoughts on “Major Progress in Maui

  1. Amazing, Arash.
    I’m astounded at how much progress you made in such a short time.
    I must say I’m delighted to see it and hope you’ll have the opportunity to go back and do some more in the not-to-distant future.

    1. Me too. The speed of the progress is really impressive as nothing in this recovery ever happens quickly. I’m hoping to get back here ASAP. -AB

  2. Wow Arash – this is really great – I am sure that I am seeing your legs looking thicker and stronger – all best wishes for you to keep progressing. You will get there – probably sooner than you can believe!! 🙂

      1. Yeah I have to remember the magnitude of these small victories and appreciate them for what they are cause they are huge, as you said. Thanks for the support. -AB

  3. How beautiful, how wonderful, how amazing the human mind and body are! Sending you good energy for safe travels back and to help you along your path of recovery – your path of rediscovery!! Loving how those connections are being mapped and your body is discovering that it still can!!

    1. Yeah it feels good to know that neuroplasticity and the ability to rewire and remap is being proven by this progress. I can’t wait to see what’s next. -AB

  4. Very wonderful news- you are such an inspiration! We are sending you our thoughts of love and hope as you make this journey along the recovery road, xo Lynn, Mariel and Cody

  5. Arash, how amazing! So happy for you! Look at the tone in your calf muscles as well! Can’t wait for you to go back again one day, look forward to what you get up to next 🙂 Viva la progress, never give up!

  6. Arash, You continue to make us proud of your resilience. I don’t know if you remember but I told you that my fourth grade class eagerly await “Arash Updates”. They love the videos and the photographs, but more importantly your words. I’ve used you, your life, accident, and arduous recovery as countless lessons. You are a big part of our class’ culture. I also have two daughters that are uplifted by your examples. I get emotional just thinking how much my kids(all are my kids) care for you and your recovery. Please let our words also be a reminder that once you embarked on this journey of blogging your recovery, you gained an extended family.We root for you everyday.
    My students have written letters to you. Do you think I can scan them into a comment page or just send them to you as an email attachment?
    Keep up the fight!

    1. I’m speechless. I had no idea that you were using my story and my blog to inform and educate your kids. I will send you some info in a separate email. Thanks for your continued support. -AB

  7. Arash, I’m really inspired by what are you doing, you are very strong and dedicated 🙂
    Sending so much love and positive thoughts your way .

  8. Hi Arash!
    So happy for you and your progress. You set such a good example of fortitude, determination, and belief that anything is possible. We can’t wait to hear more details when you get back. We are strongly considering doing the same for Vaughn to get his arms further along in his recovery.
    Safe trip home!
    Denise(and Vaughn)

  9. for some reason i can’t seem to log in to make a comment…this is tremendous…need to talk to you about hthis…well done, hon!

  10. Hi Blog! – I like this quote of yours and thought I should tell you very publicly. “Yeah I have to remember the magnitude of these small victories and appreciate them for what they are cause they are huge, as you said.” – brosef

  11. Way to go! You are truly an inspiration to anyone who is facing difficulties in life. I hope this blog is reaching influential people who can make changes to our medical reimbursement for treatments like those you are going through. If you can make a difference there, you will have accomplished something that will far outlive you. I get goose bumps thinking about how your astounding progress must make you feel. We are all thrilled to be sharing this with you!

    1. I hope so too. That’s one of the things I’m more passionate about is to change the way our medical system approaches and treats this injury. I too hope that I can do something about it. The progress is great, thanks for the positive words. -AB

  12. After following your blog for some time now this is truly amazing!!! I will go to sleep now after being up all night, knowing that someone (you!) has made the dream a reality; my heart will beat contentedly in the knowledge that the “impossible” happens, in large to small ways, every day.

    1. Thank you so much. It’s a small step in making the impossible possible but it’s one I’ll take in order to make my own dream a reality. -AB

  13. This was amazing to watch! Congrats on reaching a huge milestone in your recovery- this is a huge step! Really impressed with all your hard work and perseverance. Can’t wait for what’s next!

  14. Arash, being on the same road I can so relate to what you’re feeling and achieving…don’t ever stop believing ’cause re-wiring might take time but it’s possible!!!
    What a coincidence…I also have one leg strong then the other. And on your back do you also have any differences in muscle strength? How are your hip-flexes doing?
    Would love to hear what type of exercises will you be doing once you’re back home.
    Do you use balls and rubber bands/tubing at all? Do you stand on a daily basis?
    Forgive me for asking so many things but reading your blogs it’s almost like reading my own story!
    Stay strong, positive and keep the repetition going, it can be frustrating at times but it’s surely well worth it. Well done!!!

    1. Glad we can share info about our respective situations. I use a variety of different things to work out and make myself stronger. I use a large exercise ball and I use bands and cables all the time. Yes I do stand everyday, for 1-2 hours a day. We can chat more about this too if you like. Let me know. -AB

      1. Sorry Arash but only know did I get your reply.
        I also use different balls, a dinasso (half ball) bands etc., and stand on a daily basis. So very happy with your progress, your strength and determination are an inspiration! Would love to chat more about the exercising, standing etc. maybe we can exchange exercising techniques for the different muscles, thanks for offering it. Will await to hear from you.
        Keep strong!

  15. Hey Arash, I first found you almost a year ago because of that video on buzzfeed of you walking that went viral. I am amazed at how far you’ve come since then, and I am inspired by your courage. Keep it up dude, you’ve come a long way!

    1. Much appreciated. Thanks for the support through all this time. I hope to continue to share improvements with you -AB

  16. EXCELLENT Arash! A well known professional hunter who used to have a tv show, Tred Barta, became paralyzed a few years ago. I referred him to your blog for insights on coping with the mental aspects. You are an inspiration to all, regardless of whether we have similar challenges or not. Perseverance applies to everyone. Thanks for sharing your story.

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