We all know it. Compared to younger people, aging bodies don’t bounce back quite as quickly. A small bone fracture in our twenties might have barely had an impact on our lives. Yet add forty or fifty years to our age, and it could leave us hobbling around on crutches for many weeks, or worse. While aging, it sometimes seems like it’s just one health problem after another. This can lead to immense frustration. Some may give up on ever feeling better. That’s why the story of Lori O’Connor can be so inspiring to the aging population. She depicts the true definition of resilience despite illness and injury.
Lori O’Connor was a regular at her Pilates studio, according to Next Avenue. Other students in the classes looked up to her, as she moved through the the exercises so confidently. However, what most didn’t know was that in the last eight years, she had been through seven big surgeries. First it was for a fractured knee cap after a fall. After surgery for that, the other knee cap shattered. Then she broke her femur after tripping. The many orthopedic surgeries to follow required long, painful recoveries. But did she let this get her down? Absolutely not. She showed resilience throughout it all.
About six weeks after each surgery, she returned to Pilates class. She politely answered questions from others in the class, but then got down to business. Many seniors who experience falls require intensive physical therapy, like Lori did. However, Lori was determined to not let her injuries slow down her lifestyle too much. She set goals for herself that extended beyond her physical therapy sessions.
Certainly, Lori got frustrated. But she says she has always been an optimist. “Frustration is in my repertoire, but not pity”, she explains. She asked for help when she needed it, such as right after her surgeries. After learning she had Osteoporosis, she almost felt better. She had an explanation for why her bones kept breaking. It ultimately motivated her even more to become as strong as she could through her Pilates classes.
For other seniors dealing with health issues that get in the way of their hobbies, she offers some advice. She tells us that in any healing process, it’s important to set goals and realistic timelines. Celebrate when you reach your goals, but never beat yourself up if you don’t. In the long run, it’s far more rewarding to try than to just give up.