After his stint in rehab, this Kiwi from New Zealand continued working as director of Research&Development at BMC Software. Two years ago, he and I began attending meetings of Central Texas Stroke Support at Saint David's.
What my friend Tony has done is nothing short of incredible. It takes great stamina, concentration, and grit to complete a round of golf under normal conditions. The golfers played 36 holes and a practice round over the three day tourney. A tip of my hat to all the international competitors.
It's because most stroke survivors are hemiplegiac on either the left or the right side of their body. Usually, one side or the other is racked with spasticity. Meaning it doesn't move naturally, calmly, or fluidly in unison with other parts of the body. My therapists described it this way: Your biceps are fighting the triceps, and the quadriceps are battling the hamstrings. So everything is locked up, or spastic.
Although my hand is more flexible than my arm and shoulder, spasticity prevents it from performing quick movements or fine motor skills. Throwing a disc or ball are examples, and more deliberate movements like typing or transporting a cup of tea by the handle, I can't do. My right hand is more like a claw.
So there you have it. I call it Handy because the activities have been adapted to require only one hand, as with Tony and his phenomenal accomplishment.
Sports is defined as an individual or group activity pursued for exercise or pleasure, often involving the testing of physical capabilities and taking the form of a competitive game such as football, tennis, golf, etc.
And of course, I would like to believe that everything revolves around sport. In one way or another everything we perform, as stroke survivors, is a challenge. Our opponent is either physical or mental in nature, often both. We play against formidable foes like paralysis, aphasia, apraxia, dementia, etc.
Every act we do, as stroke survivors, can be a response to overcoming our disability, whether it be walking, talking, exercising, writing, playing chess, disc golf, traveling by car, plane, or scooter, sightseeing, you name it. I classify all these activities as sport.