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  • Writer's pictureThe Next Step Team



Szymon scored a whopping 90 points by consistently attending his sessions, improving on several outcome measures & getting his achievements on the blackboard.

To give you an appreciation of the improvements Szymon has made let’s go back to the beginning:

Szymon first attended TNS in July 2018, after suffering a T8 Paraplegia Injury. His dedication to training has been excellent from the outset, attending 2 – 3 days per week and always being consistent with his home exercise program. He would work hard on improving his core strength and hip extension in standing; as well as relaxing his spasms and regaining some movement in his legs.

Szymon’s body really seemed to respond well to TNS’s recovery theories as after weeks of grounding his legs and activating the reflexes in his feet, he was able to start to independently complete hip flexion and knee extension; what an achievement this is already only several months into his rehab. With consistent training and the addition of purchasing Calipers (KAFO’s) from Northern Orthotics, Szymon was regularly up on his feet working on his balance and slowly progressing to walking with a frame – then hit a once in a lifetime flu pandemic ☹.

The amazing progressions and gains that Szymon has been able to make this year was made possible by the dedication he showed throughout 2020 to continue exercising at home during the COVID lockdown. Szymon was able to maintain his strength by daily home sessions so when he returned to TNS, he was literally taking his next step!

Nearly every session in the last 3 months while practicing with his calipers and frame Szymon would report working at a 90 to 100% effort, and you could see the strain in his arms and face often. The progressions he’s made in the last three months alone include:

•Safely sit to stand from his bed without anyone holding frame/calipers and walking to the kitchen to reach for items up high that he previously couldn't reach in the cupboard, fridge and pantry, as well as walking back to his bedroom and sitting down with no assistance on frame/calipers.

•Improve 6 minute walk test distance.

•Improve time for locking in calipers when standing, timed up and go test and time to unlock calipers and sit down.

•Walked outside up and down inclines.

We look forward to seeing what Szymon can achieve in the near future and which athlete’s hard work will rise them to the top of Athlete of the Season for Winter!

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