The Problem With Progress

Reading an interview with Alex Ferguson (stay with me) after United had won their second European Cup, a journalist asked that having achieved a huge aim how long did the feeling of triumph last. ‘About an hour’ was the reply ‘and then you start planning the next one.’

I can remember thinking at the time – an hour? That’s a bit harsh.

And then when I thought about it, whenever Rhys had made a notch of progress with his speech or physio therapy the feeling of triumph lasted… well maybe a bit more than an hour but by that evening the triumph would feel quite distant.

That probably sounds quite harsh on us and certainly harsh on Rhys, but I know from talking to other parents whose kids have special needs that they feel the same. That yesterdays gains were, well, yesterdays. And that’s the problem with progress. You just can’t get enough of the stuff.

This morning we worked our way through the home physio session (to the sound of Katy Perry) and Rhys was tolerating it all quite well. By lunch he was whacked and was having a lie down. When we left for his 2pm physio session, our first as an out patient, he was still clearly shattered – I’d have cancelled the slot if I could.

But sometimes the sessions that you think are a write off come good. Erica, our physio for the day lead him to the treadmill and away he went. Still holding the handrails and Erica was guiding his feet – but he was doing OK.

Next up, a kind of bench press, which was trickier (you can see him struggling to push through his heels and control it as he comes down) but again OK.

Then, the notch of progress. As he left the weights room he walked, weight bearing, holding Ericas hand. Come on.

And then as a flourish, to the sound of Katy Perry, he threw some shapes (it means danced mum).

He’s still a long way from the ability he had pre op but it feels like we’ve made a bit more progress today. As I said at the start, we’ll be back in the gym tomorrow looking for more gains, but as problems go, it’s the right sort to have.

13 thoughts on “The Problem With Progress

  1. I know I keep saying it, but he is amazing!!!!

    That urge to smack Katy Perry has totally left me to, infact , I may even by her album :0)

    Well down Rhys, you amazing boy!!


  2. Good stuff Rhys and whole Heal clan. I can see that the progress is going to be frustratingly slow, but I keep thinking of the video you put up on the site of another little boy 18 months on from his op, who walked so well that you would hardly know he had previously had mobility problems. And on the Katy Perry thing, I can’t stand the woman so give you full respect for having to listen to it all day!!! Keep up the good work and like others have said, I love being able to read about your progress first thing in the morning – puts my day into perspective. Have shown the boys the clips and they send their love too.
    Catherine, David, Alex, Charlie and Jonny xxxx

  3. Loving your blogs G, I can’t believe the progress he’s made .. It’s like life in fast forward .. I’m with Rhys on the Katy Perry front..nice moves!

  4. Rhys we all miss you and send you our love from red class! Get better soon and see you in September if not before. Love, Aubrey x

  5. Glad to hear Rhys Is doing well. We can’t wait to meet Owen. See you soon all our love the swaffields.

  6. Hi Gareth, Sally and boys, your blog is fantastic – its the first thing I tune into each morning and look forward to reading and seeing how well your remarkable little lad is doing. Give him a hug fro us – we are all so proud of him. The Rultonsxx

  7. Fantastic!!

    So glad Rhys is getting there – he WILL get his pre-op strength back … AND SOME! … and will continue to do what you know he is capable of!!

    Well done Rhys (and Mum, Dad and Owen) for getting this far – Katy Perry and all!!


  8. Look at it another way G, Spurs fans see the work of progress as maybe a little bit less than winning the European cup next year……but each small step we make we shout load and proud because each small gain we know writes our very own history………and it’s enough to make your heart go wwwwwwaaaaaaawwwwwwoooo….
    so hang in there matey, all good things comes to those who wait !

  9. Firstly, good Lord that boy has a beautiful smile!

    I know that feeling too well Gareth – they do something amazing and you feel elated but that sense of disappointment all too soon rears its ugly head again until you get your next ‘fix’ of satisfaction that maybe they are improving. Rhys IS doing amazingly well and this recovery seems remarkably speedy too. Just brilliant he is! BRILLIANT!


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