This is a terrific story about how somebody used his own home-grown imagery and the help of a photo to master climbing a lot of tough steps after a surgery that left him temporarily weak.

After my surgery, I was very weak.  My dream trip, to go to Oxford, was coming up, and I worried that there might be something in the layout of the place that would be impossible for me to negotiate in my weakened state.  I asked about this, and was told that the toughest thing I’d have to face were the stairs to the refectory, and that I would have to climb them every day.  I requested they send me a picture of those stairs.

Then, because I work at the Capitol, I decided that I would climb a couple of stairs at a time there and imagine they were the refectory stairs.  Every night I imagined myself climbing those Oxford stairs, and every day I’d take a few more at the Capitol and imagine they were the refectory stairs.  It got easier and easier for me to do more and more each day.  I had 3 months to make my goal.

Three months later, when I arrived at Oxford and found my stairs, it was like greeting an old friend.  I climbed them with no trouble whatsoever… wasn’t even short of breath.  It was a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and it was thanks to my own, home-grown guided imagery.

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