An anthropologist who was living with the Kalahari bushmen went with them to a baboon hunt. Baboon hunting is customary among bushmen, and they do it with the help of a dog pack. Since baboons are incredibly strong, dogs corner them so that the bushmen can spear them. This time, however, the anthropologist noticed a change. Amid the pack chasing the baboons, he spotted a three-legged dog running energetically after them.
Who knows what could have caused him to lose a leg? Perhaps a previous encounter with the apes, or a near-death clash with a member of the species. Yet despite his loss, the dog kept running along with his pack, the baboons on the mire. I remembered what my friend had said to me. To persevere, I had to believe – to believe in life, and in myself; to believe in my ability to triumph. I had to celebrate my small achievements, even if they were small. I had to keep doing my exercises as a gesture of love for Eric and Nathan.
I had to learn from the dog, I thought. I had to want to walk, climb on and off the books, do all my arm exercises: move back and forth, up and out; lift and cross over, move across my right arm and leg; and try to reach my chin, over and over. I should practice without seeking perfection. No matter my tiredness, my reluctance, my sense of defeat, my high standards, I had to want to do my exercises; I had to keep my recovery on the mire.