Standing and balancing with them was pretty different from using four-point canes, but it went well, so we tried a little marching in place.
Marching in place, because of the need to artificially arrest your natural forward motion, is actually harder than walking in some ways. So we went ahead and took a few steps. A 10ft and a 12ft walk, which was a pretty exhilarating way to wind up that therapy session.
Which of course made me want to top it in therapy this week. So we started today with the four-point canes but instead of walking we went immediately to the ramp, while my legs were good and fresh. We'd been wanting to try the ramp soon anyway, and we knew I wasn't ready to try it on single-points, so it would be a good warm-up before switching canes. Walking up the ramp was extremely challenging muscularly, but walking down the ramp was even harder. You have to really concentrate and trust your muscles to hold back your forward momentum and not buckle or send you stumbling to the bottom.
After that hurdle was cleared, we went on to the 2inch curb step to see if I could do that. Stepping is actually much easier than walking on inclines, so that went very smoothly once I forced my mind to trust my legs and take the first step up. Stepping back down again was no problem.
With two breakthroughs down in the first 15 minutes of the session, it was time to switch to the single-point canes. I decided to really focus this session on the quality of my walking, particularly the heel-toe motion in my foot, so that my weight would roll into my heel and spread evenly to the rest of my foot instead of clopping my foot down flat. While requiring a lot of concentration to accomplish this correct foot motion, it turned out to be the key to better balance and efficiency, enabling greater distances to be achieved than ever before with the single-point canes. Last week had been 10 and 12; I started today's walking with 30ft, rested, walked 33ft, and rested again. My therapist thought I would want to switch to standing balance exercises at that point, but I was ready for one more walk. The last one was 47ft! I was ecstatic. So was my therapist. And then we did the last few minutes of standing balance just to finish out the allotted time.
So it was a day of awesome results and progress, and I feel terrific about it. Who knows what good things Friday's session will bring?