Although I have now been living in Virginia for eleven years, I have been lax in visiting area landmarks. I go into DC, but for some reason I haven't gotten around to "playing tourist" in my own backyard. I have decided that this needs to change.
Like so many families, we are having a "staycation" this year instead of traveling. We were disappointed that we won't be traveling to the beach but have decided to make the best of our situation. We are turning the time at home into an opportunity to explore all of the local landmarks and tourist traps that we have been driving past for years.
A few days ago we packed up and headed to Luray Caverns. This famous natural landmark draws visitors from all over the country, so we figured it was a good place to start our summer of exploration. (I also found a coupon on the internet, making a visit even more enticing!)
The walkway in the caverns is comprised of bricks which have been laid down between and among the rock formations. As I started our self-guided tour, I became concerned about my ability to walk through the caverns. I am sure that many leg amputees will agree that ramps are more difficult than stairs to maneuver. I discovered that Luray Caverns is nothing but a series of ascending and descending steep ramps.
As if the steep ramps weren't enough to make me fret, the ground is wet in many areas. Walking on wet bricks on a steep decline is not fun for anybody. Add trying to walk through that environment on a prosthetic and the anxiety skyrockets! I prepared myself for a nightmare experience.
I was fully in the throes of an "I hate being an amputee" moment when I realized that I had a very excited little boy anxious to look at the rocks. I knew that I had to put my personal pity party on hold and muddle through. I was preparing myself for a difficult day exploring the caverns but put on a smile for Robby.
I could never have predicted how much fun we would have walking through Luray Caverns. Slowly I became more comfortable with the slopes and wet floor. It wasn't until we were half way through our self-guided tour that I realized my comfort and my ability to walk through the caverns safely was due to my Proprio ankle.
My Proprio ankle is designed to automatically adjust to variations in slope. It was working perfectly, and I, despite my fears, had no trouble maneuvering through the steep terrain. I became just another parent experiencing the caverns with her son instead of the amputee struggling to walk and anxious to reach the end. I felt safe and confident that I could easily conquer the ramps. I was able to concentrate on the formations of this natural wonder and share this experience with my little family.
At the risk of sounding like a salesperson or a commercial, I want to reiterate that I am neither. I am occasionally called by Ossur (the manufacturer of the Proprio ankle) to speak about my experiences, but the company has no affiliation with my blog. I am writing about my success with the Proprio because this device has improved my life drastically, and I want other amputees to achieve similar successes.