I have so many praises for The Afari. I sustained a C5/C6 spinal cord injury in August of 2013 and was initially paralyzed from the chest down and in most of the muscles in my arms. My injury is incomplete and so I have been able to regain a good amount of function since then -- at this point, I use forearm crutches to assist in my walking. I live in Michigan where there is snow and ice a good portion of the year and this winter I was introduced to The Afari. I think the reason why I titled this review "Game changer!" is because The Afari has literally changed the way I have been able to show up to my life this year. Since I was injured, that portion of the year where there is snow and ice has felt completely inaccessible to me and I would typically stay inside a lot -- and because of this become a little more sedentary.
But this winter, The Afari has reconnected me to my adventurous spirit that, truthfully, I have a had a hard time finding since my injury. I am out in the snow and ice with The Afari, with my yak tracks, and I am going for substantial walks that challenge me in length and aerobic exercise (even if it were summer here in Michigan). I feel safe and secure. My favorite thing is that I am able to focus on my gate pattern, posture, and the feeling of my muscle movements rather than the technique of using my crutches -- meaning this is the first time in a long time where I feel the excitement of being mobile and walking and NOT primarily worrying about not tripping, falling, or slipping. I can't tell you how much of an impact this makes alone.
Long walks with my crutches typically yield aches and pains in my knees and ankles -- and I have experienced none of that with The Afari because it is so posture supportive for me. I am also stronger in my gate pattern when I use my crutches because of this. I even noticed it was easier to dress the other day as my muscles are challenged in a completely different way with The Afari -- and have become stronger for it.
So far, I have been regularly using The Afari for just a month -- and I cannot wait to see what adventures await as the seasons change and I grow stronger! I absolutely love the physical benefits I am gaining -- but the level of emotional and mental comfort I have found is something there are not enough words or gratitude for! I definitely have found a new type of joy in my SCI journey with The Afari :)