UB owner and therapist, Joyce Marter tells Living Healthy Chicago why taking risks and testing your limits can be empowering.
“Is there something extreme that you’ve always wanted to do but you keep putting off? A Bolingbrook man reminds us that there truly are no excuses.
John Mohler was healthy and athletic as a teenager but that changed in his early twenties when he noticed a change in his walk and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a disease of the central nervous system. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system attacks a person’s healthy tissue. John has one of the most severe cases of MS called primary progressive. Symptoms started with numbness in his arms and legs. As his condition worsened, he would need to use a cane, then a scooter and is now confined to a wheelchair.
‘I think my last steps were in 1998,’ John says. ‘It’s kind of like a steady decline, a steady slope. You just kind of manage symptoms and hopefully they play for you and slow down.’
He says his wife of 20 years is crafty when it comes to rigging things around their home to make it work for them. But he says the most difficult part of the disease is the mental challenge dealing with a life-long disability. John knew he would never climb mountains but he had a better idea. He always wanted to skydive. He asked his doctor.
John says, ‘He was like, go for it man. So I did.’
Seven times John has jumped 14,000 feet from a perfectly good airplane. Teaming up with the ‘Skydiving for MS Team,’ he helps to raise awareness and funds for research and support.
Local psychotherapist Joyce Marter from Urban Balance says it is common for people to reach for extremes when facing major life challenges because challenges are opportunities for growth.”