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Today was a very special day: I benched for the first time after I was released from the hospital. I benched for the first time after that sadistic doctor (Mauricio Antonelli Lehoczki) told me I’d never lift again, that I’d be immobilized for 6 months and would come home with a catheter on my carotid. He twisted his mouth in hate , tensed his muscles and spit poison as he spoke.

He survived: I couldn’t kill him with my bare hands: I was in bed, hooked to a morphine pump, stoned on pain killers and very weak. But I spoke back – not nearly as much as I should, but I did. I will report him and unfortunately I think about how much I want him to feel the horror of having the greatest love of your life plucked from your life like that. It was like a death sentence, like a dark hand reaching for my soul to rip it off me.

But he didn’t.

Instead I came home and recover at a fast pace, given the seriousness of my disease. Instead of some psychopath at my bedside, I have the few friends I cherish.

Today, Hugo and Morgana came here to make my dream come true. They loaded the bar for me to bench.

It was a very light bench. Everything was weird. Around 1.3X my bodyweight, my bench curls into the technique I am known for: tight lats and high arch, flat feet well under my shoulders, chest out, shoulders in. But I can’t do that: I have to flatten my bench as much as possible to protect the healing of my soft L3/L4, on their way of ankylosing.

It doesn’t matter. I have all the patience in the world. I kissed her as I racked her back for the last time.

Tomorrow we’ll meet again and I’ll take her for a ride. We’ll study a way to move together while we wait for my osleolysed bones to heal.

Hugo and Morgana were there to assist me. I have no idea how aware they are of what they witnessed today. It was one of the happiest of my life.

Online, I read Jack assure me they would be there for me as much as I needed them. They got my back. Bernard sent me a poem: “Out of Suffering have emerge the strongest souls; The most massive characters are seared with scars.”

I have never been this sick before. I have never felt so much pain. I have never been so private concerning an experience. I have never been so happy to reunite with my beloved bar. I have never felt so much gratitude towards my friends.

The sadistic monster, the terror, minor and major annoyances – they disappeared. Under that bar today, all I felt was JOY. Now, all I feel is GRATITUDE.

This text is also published on my personal journal about things I feel grateful for (my “virtual gratitude jar”), GRATIAS

  • Maria Teresa Conti Vieira

    Massive character are the words for you. But I’m sorry you had to be so scarred. Hope you get wildly well soon.

    • Marilia Coutinho

      Amen, sis…