“I was headed into the final fitting of my leg. I’d gone through the test socket phase and my leg was finally ready. I was so excited! I walked into the physical therapy lab and shouted, “Man, I cannot wait to put this leg on and walk!”
My physical therapist, Bob, and the prosthetist exchanged nervous glances. My right leg was still pretty weak and by all normal standards, I should not be able to walk right away. But then, of course, I never like to be like everyone else. They had me wheel over to the parallel bars to attach my new leg.
“We’re just going to have you stand for now,” said Bob.
“Nah, I’m walking.” I offered up my best shit-eating grin.
“Let’s just see how it feels,” Bob replied with some firmness.
I stood up and said, “I feel good. I feel really good.”
Bob relented and they let me try to walk. They put a belt around me so that Bob could hold on to me as I walked the parallel bars. Most guys can use the parallel bars for support. I only have one arm so that only helped me so much. Good thing I didn’t really need them. I started walking without faltering right away.
“Yeah, this feels good. I feel good. You can back up,” I told them.
They backed up and I started walking by myself, holding on with one hand. Then, feeling bolder, I lifted my hand off the bar. I took a step. And then another step. I was walking without any help. I walked up and down those parallel bars the very first day I put on my leg.
I did all this with an audience. Dad and Uncle Johnny were right there with me, watching and cheering me on. They were so excited. Uncle Johnny snapped a picture and sent it to my mom back home in Alabama. And as any proud mom would do, she sent that picture to everyone she knew. That picture went the pre-viral version of viral! It was a triumphant snapshot. I was walking again. And not only that, I was wearing those shiny new New Balance shoes the nice ladies had given me. As the picture made the rounds through my mom’s friends and friends of her friends and friends of friends of friends, somehow it ended up with people at New Balance. They reached out to my mom to ask what sizes of shoe Colston and I wore. She told them and then soon after that, Colston and I had matching sneakers.”


Noah Galloway, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier
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