Walking on water 🌊

According to physics, we are “particles.” As a matter of fact, we can at times even be waves! You see, a wave is a particle. We learned that through the famous double split experiment. Now, that’s not to say you can act as though you are just a particle. Of course, you can’t; you’re human. You are made up of a “bag of particles,” and please don’t take offense to that. I believe you have a soul, a spirit, a mind, and faith, etc. But we are also made up of billions and billions of atoms. In a world where gravity holds everything together, we would never try to walk on water.


But if God didn’t make Quantum physics, the Lord would’ve never been able to do it, and I’ll tell you why. ‘Quantum physics is magic because none of it issues forth from your common sense. Particles pop in and out of existence, one time, it’s a wave, and the next time it’s a particle. It can interact with itself. You measure the particle here, but it shows up there! It can even pull you away from the gravity field of a black hole. And in our mind, NOTHING can get you out of a black hole. It is E=MC2!” says Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.


It’s a common phenomenon known to the universe but unbeknownst to us because we don’t live in that place. So it’s not supposed to make sense. We are not living in the universe of Quantum mechanics, where everything is broken down to its tiniest parts. But since God is omnipresent, he can live in all universes. He created them. In the Quantum World, Jesus walking on water makes sense. In this world, it doesn’t. Physics agrees with the mystical idea that with God, all things are possible. In an eternal universe, not only can anything happen, but every rare thing does!

If you want to watch the video that inspired this article here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXh9RQCvxmg The part about Quantum Physics starts at about 1:06:25 in case you want to start there.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the best-selling book, “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 250 of her own blog articles. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her upcoming book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” will be out later this year. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers magazine, and Suite T blog among other places. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. She was recently featured on Color Speak (a Grace and Truth Radio World! podcast). You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

God Is Able!

We sometimes go through hardship; I’d like to offer you some advice if you areI can now work out for well over an hour at the gym, and I don’t even recall envisioning it. I mean, I never dreamt I would be able to run on an elliptical. I imagined I was walking on a walker at sixteen after my accident and suffering paralysis, but using an elliptical has been a huge success.

My point is, God will take you even further than what you’ve dreamt. He has the capability. It’s a far stretch from where I was while in the hospital! I imagined myself walking even when I couldn’t sit for more than a minute. And now, all these years later, running on an elliptical?

Having faith has so much to do with what we envision. We don’t always realize that; sometimes, we think that having faith comes only through what we hear or learn. But faith comes through what we envision; imagination is a powerful tool, and what we dream up can become manifest.

I’ve been able to accomplish this because I envisioned it as a teenager. I expected it. We can see God through our imagination. I’ve heard from a famous pastor that it’s the closest we will ever get to seeing him while we’re here. Seeing God can be real if we stop rejecting him.

We reject seeing him because society teaches us that if we use our imagination, we are silly. Culture teaches us that as humans we are limited. Sometimes images just come to me while I’m praying. I see specs of light often, even rays of light I have seen before. Objects sometimes shake or rattle. I always saw this as God’s way of telling me his angels are near. I have heard God’s voice from deep within instructing me and even tell me what to do in critical moments.

It’s why my faith has been bigger than my fear.

I have studied physics for a year and a half, and all of the theories I’ve learned further prove God and his excellent existence! The fact is that the greatest physicists now say we are moving here through our imagination. We are made up of billions of atoms that can never die. All of this is true.

The Theory of entanglement holds true. These are Biblical principles taught to us through physics, but you would never know it without studying the universe. The Bible teaches us we are ‘entangled with Christ,’ so there is the entanglement. Every human being has already ‘died’ because when One died, all died,’ the Bible tells us.

Modern physicists are now teaching that everything is happening at the same time. Actually, ‘time’ is the only thing stopping everything from happening all at once. In space-time, there is no distinction.

Everyone should search and find. Scientists are now suggesting that there may be multiverses because of the Theory of entanglement. ‘When one electron is in any given space, there is a complete duplicate that will even move and act the same way. The two particles can be on opposite sides of the universe, but they will behave the same way.’ It is entanglement.

I can also accept all of this because I know how amazing God is. It doesn’t challenge my faith, it makes it stronger!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her blog posts. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today and the Southern Writers magazine more than once. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

I’m someone who wants to maintain a relationship with the Lord!

After the catastrophic accident I was in, I went in a state of denial. I thought my life would go back to the way it was before, ‘normal.’ I thought I would walk again, freely. I thought I would not have to deal with all the pain. My pain has decreased, but my physical challenge has not gone away. I have learned to accept my differences.

I have overcome some grave challenges. Learning how to walk again, when some doctors predicted I wouldn’t has been a huge miracle. I learned how to drive again by nineteen years old. By twenty, I was back to work. I received an Associate in Liberal Arts Degree from the local community college and then received my Bachelor of Arts in English from Oakland University.

Life began to bloom through a different lens. I prayed and prayed, eventually hoped, planned, and had good experiences, again! So, I would like to suggest that you never believe you’ve hit a dead end. Life has a myriad of opportunities that await us. It’s full of new beginnings!

Through this, I have experienced God’s love on a deeper level and gained a more intimate relationship. I have always called out to him, not only in my darkest hours. I like to praise him. Giving thanks is like a weapon. When you thank God for all you’ve got, it not only heals you but gives you more strength. Praise is not something I have to work at. God has brought me through so much. I am grateful.

He is a fortress. It should not have to take a tragedy for you to know that. God is there all the time. He will be the only one we can depend on when everyone else has left. I lost a lot; not only did I have to learn how to adjust, heal, and walk, I also had to learn how to make new friends. God led me through it. Friendships happened again. 

* * *

When I finally got out of the hospital and settled at home, I pondered how I would go back to school. I was active before this and took friends out. The favor was not reciprocated. I knew that life would not be easy back then. I wondered what it would be like since I could no longer just stand up and walk. Everything took effort. I had to learn how to do wheelchair transfers, eventually, get up steps, and even exercise muscles that would not move. I had to become a problem solver.

But I give all the glory to God. I have learned that even when we are in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, like I was, it doesn’t have to be the end. Everything is in God’s hands. Sometimes we suffer and there is no way to avoid it. But as it says in the Bible, the greater the sorrow, the more joy you will experience. “Truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her blog posts. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today and the Southern Writers magazine more than once. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 10 from my book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.”

Some Tips on How I Overcome

We sometimes go through hardship; I’d like to offer you some advice in this chapter if you areI can now use an elliptical at the gym, and I don’t even recall envisioning this. I mean, I never dreamt I would be able to run on an elliptical. I imagined I was walking on a walker at sixteen after my accident and suffering paralysis, but using an elliptical and going three to four miles on it is a huge success.

My point is, God will take you even further than what you’ve dreamt. He has the capability. It’s is a far stretch from where I was while in the hospital! I imagined myself walking even when I couldn’t sit up for more than a minute. And now, all these years later, running on an elliptical? God has given me abundance. I would picture myself getting better. Although I am not functional with one cane, I still believe I can get there. With God, nothing is impossible.

Having faith has so much to do with what we envision. We don’t always realize that; sometimes, we think that having faith comes only through what we hear or learn. But faith comes through what we envision; imagination is a powerful tool, and what we dream becomes manifest.

But not listening to doctors and science is detrimental. You see, what you hear is essential. What you hear has a way of affecting you either negatively or positively. Faith does cometh by heareth. We must have faith in science; I’ve talked about science in this book.

I’ve been able to accomplish walking because I envisioned it twenty-five years ago (I had faith). I expected it. Our imagination is from God. I’ve heard from a famous pastor that imagining him is the closest we will ever get to seeing him while we’re here, and seeing God can be real if we stop rejecting our imagination.

We reject it every day because society teaches us that if we use it, we are silly. Sometimes images just come to me while praying. I see specs of light often, even rays of light I have seen many times. Things sometimes move on their own. I always saw this as God’s way of telling me his angels are near and protecting me. I have heard God’s voice from deep within instructing me and even scream and tell me what to do in life-saving moments.

I have studied physics for a year and a half now, and all of the theories I’ve learned further prove God and his excellent existence! The fact is that the greatest physicists now say we are moving here through our imagination. We are made up of billions and billions of atoms that can never die. All of this is true.

The Theory of entanglement holds across the universe. These are Biblical principles taught to us through physics, but you would never know it without studying the universe. The Bible teaches us we are ‘entangled with Christ,’ so there is this entanglement. Every human being has already ‘died’ because when One died, all died,’ the Bible tells us.

‘That we no longer live for ourselves but live for the one who died and rose again for us.’ Modern physicists are now teaching that everything is happening at the same time. Actually, ‘time’ is the only thing stopping everything from happening all at once; however, the past, present, and future are equally real. In space-time, there is no distinction.

Everyone should search and find. Scientists are now suggesting that there may be multiverses because of the Theory of entanglement. ‘When one electron is in any given space, there is a complete duplicate that will even move and act the same way in a different place. The two particles can be on opposite sides of the universe, but they will behave the same way.

I can also accept all of it because I know how amazing God is. It doesn’t challenge my faith. It strengthens it! The Theory of relativity teaches us the importance of light. There is light in everything. God created it. The first thing he created was light. Light makes up the entire universe. Our bodies are composed of billions of atoms, again, that absorb and emit light.

According to Einstein’s Theory, light’s speed is the only thing in the universe that is constant. I listen to some great physicists such as Dr. Briane Greene, Leonard Susskind, and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. People who only listen to what their church teaches, who are afraid to ‘leave the pew,’ so to speak, and study science are missing out.

God has put all the puzzle pieces together for us. Because God is perfect, and so is his design. God cannot be anything but perfect, so all the answers have been revealed, and science is discovering more. Physicists are just adding to what they already know, and with every mind-blowing discovery, God’s magnificence is revealed!

***

I never stop giving thanks. When you have a grateful heart and thank God for everything, you receive blessings because a thankful heart will provide you with a graceful attitude. I know it can be challenging to feel that way all the time. But try to think of all that God has done for you! I’m sure you are unique, as we all are. By reflecting on the abundance, you will have a better disposition. Sometimes you look around and can’t see past all the blessings, which is a cheerful heart!

Never give up. You have to work at accomplishing goals continuously. If you give up, you will never know what could’ve been if you would’ve only kept ongoing. There will be people who tell you differently or that you cannot do something. If you believe them, you won’t! You have to work hard and realize that it can take years for your dreams to occur. You will never regret all the work you have put in.

I know I haven’t. It will be worth it! The worst that can happen, you can try but fail, and you will more than likely not fail. I have had to accept that I may never walk the way I did before the accident, meaning hands-free, but I have accepted it. It doesn’t mean I don’t strive to get better. I have learned NEVER to say NEVER.

Have you ever thought about being a writer, for example? Did you know that 80 percent of Americans believe they should write a book? Most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try or give up. 

These days, writers can self-publish with tools online, and there are ways to get your book printed on-demand, or you can go the route of Indie publishing like I have.

I traveled a lot on business trips, I’ve been to New York twice, and even met celebrities like Ice-T, his wife, Coco, Martha Stewart, Jerry, from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and more!

But whether you publish independently, with a hybrid company, or with a traditional publisher–you are still responsible for marketing. Be aware. Authors are not only writers, but they are also marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats! 

I would not suggest for anyone to publish prematurely. Millions of people write books each year, but the majority of them are not any good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you do have to practice! 

You can’t just wave a magic wand and become an excellent writer. I have been working on my craft for years. Outstanding writers often ghostwrite. I hope to one day do that also. That is where you write books for others. Again, to do something like that, you have to be a fabulous writer. 

You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. You can then re-read what you wrote to reflect and recognize errors in your writing like punctuation, spelling, and grammar. You can add more or rewrite to help change any negative attitudes if you practice journaling. 

You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge, and writing can be therapeutic. I’ve practiced this technique since I was a teenager. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you can’t find the time to write every day, write for a total of one to two hours per week if you can. 

Three hours or more of writing per week would be an ideal schedule, though, if you’d like to be a writer.

Find a Writer’s Community. What would you want to write? Who will be in your audience? Create a blog. You can start a free blog at WordPress.com. I use that platform. I recommend you search for video tutorials on how to use it, again, not something you will quickly pick up by ‘waving your magic wand.’ 

You can start a blog at WordPress.org, but you would have to purchase hosting. I’ve bought a domain at Godaddy.com (I am not an affiliate of any of these companies). But my domain is just at zinahermez.com and points to my blog (My blog acts as my complete website.). It is also listed under notwithoutgod.net

Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference (I have been to several out-of-state and had a great time!). Share your writing with your friends or family and ask for honest feedback, but ask them not to be too harsh. Compliments with constructive criticism are healthy. 

Find an accountability partner (That was a new piece of advice I heard at a conference!). I liked it—someone to keep you responsible. I don’t need that at this point. 

I have been writing for nearly ten years, actively meaning for the publishing world. I write for several hours per day. Reading others’ writing can help, and it is a great way to write better. The best writers are the best readers, and writing can help you be a better speaker–I have told many people. Read a lot of material, research, books, online magazines, and fact-checked and reliable resources! 

Relax, and enjoy it (if you have no interest in writing, disregard)! I’ve taken the fun out of writing by focusing on trying to make it “perfect.” Trying to type the right words word-for-word can be stressful. I used to do that a lot in the beginning. These high expectations can take the enjoyment out of it! Writing has to be fulfilling. 

I was listening to a live webinar in my Writers Guild (a membership group I used to be in), and I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched; he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire yourself first. But this develops over time. 

Finding your “voice” can take a while, but writing can become easier and more comfortable once you find it. You won’t regret all the work you’ve put in!

***

You also cannot be weak. Keep your body moving! And get up and exercise so you can stay healthy. That is what I do daily. They say that for athletes, 10,000 steps per day is ideal. Since I am someone with a spinal cord injury, I know that is not required of me, so I try my best to fulfill a few thousand steps (or mile) per day.

There is a body and mind connection. You will ‘see’ the impossible happen while you’re exercising! Train your body. There are so many possibilities. But it is hard to see them when you’re sitting on the couch. Start now, lift weights, and start with bicep curls.

Don’t be stagnant.

My daily regimen consists of exercising and writing, for the most part. Writing can take some energy, too. As I mentioned before, I listen to the Bible through audio (I try to listen every night, but I tend to listen sporadically throughout the week or during different times of the day). I listen to the Psalms (usually the dramatized version through a Bible app).

My favorite Psalms now are 69, 71, 74, and 77. One of my favorite books is The Book of Acts. It’s powerful.

Below are some remedies for overcoming—the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. When I speak publicly, I often talk about these topics.

•Talk to God throughout the day. Make Him your closest friend. He is the most outstanding listener. He will never interrupt. I know I can always count on Him. He will never stop listening to you. God is omnipresent. He can be everywhere all at once. He will answer, but not necessarily on your timing, and things may not go your way–but he’ll answer you one way or the other. The answers often come to me immediately in my heart. 

But I have been practicing having a relationship with God for a long time, so our connection is substantial. Like I mentioned above, having a relationship with God is like exercising a muscle. The more you practice exercising it, the stronger it gets! If you are quiet, you will hear from him better.

The answers will come (typically through feelings in your heart or visions). You have to discern God’s voice, but it can be hard to hear his voice if you do not know him well and talk with him much at all, so start practicing. If you are having trouble understanding God and his ways, I recommend reading the Bible. Begin at the New Testament Gospels.

Try not to make hasty decisions. When the answer to your prayer comes from God–you will be sure of it. There will be no shadow of turning, as it says in the Bible. When something comes down from the Father of Lights, you will know it!

Please think about how you can implement some of the activities I mentioned. Can you go for a walk (before the kids wake up if you are a mother)? And can you share your thoughts with God (pray for yourself and others)? What would you ask him for? Can you be cordial with ‘everyone?’ Can you make time for extracurricular activities? What are your hobbies? Are you a member of any groups? 

Can you go to the gym before your eight-hour workday (if you have one)? How about setting up a regular weekly sports game like tennis or walking with friends to make exercise social (so long as your governor is allowing it)? How can you be creative? Reflect. Write your thoughts down. It will help you realize what you have been lacking and how you can make your life better! It will also help you to improve! 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her blog posts. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

‘Not Without God’–a Passage

Today I would like to share a little bit of writing from my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival:

Here is a passage:

‘As a child, I knew my path would not be easy. The Lord told me. Not in words but in feelings and in thoughts. I would ride my bicycle up and down our street, we lived in a cul-de-sac, and I would climb to the top of the tree. I was active. I’d play sports. I was kind of a tom boy, and I heard from God on my daily bike rides–I felt his presence strongly and he would say, “This road will not be easy, Zina, but I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I knew it would be difficult. These were more of ‘whispers in my heart.’ God was introducing me to what was to come, but letting me know that I would get through it.

8D08928A-1497-40C2-BEAC-D6311B672630
At seventeen years of age, practicing how to walk!

After my accident at just sixteen, I had severe injuries, my spine not only broke but shifted at the (mid) thoracic level. My tibias and fibias were shattered in both legs as well as in my left femur bone. I needed rods and screws to hold my broken bones in place. I had a C1 fracture, and I’m lucky it wasn’t worse. That kind of injury can leave someone a quadriplegic (a quadriplegic typically loses usage of their legs and their arms, they may even have breathing trouble and need a trach).

I was told by a select few doctors that I would never walk, and today I am able to ambulate with forearm crutches or a walker. Unless it is icy and snowy out, or unless I am not feeling good. I especially use a wheelchair on ‘icy’ days because I have had a few falls!

It’s ironic because the street I grew up on was called “Gramercy Ct.,” and archaically, the word “Gramercy” is used to express gratitude, the word ‘mercy’ can mean, forgiveness or ‘many thanks.’ I am thankful to be alive so I don’t think that the name of my childhood street was a coincidence.

I am able to walk with AFOs (an ankle-foot orthosis) now, because my braces have been cut down through the years since I’ve gotten stronger, but it was something I had to ask about. A physical therapist will rarely ask if you want less of a walking brace, I mean, they evaluate you at periodic evaluations but as with all recoveries, one needs to be proactive.

The reason I am telling this story is because my life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk. I don’t take it for granted, and I thank God every day! I want you to know that whatever it is you are going through–you can make it, too! As long as you persist, work hard, and have faith!

May God bless you all…

About Zina

73840719-0BFE-4A74-979C-DE7D4B67C89AZina Hermez authored the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers Magazine, various guest blogs, medical journals, newsletters, and she’s written over 200 of her very own articles. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Bosch, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and worked with students of all ages. She began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Her writing endeavors have earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. Socializing with friends, taking trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Ever think about giving up? Don’t.

If you don’t try you will never know what God has in store. Stay the course.  We have the capability of improving our lives. Small steps are motivators!

I achieved my goal of walking a mile yesterday! I’m sore, but it’s worth it. I have to keep on going. As I think back, I’m disappointed—this time last year—I was up to one hour straight on the elliptical (doing more than 3 miles). I am not far from that, so I am going to shoot for 10,000 feet.

In the last several months, I have become a full time caregiver, not only distributing medicine, but making frequent visits, and sometimes staying in hospitals with loved ones for several hours. I’m an emergency contact. I’m an advocate and a “scheduler.”

I’m working on endurance when it comes to walking, though, and it’s really coming along. I keep track of my steps on a counter, and I’m increasing them. I’m so grateful for my life experiences, and for the friends I have made!

ed6547f2-71e6-4625-b8c8-0e6d8776c65f-e1562953387204.pngI’m excited about an upcoming trip to New York in the fall. I will be going to an event at Carnegie Hall! I will get to watch and learn from world-changers, speakers, experts, and authority figures who have made a difference. I will get to meet celebrities, also!

Being in NY will give me the greatest feeling, and I am really looking forward to it! My hard work has brought me here, the late nights, the lack of sleep, and the pain in my body from just sitting up and writing for so long has paid off.

I hope that my writing will one day have a big impact, and in some ways I believe it already has. I never gave up on my hope of walking after my accident; I was determined to have the career I always wanted, and it is very exciting to see that come to fruition.

We have an amazing God who always keeps his promises so long as we call on him! We all have burdens, to each his own, and they are not here to hinder us—but to make us better—to teach us patience, to be kind, and to love one another. God wants to perfect a great work in us!

About Zina

Zina Hermez is the author of the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her various stories have been featured in magazines, newsletters, guest blogs and other places around the web. She has written more than 200 articles. She works as an English teacher in Detroit, and she’s had thousands of students. She’s taught at automotive corporations and began her own teaching services. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches writing. Her goal is to help others, and when Zina is not writing or teaching, she enjoys talking on the phone, going out and socializing with friends, or trying something a little adventurous! You can connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

The Little Things in Life Really ARE the Big Things!

As my birthday approaches on Monday, I’m grateful for my life. In the back of my mind, I feared I would not make it past thirty when I was younger. I thought that way because of my accident. Here I am, it’s been twenty years since that fateful day. I’m still here.

I had a strong feeling I would influence others through all that happened. I wanted to help the sick, the hurting, and those who are helpless. My book, Not Without God is only the beginning. I’ve been blogging to reach out to others with or without spinal-cord-injury for two and a half years.

But there is more I want to accomplish. I try to offer hope in as many ways as I can in my book and on my blog. I have been there so I can relate. I understand what a lot of people are experiencing. In some aspects, I had to grow up fast.

When I’m asked how I walked again when I’m out in public, or how I survived my accident—I talk freely of my faith and of how God saved me! I’ve been doing that for years. I want to give hope. I want to tell about Christ.

It must be my energy, but strangers are often not shy to ask me questions. Very early while still in the hospital at Mott Children’s, I felt I would help others in some way. It’s no wonder I wrote a book about my life. It’s surreal, and exciting!

I would not have made it this far without the love and support of many. One of my dreams was to finish college, and have a career despite all my injuries. I graduated high-school on time, and walked on a walker to receive my diploma. I fulfilled the promise I made to myself—to walk on graduation day.

I worked so hard through college. I put a wheelchair in and out of the car several times a day. I began working in the classroom when an instructor asked me if I would like to be a tutor in Composition classes at twenty-two years of age.

When others see me and sometimes express that they feel sorry I need to walk with assistance. I explain that each crutch weighs less than two pounds. They are much lighter than a wheelchair, and much easier to put in and out of a car!

Some people don’t realize how good they have it until something bad happens, or until they meet someone like me and then their faith is challenged. Unless you’ve gone from paralyzed to walking, you really can’t understand how freeing walking can be!

It’s one of the reasons I’m thankful for every day, and it’s why I appreciate EVERYTHING!

My life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk.

Happy Birthday to me!

Be a winner!

Winners take full responsibility for everything that happens to them – even when those things seem remote and are not directly attributable to their actions. To achieve superior health, you must take 100% responsibility.–David Wolfe

This is true. But hard. It’s hard to take 100% responsibility. Even for people who walk “normally” it’s hard to exercise and always eat right. Imagine you could not walk? Or walked and it was a struggle? It’s that much harder to get up, get out. You may not even want to get out of bed sometimes.

The spinal cord is like a tree trunk, with nerves and fibers representing branches and stems. The vertebral column is a bony structure, like wood. When the spine breaks, the nerves and fibers are damaged. Just as if you took an ax to a tree trunk, all of the stems, branches, and twigs would start to wither away.

I’m up to 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on the elliptical–forty minutes of cardio combined. A goal my physical therapist set for me several weeks ago. I’ve reached it!  Now I need to set a new goal for myself.

I’m walking faster and getting around better. It’s paying off! I just need to relax. Sometimes I get down on myself for not being able to move around like everyone else. I expect to be able to do what others are, not taking into consideration all of the injuries I had. I not only have a spinal cord injury at L1-L2. But several of my bones were broken. My left femur broke, my right tib fib, and left tib fib broke as well. I not only have a rod in my spine, but rods in my legs. My C1 was fractured. That’s not even all of my injuries. I’m lucky it wasn’t worse!

David Wolfe says, to feel like a winner you must be 100% responsible. It’s hard to feel like a winner when you can’t walk. After a severe injury, your self esteem is compromised. What makes us winners? The perfect job? The perfect mate? A nice big house? I think winning is in your attitude. We all have obstacles. Tragedy can strike all of us. I believe the winner has to be within, to not give up on life! Even on bad days, you have to bounce back.

One strategy that works for me is thanking God even when I feel bad. It’s not easy to do, but as I start to thank him for what I have, my mood starts to turn around. I feel better. The other stuff doesn’t seem so bad. Being a winner is not what you have, it’s who you are. And who you are, is what you make of yourself!

“Imagination as a Powerful Tool!”

“Visualize everyday about the person you want to become. See yourself as being that person NOW. Your brain will take what you visualize and help you create it.”-HealthCoachTraining  I love this quote. I wanted to share because this is what faith is–seeing something with no evidence, your circumstances may be totally different. You can practice it in your mind. I had visions of walking at sixteen after I was hit by a car. Nightly in bed before I fell asleep, I would see myself on a walker or on a cane. I was paralyzed. I had little movement in my left leg.

I was using a wheelchair all day except for in physical therapy. My left quadricep would contract. My right leg was numb with no movement. I could kick my left leg up for a few seconds at a time while sitting because my left quadricep was firing. The following paragraph is a journal entry I wrote at the time:

“My left leg is pretty strong. I can hold it up in the air for a few seconds. My right one is coming along it’s just moving slower. I should be getting out of the hospital around early February or March. Gretchen said they will put me on braces around February. I know in time I’ll walk again. I have God on my side. It’s the best feeling. I realize how precious life is. I know what I want to do when I get older, help sick people. I want to be a doctor. I’ll never take life for granted, and try to enjoy every minute.”

I never became a doctor, I became an English teacher instead. I still think being a doctor is one of the greatest things. I have a desire to help people with physical challenges such as mine.

From a wheelchair, I saw myself walking and out of it. Sometimes we are strongest when weak. Sometimes I feel frustrated by the fact that walking with one cane is still hard. I remember that faith. I remember those visions. I practiced them throughout my twenties.

Little by little we can get better. Healing is a process. Rome wasn’t built…

What is it you want to get better from? Scars and pain are not only external. We have internal challenges too. We all have imperfections. Mine are visible. Ask yourself, is my goal reasonable? Is it feasible? Try envisioning it. It just might come true.

Moving improves our health!

“The human body is not meant to sit for long periods of time. During the day alternate between sitting, standing, and walking, or get up and stretch often,” says HealthCoach. David Agus, Lance Armstrong’s oncologist, wrote a best seller called “The End of Illness” and he agrees. He writes tips on how to prevent disease.“As Americans we don’t move around enough, most people go to the gym for an hour, go back to their office, sit at their desk jobs for hours, and they think that is enough.” “The problem is most people, when sitting at our desk jobs, sit for hours at a time and don’t move around enough,” Dr. Agus says. “Every hour you should move, even if for no reason, get away from your desk, find a reason to get up,” he advises. This was one of the first on his list to prevent illness such as cancer. He also talks about eating healthier, hard boiled eggs, fish, vegetable oil, the natural stuff.

What if you’re spinal cord injured? What if you can’t get up so easily? What if you can’t stand? What if you can’t walk? What if you can’t even sit for long periods of time, or get out of a wheelchair without someone assisting you? I believe any movement is good movement to start. Whether it’s a transfer from your wheelchair to your bed, or using the hand cycling machine at physical therapy, or standing for several minutes at a time in a standing frame, it gets your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and you’re moving. As you train your body to move with help, and hopefully eventually without, to transfer, to sit for longer periods, to stand, to walk, whatever you are able to do, it gets stronger. Over time you can become more independent.

Just be safe. When I practice with one cane, I’m almost always with my physical therapist. When I’m doing it at home, I try my best to be safe. I used to hold two canes, with the right one in the air just in case I lost my balance. Now I use one. It’s crucial for someone with paralysis to move, because they don’t do it easily on a daily basis. I believe it’s even more important for us, to get up. Dr. Agus’ advice applies to all of us, those with and without physical challenges.

For those who cannot move their hands, feet, or fingers even, it can be much harder to get up, or even feel motivated to move. My feet are weak because my s1/s2 nerves still have some damage. I can push my feet down, but that is a recent muscle that has come back the last couple years. It’s harder to pull my foot up against gravity. Throughout the day I’m wearing AFOs (ankle braces) to assist my walking.

With a spinal cord injury, you can exercise for years and years, and not fully recover. Or you can exercise for a few years, and gain a lot of recovery. It depends on different factors, your level of injury, the nature of your injury, and your faith. Exercise and movement not only improve health, but can help you regain function. The number one factor is you. It starts with you.

Now go get up!

Zina Hermez