Don't Blame the Game Book Excerpts
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
"Hockey was not just another game to me - it was almost my whole life. I was good at it, and by my senior year in high school I had become one of the highest scorers in the whole state."
"I felt them hovering about me as I glided over the ice. They were like mosquitoes carrying long wooden proboscises, waiting to land and sting if I didn't keep moving. In spite of those offensive players, the defensemen seemed to play it differently. As I approached, they let me enter into their own zone, backing, backing off. Perhaps they had though I would cut left or right. Then there it was. I saw an opening straight ahead of me, and I rode my Super Tacks right down the middle, lifted my stick back and waist high to my right, and slammed a shot straight into the net."
"Just then, I received another loose puck that had come careening off the sideboards. Luckily enough, I picked up the puck with my stick, and maneuvered around two opposing players, including one last defenseman who challenged me at his blue line."
"As I got into position to take a shot at the goal, a star Glenbrook player plowed into me from behind, striking me hard on the upper torso and the back of my right shoulder. Taking flight, I rocketed toward the end boards. There was no time to react and get my gloves up in front of me. The momentum of my full one-hundred-and-sixty pounds served solely to hammer my face into the end boards. Like Raggedy Andy, I landed crumpled in a heap in corner of the rink, life as I knew it unalterably shattered."
"Then without any warning it began. One-by-one they drilled each hole, and I cried out, begging them to stop. The shriek of the drill overpowered my cries and I screamed louder. The sent of burning flesh mixed with the reek of hospital odors wafted into my nose."
"As I endured the torment, held down by nothing more than my own paralyzed body-carcass, it was as if my brain matter was being twisted on that drill bit, and roasted as the hot shank did its menacing work." "When the cacophony stopped, a nurse pushed a syringe into an IV port connected to my left arm. I felt the roiling cauldron of terror that had been cooking in my chest begin to cool, and my ready-to-break tension dissolved into sweet oblivion."
"Alas, I did not know how god worked. My formulations of prayers, my application of austerities beyond the woe I lived in, did not stir heaven. My sad condition was somehow lacking the necessary requirements to get God's attention. Was a quadriplegic's inability to move his body parts somehow related to his incapacity to move divinity?"
"There, smiling down on me in all his colossal glory, surrounded by a small crowd of devotees, was Keith Magnuson! He was fairly glowing and his ruddy features radiated tremendous energy. Beneath a head of thick red hair was a scared but handsome face, reflecting the warrior that he was. He had cuts on his hands, and a nose that told a story of battle. His massive frame completely filled out a turtleneck sweater and blue sport jacket he was wearing. When he spoke, his voice was deep and resonant, carrying the tone of one in command."
"Dr Trausch asked that I suspend my doubt and disbelief, and taught me principles that blended both spiritual faith and quantum physics in such a way that they complemented and supported each other. How could I resist?"
"Dr. Trausch created incrementally difficult intention exercises for me to practice. He ushered me into crafted visualizations and guided imagery that spoke volumes to my subconscious mind, training it to assist in a unique and powerful way in carrying out my conscious intentions. He introduced me to the notion that the signals my brain could no longer send to my body because the spinal cord wire was crushed, could be transmitted from my mind through another medium, just as voices and pictures could in modern times be transmitted through the medium of space to waiting radios and televisions."
"At first, no movement occurred at all. But, with willpower built through the marriage of both imagery and intention, the time came when the biofeedback signaled movement in my quadriceps even though I could visually see nothing at all. It would be such early commanding proofs that formed the motivational basis of my plan to rise, and walk."
"Everyone wanted to get where I was, and I quickly became the focus of the doctors from New York. For their part, they were appropriately impressed, and said so. Dr. Wise Young reported that there was no doubt that Michael Schwassis "using his own legs for ambulatory movement."
"Mr. (Bill) Kurtis contacted me and suggested narrating a film documentary on me at my home. It was in a portion his TV program, called Focus. He met me at my dad's home. He interviewed me in the kitchen. Then, I stood, held his hand, and we walked down the hallway with my helper in tow."
"Later Charles Kuralt from 'The American Parade Show' would do the same on CBS national television. Because of these experiences, and the interest people were displaying in my having walked, I was becoming increasingly aware of the power of what I had accomplished, and its influence on even normal, healthy people. Of course, I cannot take all the credit. It was not just me who had achieved, but all those who had been at my side coaching, inspiring, supporting and waiting on me."