Susan Schultz is a doer. She would rather have the hope of a good outcome over a mind full of how things could be worse. As her friend Siva from the YMCA says, “She is an inspiration.”
Schultz moved to Rochester in 2019 to be closer to family and joined the YMCA right away, being a previous member of the New York chapter for a decade. Schultz can be found at the Y two or three times per week.
In February, Schultz took her two grandchildren to the Recreation Center for an indoor ice-skating session. Her granddaughter asked how to skate backward. “When I tried to teach her, I lost my balance and fell—breaking my fall with my wrists,” Schultz shares. “I knew immediately it was not good. I was in severe pain and a gentleman helped me off the ice.
Schultz took a seat in the spectators’ area where the woman next to her happened to be a nurse. The nurse asked the arena staff for ice to keep the swelling down. A short time later, her husband, Richard, arrived with the children’s father. The Schultzs promptly drove to the emergency room. After being examined, it was determined she had broken both wrists and needed surgery.
“I had surgery on the right wrist on February 10, followed by surgery on the left wrist six days later,” Schultz shares. “I was unable to care for myself for about two weeks. I needed assistance with everything.
I was able to feed myself and drink with a straw, but that was about it. My husband had to be my arms for those first few weeks. I am not one to sit around and do nothing. I like to keep busy, hence my nickname: Squirrel,” she laughs. “I was not going to let this injury sideline me any longer than it had to.”
Schultz has participated in several triathlons, half marathons and marathons, and she was determined to be able to swim, bike and run by summer. She states, “I think the training mindset helped me get thorough the recovery process. I enjoy striving to achieve a goal. I do not participate in events for recognition, but for the feeling of accomplishment.
“A key ingredient in maintaining a positive attitude is having confidence. You gain confidence by doing. When you are confident, you will perform your best—even when under pressure”
Determined to get back into her routine, keeping in mind she could only handle what the pain would allow, Schultz was at the Y as soon as the doctor permitted. It was there she met Dr. Thirusivapragasam (Siva)
Subramaniam, whose words of encouragement were very comforting. “He made me feel like I could accomplish anything I set out to do,” Schultz recalls. Subramaniam too was impacted by Schultz. “At times of adversity, humans seem to play the victim role and only seldom do we see someone playing the role of victor,” Subramaniam says. “Here is a person, amid chaotic pandemic crises and personal injuries, who keeps her spirits up and finds time to regularly exercise.”
“I, myself, was surprised how quickly I was healing, and the abilities I had after only a few weeks post-surgery.”
Schultz went on to make a full recovery. She was, indeed, swimming, biking and running by summer. Schultz concludes, “A key ingredient in maintaining a positive attitude is having confidence. You gain confidence by doing. When you are confident, you will perform your best—even when under pressure.”