As Simon Blow lay in a hospital in intensive care, attached to a life support system, his family was told to be prepared for the worst. The injuries he had sustained in a head-on collision meant Simon, if he lived, might never be able to lead a normal life. At best he would have to use a walking stick for the rest of his days.
In 1979 at the age of nineteen Simon was told his future would include constant pain requiring drug treatment and early retirement at the age of 40. After three months in hospital Simon underwent four years of intensive physical rehabilitation at a number of special clinics for patients with chronic injury. After several structural operations, one of Australia’s leading orthopaedic surgeons told him he must accept the fact that he would never again lead an active life.
However, Simon had different ideas. He became determined to turn around his grim prognosis. A chance recommendation to a doctor, who was also a practitioner of natural therapies, was to prove invaluable. In the early eighties when mainstream medicine had barely heard of, let alone given any credibility to, the mind-body connection, Simon was introduced to the idea that he could take a more evolved approach to his problems.
He began a journey that took him into modalities such as acupuncture and osteopathy, but more importantly into personal growth and meditation. Simon looked closely at his life and started to search for the deeper meanings behind his accident.
But his physical disintegration continued. Simon’s osteopath evaluated him as being a 26-year-old with the body of a 65-year-old man in decline. Something would have to be done if he was to escape the prediction of his orthopaedic doctor. The osteopath suggested he take up Tai Chi. Simon’s decision to act on this suggestion was to be a defining moment in his life.
In 1987 Simon joined one of Australia’s largest Tai Chi organizations. At the start he found it extremely difficult to maintain any sort of balance but felt an immediate connection with the movements. Four years later, this man condemned to life with a walking stick became a Tai Chi instructor.