Heroes Are Made in Unexpected Circumstances

By Ankit Shah (name changed)

‘’I would like to see ANOTHER well articulated, inspirational piece of work coming out soon. Your endeavor to help others should act opposite to the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility’’, said readers who were the influential spirits behind me keeping the flow of communication on Isaac Syndrome, a diverse disorder as a result of muscular hyperactivity.

My previous Case Studies ‘My battle with Isaac Syndrome, and the struggle for a cure’ AND ‘Isaac Syndrome: Here’s what you can learn from my experiences’ were my attempts to pen down information on various aspects involved while coping with daily life and to inspire patients to be uncomfortable with a bailout option.

Purpose of this Inscription

Recently saw this epic film, Forrest Gump again, but this time it took my imagination on a ride.

A couple of years back I had taken up Table Tennis to recover from my workload; it was a rejuvenating experience. It’s like a drug free high-vitality sport without the risk of collision injuries where finding out what your opponent is thinking does matter. My racket, had gathered dust when I decided to rerun the episode, this time to try conquering health setbacks; only apprehension being my mum’s best china.

Your idea of fun will change

So that’s how I found myself one fine day getting a TT table installed at my place trying to overcome years of pain and stiffness in my muscles.

The initial assessment of my hand movement was made by a close friend who qualified in fine motor skills and had experience in Sports Medicine. I visited a qualified table tennis specialist with an idea of getting the right advice before taking up the sport. The only constant thought running was to be at my best and keep attempting for a bailout.

Finally the day arrived when I decide to try out my new racket and the newly installed table.

I decided to wear my activity tracker band to record my personal metrics. I found it way ahead in gauging my personality and constantly pushing me to new limits. Recuperation methods are faster these days but it’s still essential to improve flexibility as a crucial part of the overall treatment regime.

All of a sudden, my muscle memories got activated and reran old episodes of playing with friends where we roared, ran around like hooligans and ate our favorite course during breaks. I still felt grateful for this current moment.

I started to concentrate on watching the flight of the ball bouncing towards me from the other side. It abruptly changed direction. I slowly indulged myself to prove whatever I lacked in talent should show in stamina. Initially it was like dodging a bullet, trying hard to beat my opponent, but I took it as any other therapy.

During playing sessions, I still have to take unwanted breaks but would like to believe that resistance is slowly building up; if not, at least it makes me feel like a warrior for some time. Every shot I hit takes me closer to feeling a notch healthier.

I discreetly recollect one of my sessions where I met my nightmare of having a severe back spasm which knocked me down for three days, completely out of action and made me realize why NASA studies said that table tennis is the most difficult sport to practice because of its complexity in the use of muscles, more than 80% from feet to neck. The wish of bouncing back was so powerful that it got me to high spirits on the fourth day.

My longest rally without break was around 6 minutes which almost took me to some celestial space but exhausted me the very seventh minute. As I come towards the end of my narration, I’m still trying a good acceleration and grip over a strong synergy between the sport and myself. Heroes in the sports field or one’s battle with any ailment have much in common.

My story raises a couple of interesting questions, at least in my mind:- 

  • First of all when and how did my game change for the better?
  • Did the impact of this current set-back leave me stronger than before?

The only answer was to keep learning and build stronger experiences:-

  • Change is indeed possible
  • One can use today’s technology to your benefit
  • Focus on postures can reduce pain and increase fun
  • Taking up a sport can add to your disciplined lifestyle
  • Re-educate yourself about the condition and modify habits
  • Understand the difference between what ‘you should’ and ‘can do’.

The Shadow Analogy

I started to draw out analogies between taking up a match in table tennis and Isaac Syndrome. The conclusion was:-

  • A person who is gracious in defeat in a match or his pain, is set to recover and win
  • If it doesn’t challenge, moving up the ladder is like a dream with open eyes
  • There are two ways to conclude a match or battle a disease, you’re either in or out
  • Being deprived of winning a game or any suffering is just a temporary phenomenon, it might be for some time but if we quit, it becomes a habit and lasts forever
  • For us to move faster in life, situations need to get out of control
  • Heroes in sports or one’s battle with any ailment have much in common
  • Find something that gives joy, and the joy will burn out the pain
  • Be in control: -One’s grip is an important aspect (in a game or a life situation).


‘Competing for a trophy’ is old, let’s walk our talks and get counted.

This article sought to ignite the conversation around alternative drug free therapy.

If you wait for another case study, it will be too late.