Pro PT inc - November 2019


620 Old West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038 • 508-528-6100 •


Our Trip to South Africa

anything, you are the one who feels exposed. The animals are in their natural habitat, doing their own thing, and we are the ones encroaching. Given the nature of the drive, it’s very important that you follow the rules in order to preserve the safety of yourself and everyone else in the jeep. And one of those rules was to not step outside the vehicle or drop anything. The slightest disturbance can make the animals behave unpredictably — these are wild animals, after all. Thankfully, my faux pas didn’t result in anything scary happening. One of our guides waited until it was safe, scooped up my shades, and we rolled on. That moment aside, though, the game drives were exhilarating. I underestimated how powerful it would be to really be in nature halfway across the world. Seeing lions in mating season and leopards feasting on their kills are images I will never forget. It’s not exactly the same, for obvious reasons, but I got a taste of what it must’ve been like to live centuries ago, when nature presented daily challenges to the human race. Maybe because of how vulnerable I felt on these game drives, I wasn’t at all scared to get into a cage and go shark diving, which ended up being one of my favorite parts of our trip. Even I was surprised by how tranquil it felt to be in the water next to these giant creatures. You can’t see far in the water, so you feel alone one moment, only to be brushing up against a great white shark the next. It’s totally surreal. At one point, I even had half a mind to reach out and touch one of the sharks. If you can’t tell by now, I had a hell of a time on our trip to Africa. I don’t think we had finished looking through our photos before I was asking my husband when we’d be going again. It’s rare in life that something you build up to be a momentous occasion lives up to your expectations. In the case of our trip to Africa, those expectations paled in comparison to what we experienced, and we’re beyond grateful for it.

I’ve never felt so mortified for dropping a pair of sunglasses.

Now, these weren’t expensive designer sunglasses that shattered into a million pieces. They weren’t a pair my grandmother handed down to me that I dropped into the ocean. Nope, these were regular old sunglasses that I dropped from the side of the jeep. They didn’t break, we picked ‘em up, and I still have them to this day. So why was I so embarrassed? Well, I happened to drop them in the middle of one of our game drives — the local term for a safari; there was no hunting involved — in South Africa. That may not seem like a big deal, but it felt incredibly grave at the time. If you’ve never been on a game drive, it’s a difficult experience to describe. When I imagined it, I figured it would be like the best version ever of a theme park ride, an on-the-rails experience with prescribed beats and moments of wonder. In reality, it’s not like that at all. If

As you sit down at your Thanksgiving table this year, I hope you can think back to an experience from 2019 that will stay with you forever. Our lives are all full of special moments, whether they involve lions or not, and we would do well to cherish them.

– Dr. Stacey Raybuck Schatz

Professional Physical Therapy | 508-528-6100 • 1

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