Getting Out: My Story Plus the Exercise and Experiences That I Learned That Can Help You Get Out from The Wheelchair by Greg Siofer gives you precisely what it promises on the cover page. The story starts with Greg’s life just as the symptoms begin to appear, follows him through the multiple surgeries, the side effects and finally concludes with the monumental 26 step walk, in June of 2020. The story is about resilience, hardships, the life experiences gained by living with a life-changing disease and actual exercises at the end of the book that helped Siofer throughout his journey towards recovery.
The unique selling point of this book is the author himself. “How can you write an article about relearning to walk if you have never relearned to walk?” Nothing in this book is based on research done in lab conditions by people who don’t know what it feels like to be in a wheelchair. Everything mentioned in the book is something that Siofer has personally gone through, tried, and tested.
Secondly, it prepares people to deal with the frustration that is frequent in any journey towards recovery. Not all procedures work for everyone, no matter how hard you work. This is the message that Siofer conveys at several points in his journey. He tries out several methods and devices; some of them work, some don’t. But he manages to hold a goal in his mind, to make a snowman with his daughter and uses that to fuel his efforts towards recovery, regardless of the hardships.
The book mentions the presence of his wife, his daughter Isabella, his friends, parents, and his extended family, who helped and supported him in unusual ways in his journey. But the book focuses on their role in his life without going deep into how this affected them. I would have appreciated seeing this section expanded.
Getting Out provides readers with a unique combination of experiences and guidance for those who have been left unable to walk due to some life-changing incident. It will also prove to be a useful quick read for those who need to support someone in their life. This is an illuminating, thoughtful and inspiring book that is relevant for those who want to prepare themselves for the future ahead post such a life-changing event or those who have someone recovering in their life.