It has been a real privilege to see Dennis’ hard work, focused effort, and belief in himself pay off! The excerpts below only begin to outline the challenges that he faced and was able to overcome with patience, persistence, and a willingness to see every small step forward as progress and every setback as a chance to learn how to do it better.
“He (coach DeGroat) wanted to get it out of my head that I had this chronic condition,’’ Clifford said. “He wanted me to focus on how my body was moving, what muscles I was using, what weaknesses I had that was causing tension and pain.’’
It was a gradual but painstaking process to “re-sync my body,’’ Clifford said. But one morning this spring he got out of bed pain-free.
“Usually, I’m crawling out like an 80-year-old person,’’ he recalled. “The first day I squatted out of my bed without pain, I remembered looking around and going, ‘Holy smokes, that’s something I haven’t felt in the last two years.’ That was like a miracle. It felt like I was getting out of a wheelchair.
“So that was really cool for me, to be able to do normal stuff throughout the day, like walking to class and going up the steps, getting in and out of a desk pain-free, that was like amazing. I felt I was ready to come back.’’
Excerpts from “Dennis Clifford’s return boosts BS basketball” – Michael Vega, Boston Globe Oct 30, 2014
Other reactions to Dennis’ comeback: The Daily Orange