Episode 011 -- Meet Robyn Weiss

"Put your life into our rehab, not the other way around."

-- Robyn Weiss

Rehab Without Walls

RRobyn Weiss Headshotobyn Weiss is a licensed PT, former Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, and currently the Community Relations Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region of Rehab Without Walls.

Rehab Without Walls is a transitional therapy organization that helps stroke survivors move from inpatient care to living at home before going to outpatient care. They do PT, OT, Speech Therapy, social work, and more.

Rehab Without Walls logo

In my case, that meant PT Elisa, PT Aide Cory, and OT Micayla would comer to my apartment for 90 minute sessions last summer after I left the hospital. We completed important community living exercises like walking to Top Pot Donuts and Starbucks.

Robyn is a passionate advocate for the program and for its mission. In this episode we talk about her background and the value she sees in Rehab Without Walls.

Hack of the Week

Robyn explained that sitting down doesn't have to mean doing nothing except experiencing back pain. By simply putting a step, block, or other item under your desk or in front of your couch, you can stretch your hamstrings and make the work a bit. Simply rest your feet on a small platform to lift your knees a bit so your thighs point up.

Where do we go from here?

  • What are your thoughts about a program like Rehab Without Walls? Let us know in the comments below.
  • If you want to learn more about Rehab Without Walls, click here.
  • Rest your feet on a platform as you sit at your desk.
  • If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app and share this episode with a friend.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 059 -- Believe Them and 8 Questions to Ask After Your Talk



2-Minute Tip: Believe Them


When your audience members tell you that you did a good job, believe them.


In our zeal to be the best we can be, many speakers have an inaccurate and often negative view of our own performances. Often we see how it could have been better. Or we notice a mistake no one in the audience did. We can obsess over those "failures" no one else saw.

But it's not about us.


It's about the audience. When audience members tell you that you did a good job, take their word for it. Respect their opinion. Believe them.



Post Tip Discussion: 8 Questions to Ask After Your Talk


There are stories we tell ourselves that keep us small.

-- Emma Gibbs-Ng

Lyn Henderson's Inside Knowledge Podcast


Evaluating our performance after a presentation is good, but simply asking, "How was I?" is not good enough. It makes it all about us again and doesn't give us the actionable data we need to get better. Instead, we ought to ask these 8 questions after a talk:


  1.  How was the timing?
  2. What were the questions the audience asked?
  3. What demos or visual aids worked and which ones didn't?
  4. How did my jokes go over?
  5. How well did the presentation flow?
  6. What did people say to you after the talk?
  7. What follow up items do you have?
  8. Did you accomplish your goal?


The questions focus on how the audience experienced the presentation, rather than how the speaker experienced it.


Keep track of the answers over time because they will reveal patterns that point to ways you can grow and improve as a speaker.


Call To Action:


  • Ask the 8 key questions after your next talk.
  • What other questions do you ask? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Share this episode with a friend or colleague who also conducts presentations.
  • Believe your audience when they say they like you.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Check out this episode!


Episode 010 -- Joint Pain and Science-y Stuff


I'd been experiencing hip pain for several months when I tried to move my affected leg. My therapists tried to figure out the cause and couldn't quite pinpoint it. Eventually, I got a referral to and ultrasound specialist.

He quickly found the issue -- it was a tendon. He gave me a steroid injection and after a few days most of the pain was gone.

The main cause was my gait. Basically, because I don't walk like I use to (I tend to swing my leg out, lock my knee and lift my hip) I irritated the tendon, and it screamed at me whenever I tried to use it.

The short term solution is the injection. That will last a few months. The longer term solution is to strengthen my knee and leg-brain connections so I can learn to walk again with a more traditional gait.

And Evening with Neuroscience

I attended a panel Q&A with a bunch of neurologists last week, and it was a fascinating 2 hours. I spent the time soaking in all sorts of information and tweeting about it.




It was sponsored by Grey Matters, an neurology journal published by University of Washington under grads. One goal of the event is to connect more of the broader community with science and the brain. If you get a chance to go to something similar, and you like science, I recommend it.

An announcement for the Evening with Neuroscience event on 2018-04-13

PT and the Stationary Bike

I wrote about this study in a separate post here on Strokecast.

Basically, 30 minutes a day of both PT and Stationary bike work results in much better balance and walking performance alone. If your Doctor or medical team approves, and a stationary bike ride to your exercise routine can be quite helpful.

Hack of the Week

Play Pokémon Go or Ingress on your smart phone.

These are augmented reality games. That means you have to leave your home to play. The games send you to different locations in your community to complete tasks, like catching cute, virtual critters.

As stroke survivors, we know that most of us need to leave home from time-to-time to get exercise, improve our walking, stimulate our brains with the real world, and more. Sometimes, that's not a good enough reason. We need a more concrete and immediate goal. Pokémon Go and Ingress give us those concrete goals.

Plus, they're fun and are a great way to connect with friends and family who are already playing.

Where do we go from here?

  • Talk to your medical team about pains you have and keep giving them data so they can help point you in the right direction.
  • Find local events you can attend to learn more about the brain
  • Add an exercise bike to your routine, if your Doctor approves.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 058 -- Schedule Practice and 3 Myths and 1 Mindset for Nervous Speakers



2-Minute Tip: Schedule Your Practice


We mean well. We put "practice" and "rehearse" on our To Do lists. Unfortunately, that often gets bumped by other, more urgent matters. Or meetings get scheduled in our open blocks of time.


That's why it's important to schedule practice time on your calendar. Set up a meeting with yourself to rehearse. Reserve a conference room if you don't have a private office.


When you have practice actually on your calendar, you are more likely to actually do it and less likely to have that time stolen away by another meeting.



Program Notes



2-Minute Talk Tips was named to Nikki's Podcasts' list of the 6 Inspiring Podcasts for Entrepreneurs. Check out the story and the other podcasts on the list here.


Libsyn is featuring my story along with Strokecast and 2-Minute Talk Tips as the Rockin' Libsyn Podcaster this week. You can find the article here.



Post Tip Discussion: 3 Myths and 1 Mindset for Nervous Speakers



There is a lot of advice out there to help speakers deal with stage fright or fear of speaking. Some of it is good. Some of it is really bad.


Here are 3 Myths about dealing with nerves:


  • You should have a drink.
  • You should imagine the audience naked.
  • You should skip practice.


These are all terrible ideas. They are unlikely to be effective, and ultimately you want to be effective to land your message or inspire folks to take a particular action.


An excellent way to deal with nerves is to shift your mindset and remember it's not about you.


It's about your audience, and that's where you ought to focus. Your audience wants you to succeed. They want to have a good experience and get value out of your talk. That's why they are there.


Keep your focus on the audience and value you are delivering.


Because it's not about you.



Call To Action:


  • How do you deal with nerves? Tell us about it in the comments below.
  • Schedule practice time for your next talk.
  • Don't get best…get better

Check out this episode!


Episode 009 -- Meet Gabriela Condrea of TangoStride

Tango is like a puzzle with your body

-- Gabriela Condrea

Last week, I sat down at my current favorite Starbucks location with Gabriela Condrea to talk about dance, connection, stroke survivors doing the Tango, and TangoStride. We talked about how she got into Tango, how anyone who can stand (with assistance) and bear weight for 10 seconds, can dance. Her students tell stories of having a great time, meeting new people, improving their balance, and getting better at walking while having fun.

Gabriela first connected with the Tango in Peru nearly 10 years ago. Before she discovered hw powerful it could be for folks with disabilities, she wrote a book of life lessons she learned on the dance floor. When 1+1=1: That "Impossible" Connection came out in 2011 and was a natural project for this language arts teacher.

In the ensuing years Gabriela would continue to travel, to teach, and to learn as she developed the program that would first come to be known as NeuroTango and now as TangoStride.

Dance is no replacement for traditional therapy on a mat table, but it's a fantastic supplement for survivors and their partners. Check out some of Gabriela's videos here:


If you'd like to know more about TangoStride, see more videos, or connect with classes, check out these links.

Tango Is About the Connection (Gabriela's main site) http://tangoisabouttheconnection.com
1+1=1 (Gabriela's book on Amazon) https://amzn.to/2JG6D6u
Tango Classes www.tangoisabouttheconnection.com/classes/
Gabriela's YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/gabrielacondrea
Facebook: Tango is About the Connection https://www.facebook.com/TangoisAbouttheConnection
Instagram: Tango is About the Connection https://www.instagram.com/tangonconnection/
Gabriela on Twitter http://twitter.com/gcondrea
TangoStride on Twitter https://twitter.com/TangoStride
Tango Happy Hour on Twitter https://twitter.com/TangoHappyHour
Personal website http://gabrielacondrea.com/

Some of my students physically need support to stand, but all of my students need each other to dance.
--Gabriela Condrea

Hack of the Week

Jar opener installed under kitchen cabinet

Opening tight jars is hard enough with two-hands, and it's extra frustrating with only one. I just want my darn pickles!

The solution I found is the EZ Off Jar Opener (Amazon affiliate link). It attaches under my kitchen cabinets. It grips the jar lid so I can hold and turn just the jar with my unaffected hand. Since it's permanently attached, I don't have to hunt for it in draws when I want it.

It also works for closing jars.


Were do we go from here?

  • To learn more about Gabriela or TangoStride, click here.
  • Do you have experience with dance as a stroke survivor or a desire to dance? Tell us about it in the comments below.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast