Walk It Off

Ruth Marshall's Walk It Off is an original memoir about one woman’s journey to learn how to walk after a debilitating diagnosis turned her life upside down.

Ruth Marshall

Ruth Marshall — power mom, wife, actor and daughter — was in great health, until one day, her feet started to tingle. She visited doctors and specialists for tests, but no one could figure out the cause of her symptoms. Was she imagining those pesky tingles? She tried to brush it off, even as she tripped over curbs and stumbled into people. Clumsiness is charming, right?

But when Ruth suddenly couldn't feel her legs at all, she knew something was terribly wrong. Her fears were confirmed by an MRI revealing a rare tumour that had been quietly growing on her spine for more than a decade. Within days, surgery was scheduled, and after the intense eight-hour ordeal, Ruth woke up to find her legs and feet had forgotten how to do...well, everything. The question that burned in her mind was, "Will I ever walk again?"

What Ruth thought would be three days in the hospital turned into months of rehabilitation as she relearned not only how to walk, run, pee, and even have sex again, but how to better appreciate everyone around her — including her devoted husband, her two young sons, her worried parents, her sisters, her loving friends, and the caring staff at the rehab centre who help her tackle her recovery head-on.

Laugh-out-loud outrageous and searingly honest, this is a memoir that not only entertains but inspires readers to put their best foot forward and walk off anything life throws their way. (From Simon & Schuster)

From the book

I watched as my parents pulled into the driveway right on schedule—fifteen minutes early. I moved down the stairs as quickly as my confused feet would allow, trying to beat my dad to the house before he knocked and woke up Rich and the kids, but I was not quick enough. He rapped on the door as if it were mid-afternoon; a nice confident knuckling. I opened the door.

"I'll just be a sec, Dad. Everyone's asleep. I'll meet you in the car." I closed the door.

My father's smile was too wide, his eyes crinkled unnaturally, his stance was uncertain.

I was in the clothes I had laid out the night before: black sweat pants, black T-shirt, black hoodie, black trench. Christ, I thought as I looked in the mirror, I'm a vampire. I was even wearing a black bra. Most mornings when I am hooking my bra into place, Rich, my husband of sixteen years, perks up. "Whoa!" he'll say, as if seeing my boobs for the first time instead of the ten thousandth. But on that morning, his response was more sober.

"I doubt you'll be able to keep your bra on during the MRI," he said.

I gave him a look. Decorum, plus the size of my breasts, dictates that I wear a bra, in every situation, always.

From Walk It Off by Ruth Marshall ©2018. Published by Simon & Schuster.