He prefaced the instruction of the chair by saying that "Everyone can use this chair."
Long story short: I couldn't. The reasons aren't important. I woke up the next morning unusually upset and realized that it was because not being able to use the chair that "everyone can use" had made me feel like a failure. Further, I realized that this was at the root of why I always hated PT growing up: that it wasn't the obscene amount of pain, but the sense of failure--that not only could I not do what "normal" others could do effortlessly, but that I couldn't do it even with practice and an obscene amount of pain.
So, I lay in bed ruminating over this sense of failure, and eventually something clicked. There certainly was a failure involved in that PT session and in all my past PT sessions, but that the failure wasn't mine or my body's; instead, that the failure was the expectations of others. My body, when you think about it, is incredible. That it's gone through so much and can still do so much is worthy of praise. My body has an extreme ability to adapt. I find myself doing things in a new way without even thinking about it.
My body is not a failure.
But if you're comparing my body to "normal" bodies without taking into account what my body has had to go through, the failure is not mine. It's yours.
(x-posted like whoa)