View Full Version : Rory's holes for swimming pools

24th April 2013, 10:04
Hi Rory,
I hope you have a good stock of holes in because if this therapy is right you might find you are swamped by demand.!!!!

posted today by DeeBee on alstdi.

Posted: 24 April 2013 08:49:10
Post Reply Quote

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member

Joined: 23/07/2009
Posts: 2,266
Location: United Kingdom

Frank Orgel was an enthusiastic PSC patient and also used swimming as a therapeutic agent.....

'ALBANY — Half a century ago B.B. Rhodes and Frank Orgel went to the city’s swimming pools to entertain children.

They would do somersaults and twists off a diving board. Orgel would get into a giant pair of overalls with another member of the Clown Diving Team — which was Rhodes’ idea — and do flips into the water.

They’d hide an air tank at the bottom of the pool, dive to the bottom and stay for several minutes, finally coming up to declare that the pool “is plenty deep!”

Now they go for physical therapy.

Orgel was diagnosed in April with a debilitating motor neuron disease that doctors said would only continue to get worse as time went on. But working with Rhodes, who went to Florida State University on a diving scholarship, at the YMCA’s swimming pool since his diagnosis has brought a significant improvement to Orgel’s condition, he says.

“When I started, we’d just walk in circles — walk backward, walk forward, walk sideways.” Orgel said recently during an interview at his home on Frank Orgel Road. “Finally, we just started (swimming) the whole length (of the pool).”

The disease keeps electrical signals from his brain from firing properly, hampering the ability to move various muscles in the body, Orgel explained. There is no cure from the disease and, once a person is diagnosed with it, he or she is expected to get progressively worse.

If he continues to improve, Orgel says that he will have been misdiagnosed, because people who have motor neuron disease just “don’t get better.”

“You’re not supposed to get better. You’re supposed to get worse,” he said. “But I’m not worse.”

The two began working together after Rhodes heard that Orgel had been diagnosed with the crippling disease. They had been serving together on an Albany Sports Hall of Fame committee for several years at the time.

Rhodes, a strenuous therapist, takes Orgel through a series of exercises every Tuesday and Thursday at noon, including leg and arm stretches. They begin at noon and go until about 1 p.m., with a quick stretching and warmup routine with a rope Rhodes was able to install in the YMCA pool.

After a few minutes of Rhodes gliding Orgel on his back through the pool, they shimmy their way down the pool’s side to maneuver Orgel so he can swim the length of the 75-foot pool from deep end to shallow. There they pause for a moment so Rhodes can push Orgel under water for a few seconds at a time.

This is just another of the various stretches that Rhodes takes Orgel through. Because Orgel can’t raise his arm over his head, he holds onto the edge of the pool so Rhodes can push him down, moving Orgel’s left arm in ways it can’t on its own.

Orgel began his friendship with Rhodes in the early 1950s. Rhodes was a friend of Orgel’s family and hired him a few years later to work as a pool lifeguard at Tift Park — now a Boy & Girls Club — on Jefferson Street.

After going their separate ways — Rhodes went on to become director of the Albany YMCA and Orgel went on to coach football for the University of Georgia, Auburn University and Clemson University — the two kept in touch when Orgel visited the city on recruiting visits.

Orgel, who in his time as an assistant football coach has worked with men like Bo Jackson and coach Pat Dye, first noticed something was wrong in 1996, his last year coaching at Georgia. An occasional stumble caused Orgel to think it was just a back problem. But after having surgery, he continued to get worse.

Orgel described a process of going from the occasional trip to hardly being able to pick up his leg, and eventually having to give up his golf hobby.

Once he realized he had a significant disability, though, Orgel was determined to do whatever he was able to do for as long as he was able to do it.

“Well, I thought I was going to do whatever I could .... and stay as healthy as I could and work out,” he said. “Then (I was going to) get strong enough to get back out and do some things I want to do while I was retired.

“I could say, ‘Well, the hell with it.’ I can just sit here and let people take care of me, or I could go to physical therapy.”

Rhodes, who is about four years older than Orgel, says he enjoys helping his longtime friend.

“I’m just really pleased to know it’s helping him,” Rhodes said one afternoon in one of the YMCA’s breakrooms. “I look at it like, what if I was in that position? It would be nice to have somebody working with me.”

Rhodes says he’ll keep helping Orgel for as long as he can.

“As long as I’m able, as long as it’s doing him some good,” he said.'

Any updates on Frank?


26th April 2013, 00:51
Hi John
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

I too tried all these stretching exercises and went from 4 foot 10 inches to over 7 foot.!
Whilst the stretching exercises clearly worked they brought a new set of problems for me and my clients who I encouraged to use the exercises.

Firstly. A as clients stretched and grew , the deep end was no more a deep end , it only came up to the chest.
The shallow end barely covered some clients feet.

Taking the above into account the pools had to be emptied and a bigger hole delivered - where do we put the old one ?

The 'stretched ' clients needed bigger diving boards and in some cases the ramp up to the top for the wheelchair was 250 yards long ,

Another issue is that clients kept banging their heads on door frames - so further costs were involved in home modifications.

It seems a good idea all this stretching but the add on complications must be considered.

Please don't think I am being negative by any stretch of the imagination!

Best wishes


bakeit Forum