It’s Not What You Think

The mind can be a powerful instrument. It can also be a trickster. Prior to traveling to Colorado to celebrate my 35th anniversary of life AFTER the cliff, I thought I’d be reliving the incident with Michael, the man who was behind me when I fell 40ft and disappeared before his eyes. However, my mind didn’t prepare me for not feeling 100%. In order to travel, I rested to clear my head as much as possible. Still congested, I did the best I could with the energy on-hand. All weekend, I wished I felt better but I also found gratitude for the health that I take for granted most days.

Although nature has always inspired me, my other interests have changed. The Fort Collins weekend home had a yoga studio. Each day I took time to sit, meditate and do a few asanas (poses) to assist my healing, in a much more an inward journey than an outward experience. In college, my practice was partying, playing sports, and acting silly.

On October 16, 2017, I laid in bed and recalled the day I fell. As details flowed through my mind’s eye, I remembered how beautiful the day was as autumn filled the air. The leaves were turning color all over SIUC campus. I heard Little Grand Canyon was a special place to view the color change. After partying all night, I gathered friends to see what Mother Nature would provide for our senses. Slowly, we came together and headed to the great outdoors.

My mind shifted to the rescue of 1982. Being carried out of the canyon in a basket was a unique adventure. Transported by ambulance and then helicopter to the hospital, I knew my life was altered as I couldn’t feel anything from my chest down.

Last weekend in Fort Collins, I could feel the warmth of the covers touching my body, reminding me that I feel. Gratitude swept over me as I felt my body just laying calmly on the bed. I could feel my feet, my legs, my back, my arms, my head; all resting on the cozy surface. What a feeling!

As the day progressed, Beth, Michael and I headed for the hills. As a forester, Michael’s workplace is rather distinct and gorgeous. For hours we hung out at Borden Memorial Forest. I thought we’d do another video, talk about the event from our past, but I simply took the time in nature to reflect, to give thanks, to appreciate my friends and the impressive surroundings.

Later in the day there was some talk of my fall; who was there, what transpired afterwards for Michael. We reminisced, not only about October 16, 1982, but our time at SIUC. As I told Michael, we all have a story, it’s what we remember about our past. Some of it’s clear, some of it is foggy, some of it lost until a friend reminds us of an event. One thing is evident, we share a history.

It was great to be with Michael and his family. Elaine, Ben, and Nick dined with us each night furnished a wonderful home cooked meal. More memories were created and placed in the bank. The trip certainly wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was better. It showed me how deeply my fall touched lives and how it no longer consumes my life or those who shared the day with me. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email:$12.00 plus shipping and handling.
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In 1983, within four months, according to the medical model, I was healed. I could walk, I could go to the bathroom, I could get up from a chair, I could have a life. After falling 40 feet, becoming paralyzed, learning to maneuver again, and healing all that I had achieved left me angry, lost and wanting for my old self.

When people ask me how long did it take you to heal, I reply, what day is it? I’m not being facetious, I feel I am healing more and more each day. Had I followed allopathic theory, I would still be a stiff, spastic, non embodied person wandering this earth! They were correct, I could walk but that was only the start of my recovery. Healing has become a continuous for me. If I listened to my doctors, whatever nerves came back to life within the first two years would be all that my body could rejuvenate. Yet, decades later, my nerves still create sparks.

By 1985, I was ready to move on. Without entry into a Physical Therapy program I had a year to wait in order to reapply. My brother Ronny offered his place in Albuquerque as my new home. Once his wife Mel was onboard and my parents agreed to funding, I enrolled in the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics. I had no idea what I was getting into when I filed my application. Healing on many levels came wrapped in that package. My body went from jumping all over the massage table like a fish out of water, to a relatively calm existence. That helped the anger to dissipate and the frustration to lessen.

As I continued with natural therapy, my body persevered, stepping into the role of teacher. What a great teacher, to be guided within and on the outskirts of my body tissue. Any time an instructor explained something and I couldn’t wrap my head around it, my body showed me. Healing has come from each cell, reenforcing what would help in my healing.

For me, healing is a process, not an end game. Each day that I awaken and proceed in life, that is a healing day. To recognize my health, to feel my strength, to know how different it could all be. Although medically speaking I was healed 35 years ago, to me I am happy to continue the healing process, to become sound each and every day. I’m worth it. Healing is a great practice. Give it a shot! Be well… Nancy T


Daily Egyptian 

Monday, October 18, 1982

SIU-C student falls from bluff

An SIU-C student is listed in critical condition after she fell off a bluff Saturday afternoon at Little Grand Canyon, south of Murphysboro.

Nancy Turcich, 19, of Chicago, was carried 1 1/2 miles by friends and volunteers to a parking lot, where she was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

The accident occurred when Miss Turcich slid down a waterfall or stream and went off the end of the bluff, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said. Five volunteers joined her friends to help rescue her.


I made the headlines. Not in some great style or in a fabulous fashion, but a student falling from a nearby bluff stirred things up at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

It was only after 27 years that I heard from a friend that a reporter wanted to talk with them. Fearing repercussions (paranoid teens), they turned the reporter away.

While compiling,“Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life,” I tracked down the Daily Egyptian snippet. It was odd to read the words and imagine a young college reporter gathering the facts for the college newspaper.

I was told there were two volunteers plus professionals, but who am I to question the Egyptian’s totaling of five.

1 1/2 miles sounds like a walk in the park, except when you are carrying an injured person in a basket. Challenging rock formations, foliage, and sunset added to the stroll.

My buddy Mike was right, perhaps a different pathway would have been best, but I chose what looked like the fastest way down. I just didn’t see the 40ft drop between point A and point B.

I do remember being wheeled into the ICU after hours of tests only to hear, “We have a live on here.” I remember thinking, “Compared to what?” In my mind, everything was going to be ok. Once I saw the relief on my parent’s faces, the nurse’s comment registered more clearly. I was in the ICU, but I was responsive. In fact, I was talking and everything. Well, I couldn’t move. . . but I was ALIVE. Now that should have been the headline: SIU-C student falls from bluff and is ALIVE. Be well… Nancy T

  • Go to to purchase your copy of “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer (only available by email: $12.00 plus shipping and handling.
  • eBooks are available on Amazon, iTunes, & Nook.