Author shares her steps

Linda Christianson of Blooming Prairie speaks about her book and growing up with polio Monday afternoon in front of the Austin Rotary Club. Matt Peterson/matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com

Linda Christianson of Blooming Prairie speaks about her book and growing up with polio Monday afternoon in front of the Austin Rotary Club. Matt Peterson/matt.peterson@austindailyherald.com

Blooming Prairie writer talks polio with Rotary

Linda Christianson didn’t appear to have any trouble walking behind the podium Monday afternoon for what couldn’t have been a more fitting address.

The 65-year-old Blooming Prairie resident — who grew up with polio and last summer released the book “All of the Steps I Have Taken” — spoke to local members of Rotary, the organization that aims to eradicate polio worldwide.

“My goal in life was to be as normal as I possibly could,” Christianson said, and explained what life was like as an infant, elementary student, teen and adult.

Christianson showed the Austin Rotary Club what her childhood was like not only through her story, but with weathered leg braces, shoes and a crutch she used as a youngster and brought for displays on Monday. Of course, her tone was positive.

Copies of Linda Christianson’s book, “All the Steps I’ve Taken,” sits with leg braces and memories from her childhood.

Copies of Linda Christianson’s book, “All the Steps I Have Taken,” sits with leg braces and memories from her childhood.

“Fortunately for me, my legs were the only thing that were affected,” Christianson said, who mentioned how some people who contracted polio ended up living life in an iron lung or dying at a young age.

Christianson’s polio symptoms subsided by the time she was 16, but weakness returned to her legs when she was 36. Today, she still gets around with leg braces and a cane. She doesn’t always need the cane. She enjoys camping, gardening, sewing and stays active in many other ways.

“I ride a bike almost every single day,” Christianson said.

Like she did Monday, Christianson now spends time speaking about polio in front of organizations and at schools.

Christianson’s book, which was released in August 2012, is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Inspiring Voices and lindaspoliosteps.com.

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