This past Friday, although admittedly at the time not as excited as some other amputees, I finally received the Bugatti of all microprocessor knees on the market. The coveted and long-awaited, high-tech, super-durable, military-grade, butt-kicking Ottobock X3 knee. And let me tell you, after wearing this jewel of technological advances over the weekend, the only thing the knee lacks is a tougher descriptor after the X3 part. I mean, If you ask me I’d call it the Ottobock X3 Equalizer or some other manly word to describe how really super great this thing is! The X3 Terminator or the X3 Defender maybe! Personally I prefer the X3 Equalizer because this little nugget of technology is the closest thing I have felt to walking normal since my accident over 11 years ago. For that alone, I feel equal to my old life again! Let me explain.
First of all, the new X3 Equalizer is durable! And not only is it tough, but it reeks of toughness! Started as a collaboration between the United States military and Ottobock, just looking at the knee gave me the sense I was some robo-soldier returning to the battlefield of Life to fight another skirmish. I mean, beyond its functionality, it looks cool as heck! Wearing this leg with shorts, I was actually pretty proud to show off my life-scar with this thing. Now I just need to find a way to personalize it to let the world know being an amputee ain’t nothing but a thing! Maybe a patriotic wrap or something? And then those times when I can’t be a rebel and I have to wear my long pants for those (yawn) “professional” things, my X3 Equalizer fills out the pant leg more naturally, which has been known to bug me a time or two in high winds with the thinner C-Leg and Genium. And although my X3 Equalizer is slightly heavier than my C-Leg or Genium, the knee is so well balance and assists with walking so much better, I did not feel the difference at all. As a matter of fact, even though I used the same socket this weekend, using the X3 knee felt more comfortable because my walking felt more natural. Well, with all that being said, I took to my weekend and tested what this thing could do.
After mowing my front 40 with my beloved John Deere tractor, I went about my usual routine on Saturdays by trimming the weeds around my fences and then blowing the grass blades around. And no, I didn’t send them flying into my neighbor’s yard either! My wife and I then took the dogs for a walk and cooked out on the grill. The hardest part of my Saturday was sending my son off to his 8th grade dance and realizing he was going to be in high school soon! On Sunday morning, after a good night of snoring and then filing up with coffee, I put on my X3 Equalizer and took to my yard work again where I proceeded to cut down, and then cut up four medium-sized trees with a chainsaw. I then loaded the logs onto a trailer. After I was done with that, I moved 100 pound rocks, cleared some of the underbrush on my back lot and then helped my wife with her garden. Finally, I sat around the pool and drank a cold one. Let me tell you, after all that, I was whooped! Now, although I’ll leave all the technical jargon up to the Ottobock crew of scientists and engineers who designed the leg, in amputee terms, whereas before when I did all these chores on a weekend, my lower back killed me after the day and my hip throbbed with pain on my stump side. With my new X3 Equalizer I experienced none of my usually yard work aches I had come to expect being a one-legged guy. I even found myself using the stance-control feature many times while operating my chainsaw and trimmer which helped a lot. Going down hills, I found my gait to be smoother which felt like it took less control. In short, all I can say is WOW! I went from being a, that’s-cool-but-I-like-my-C-Leg kind of guy to a true believer in the technology of what the new Ottobock X3 has to offer. After this weekend of using my new knee, I was so impressed that I have decided to change its name to the X3-Super Equalizer by Ottobock. I think they hit it out of the park on this one! Now to get a running blade and I’ll be doing 100% of the things I did before my crash! Anyone got one of those for me? And for the record, I was not asked to do a review on this thing, it just works so well I wanted to tell others about it! Until next time, be safe, be courageous and be persistent.