Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Progress

Slow and steady wins the race.You are so much quicker/stronger/more flexible than you were before.Can you carry that?  Let me do that?  Okay, Okay, Okay.... but be careful
That's what I hear.  From everyone.  Strangers and loved ones and loving strangers and strange loved ones all agree - my progress is remarkable, I am an inspiration, I look great.

The problem is, I don't see that person when I look in the mirror.  Nor, for that matter, when I think about sitting down or contemplate walking through the aisles of Wally-World or consider anything at all that will require movement.  I'm becoming G'ma, whose idea of exercise is moving her index finger up and down.  Need more investment on her part?  She'll wiggle both pointers and laugh in your face.  She's doing what she feels like and if you're unhappy about it you can just go away.

I'm beginning to see her point.

Marcus the Master Manipulator sent me home last week with a work-out that didn't require equipment from the gym.  True to form, without the motivation supplied by fellow exercisees I was useless.  The leg raises hurt so I didn't do them.  I couldn't see the tv while stretching; so much for long slow releases.  I tried to convince myself to get with the program, but the energy was lacking.  There was no desire.  There were only aches and pains and boring repetitions all alone on the floor of the bedroom.

Granted, it's a gorgeous room, with big bright sunny vistas and a welcoming non-itchy low nap carpet.  There's music and tv and plenty of room.  I just didn't feel like doing it.  I tried to berate myself for lack of follow-through.  Still no motivation.  I made an appointment with myself to do the work.  The time came and went  For a while I lost the list of exercises and then there was G'ma visiting and blog-writing and here it is, 2 hours before I'm to be physically therapized and I've only done my homework once.

Oh, well.

It's not that I've been idle.  I can walk 100 short laps of the pool.  I attended a yoga class and had a pilates session on the machines. I can now push a grocery wagon through the store (although Wally-World's girth still requires an electric cart).  The walker sits idly in the garage, propped up against the wheelchair. I can tote a snack from the kitchen to Douglas and spill nary a drop.  I can make the bed and wash the dishes and all of a sudden I'm realizing that there were a lot of secondary gains to enforced stillness.

The gains are close to the basics of life.  I can shower without an assistive device, even maintaining my balance while I close my eyes to wash my face.  I can put on my shorts while standing up; my damaged leg now bends to a right angle all by itself.  My toes are within reach of my socks and my lotion and I can brush my teeth without leaning against the sink for support.  All wonderful, each and everyone of them.  I smile with every swoosh of the washcloth.  Rubbing aloe cream into my parched skin brings relief to my pores and a sigh of relief that I can manage the simple things once again

On the larger stage I am still an on-looker.  The Hot Hikers still send me their emails, but all I can do is envy their cooler-than-down-here hike up on Mt. Lemmon tomorrow.  I could sit on the molded plastic chairs and watch the Hot and Spicy Bowlers (is there a naming trend here?) do battle with the pins, but I'll pay for the pleasure of their company with back pain and a sore glute. And I won't be able to throw even one ball.  Not a one.  Nor can I participate in the propagation work with Master Gardeners nor plant the aloes in the front yard nor empty my trunk of the heavy parcels.  I need help getting my dry cleaning into my car; I don't have enough hands or balance to hold it and unlock and open the door
Slow and steady wins the race.You are so much quicker/stronger/more flexible than you were before.Can you carry that?  Let me do that?  Okay, Okay, Okay.... but be careful 
I hear that I'm doing well.  I guess I just have to choose to believe it.

It's not a bad thing to have high expectations of oneself.  I'm trying to learn to be accepting of my limitations and to push through the rehab piece of my recovery.  That piece which I have been telling everyone is "on me" is, in fact, getting in my way with its insistence on being front and center in my routine.  Enough enjoying the ability to concentrate on a novel, to type posts which don't revolve around January 8th and the aftermath, reveling in my status as the poor injured specimen.

It's time to get over myself, to stop giving in to the lovely ennui of sitting on Douglas in the late afternoon, with no expectations other than to heal.  If I'm not satisfied with my rate of progress then it is incumbent upon me to do something about it.  If I think that I am being rewarded for sloth by those who are so grateful that I am alive that anything short of a coma would look healthy to them.... well, then, I will just have to say thank you to them and put their compliments in a special box reserved for love.

I'm looking inward for my motivation from now on.

9 comments:

  1. The other thing that comes to me from your post is think toward the long run when in such a situation, not the short run. Long run means it's okay to not rush everything instantly but the path is ahead and it's going a direction that will make you strong again. Getting upset with oneself because it isn't happening instantly, because there are inward and outward healings to be done, is short run. Long run is that you are moving in the right direction with the actions you are taking and you will get there.

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  2. Ugggh, I had this great post and then had to sign in and whoosh it's gone.

    In my post that disappeared, I said that you need to give yourself a break. Think about how far you have come instead of how far you need to go. I know how much you could do before the horrible event in January, but think about what you couldn't do even two months ago. You have made remarkable progress. Keep working on body and soul and you will be back where you were. It's just going to take time.

    Sending hugs,


    Megan xxx

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  3. All motivation comes from inside, even when we look outwards to social, or cultural or physical reasons to trigger that motivation. One of the selfish reasons I read the Burrow is that it motivates me. It makes me say, "Quit being a candy ass and get going." I mainly read it because I'm not a socially successful person and I get much of my human contact from reading the thoughts of others, and I prefer those others to be intelligent women with whom I share some commonality in age, political persuasion, and sense of humor. As long as you know where to look to find the stimulus to trigger your motivation you will be fine. I think you are doing amazing things that most of us would not be able to do as you heal and move along your path. You are helping many other folks to walk their own paths. Be well and follow your heart.

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  4. Girl, I smell what you're steppin' in! When every workout is painful, I find it so damn hard to get it done. And, even when I do--and I mostly do--my days of hiking and long daily walks and dance workouts and so much of what I loved are, to the best of my research, over. I confess that I was struck by the awfullest envy over your hiking and yoga and pilates machine posts and shame on me.

    But you're going to hike. Know it! You're going to bowl strikes and climb Mt. Lemmon and get as close as it's possible and practical to get to the way it was. Based on what I understand of it so far, nothing but time and hard work stands between you and the things you loved to do.

    And, if it turns out you can't, then join me in the Inner Gym for the gyrations and heavy lifting required to accept what cannot be changed. It's crowded, but you're always welcome here and you've long since learned the way.

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  5. I have been looking for that kind of motivation for years. I hate exercise and always will. It seems to me that you are doing very well, so don't beat yourself up about it.

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  6. Thank you. Thank you. It's nice to have you all in my corner, especially when the feeling sorry for myself pieces come through. I'm searching inside, looking in odd corners and crevices, hoping that "I CAN" is lurking on one of them. If now, move over, Nance, I'm joining your Inner Gym.
    a/b

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  7. kenju, I bet AB does much more exercise now than I have in a long time. AB, you are light years ahead of some of us. ;)

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  8. It's all relative I know but here's a thought when the energy's just not there and the workout's still ahead... it's the Hiker's Prayer and goes,
    "God, you pick em' up, I'll put em' down..."
    Rooting for ya' on the sideline, BIG oxo, E

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