I had an amazing realization this weekend. With the warm weather and great fun spent with friends, there were times where I forgot about all the pain and all the crap that I'm used to dealing with. Ah how nice those little moments are.
Mainly, my realization was that I have actually made progress since the fall. And as silly as it might seem, I was overjoyed (and overly emotional) about that progress.
Let's start with my last training with Ginny. I scheduled a last minute session after work. Once I got to the gym I immediately regretted the decision since my feet were killing me and my knee and hip weren't exactly making me feel like sunshine. I was sure that I wouldn't be able to do my usual routine.
But minus a random leg cramp in the middle, I made it through my session with little pain and even managed to "take things up a notch." Needless to say I was stunned, but felt pretty damn proud of myself!
As she was walking me out, Ginny noted my progress and how good I've been doing lately. And that's when I almost broke down in tears. Not because I was in pain or I was upset, but because I couldn't believe how good I felt. For years I've been limited as to what I can physically do. I always have to consider my joints (knees especially) and pre-plan every single thing I do. It's become habit now, and though It's a good habit to have, it's not exactly uplifting.
But before I started working with Ginny I was at such a low point. I figured I was destined for joint replacement surgery and a life without beautiful high heel shoes as I aged. But now, it's like I've taken all those bad thoughts about my future and wrapped them in a big ol' black garbage bag, shutting the door on the stinky, fly-infested dumpster. (Where did that come from?)
I thanked Ginny profusely and went about my evening with my head held high.
Later in the weekend, on a beautiful morning, Mitch and I set off for a walk through the hills of the Edgemore area here in town. (We like to take walks through this neighborhood full of million-dollar, bay-view mansions and critique them. If I owned that house I'd change . . . )
The last time I went on this walk was this winter, and there was one hill that I particularly hated. It's steep, it's long, and it looks on at a house with a gorgeous deck and people enjoying the sun with margaritas. The last time I made it up this hill (barely) I was not only huffing and puffing but I'm pretty sure I was begging to turn around and go home because my knees and hip were about to fall off. I was in so much pain.
But this time . . . I silently made it up the hill, breath in my lungs, body parts still intact. I felt leg muscles working that I didn't realize I had until now. When I made it to the top, I looked down and again, felt that overwhelming need to cry and jump for joy at the same time. I didn't because those people on their deck would probably question my sanity.
I realized my legs are stronger now than they have ever been in my entire life. My stamina is increased and I feel genuinely good. The first time in a very, very long time.
So to all you out there who think that you'll never be able to move again like you used to, or you'll always be unhealthy, uncomfortable, unhappy . . . trust me, you can do it.
Photographs courtesy of Mitch Clark. Awesome hike.