Sunday, February 28, 2016

Motivated Exercise and Limits

Each month, I hand deliver our monthly newsletter to almost 200 homes in our senior mobile home park. Years and years ago (I've been writing and editing this newsletter since '03), I was of course younger and had absolutely no trouble walking and doing this. Back then, I filled in for any of our delivery people if they were ill or couldn't deliver that month for whatever reason. 

Then, as the years went on, and as I grew a bit - ummm - "more mature" - it became harder for me to walk even to our mailroom without my quad cane and that is only 5 homes away.

Then, sad as it was for me, my nephew, who was like my own son, passed on in February '14. At that point, I slowly but steadily changed a lot of my food and other routines. I dropped 20 pounds over 2 years. And, wonder of wonder, I quite often do not need my quad cane.
Still, I do need to motivate myself to walk.

So, when one of our folks moved out and could no longer deliver one of our several routes, I decided to try it. For the past few months, I've happily walked up and down, with my quad cane, placing the newsletters with a rubber band on the front porch railings of almost 200 homes.

The thing is, I cannot do it all at once. What I ended up doing is doing the first third on that Saturday morning and the other two-thirds on Sunday morning. That way, I use Saturday to limber up for Sunday.

Last month, because severe weather was forecast for that Sunday, I did it all on Saturday. I did the one-third, came home, recharged for an hour and a half, then set out for the other two-thirds.

Big mistake.

I got to within the last 40 homes and was almost ready to crawl the rest of the way. Now, I am not stupid when I do this. I carry a bottle of water, a quick recharge bite, and my prepaid cell in case I need to call a neighbor/friend in here to come and drive me home. I came close to doing that.

Lo and behold, one of our neighbors saw me and realized I was much slower and labored than usual and he helped me with the rest. I will never do that again.

I've learned that just because I'm 76, it doesn't mean I'm finished. However, I also know that we're not all the same and just because one neighbor at my age can walk or even jog circles around me, it doesn't take away from me what I can still do, considering my own limits.

So, once again, I did the route today. We deliver so that the newsletter is in everyone's hands on or before the 1st of the month, and usually on the weekend.

Up to a year ago, I would have needed pain meds to be able to do this. These past few months, I not only did not have to pop a prescription pain pill but I didn't even need a Tylenol Arthritis.

BUT, with my lack of arches, even with arch supports in the shoes, my feet do yell at me by the end of the second day.

So tonight I will treat them kindly the way I've learned, the way they like it. I'll pull on an ace bandage on one foot, and wrap the other in an elastic Ace, and leave them on during the night. By tomorrow, they will be fine once more.

Father, thank you so much for helping me to be able to do the things I can do. Thank you for enlightening me as to my limits and to my abilities. And thank you for being there for me and ensuring that I do these things safely.

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