I love progress!
When I look back to how I was in the world just two months ago I am amazed at how different I interact with the world, especially in terms of walking. Over the past three years with the never ending leg-in-progress, I slowly shifted my attitude toward walking. So slowly that I barely realized that it had changed.
At first my modifications were justified and understandable. My first leg-in-progress was quite uncomfortable and I had to say no to walking the kids to school anymore. I limited my trips to the mall (even more than normal!) because it was simply too far to walk. I realized my world had become quite small when walking around Fred Meyer was a challenge. And so I easily justified why getting up out of the living room chair to answer the phone was too hard. “Honey, could you get the phone?” or “Honey, could you get me a glass of water?” Who could deny me that when it’s painful to get up and walk?
And yet, I see now how I dug my own grave of limited ability. After my accident life was cumbersome. Prosthetic legs back then weighed more than they do now and fit differently so they felt like a ball and chain. That said, my seventeen year old body was not interested in being sedentary and jumped at any opportunity to “do it myself.” Over thirty years of lugging this leg around, having two children, and simple aging had left me wanting to rest. I wasn’t jumping up anymore saying, “Here, I’ll do it!” No, I was fine if someone else did it. I just slowly allowed myself to become sedentary and I didn’t hardly realize it. Not walking became my new normal.
And then there came a point in my life and I knew it was time to get back in my body or not. And if I chose not to then I would be forever looking at life from my living room chair. I met a 65 year old woman a few weeks ago who started working out at the gym when she was 60 years old. “I wish I had started years ago,” she said, “I feel so much younger. Imagine how I’d feel now if I had started when I was 50.”
Well, this year I turn 50. While I don’t plan on joining a gym, daily walks are fast becoming a part of my new normal. It’s not easy, but it’s not hard, either. It’s just progress.