I'm not very good at being in the middle. If I do something I have to put in a %110 or nothing at all. This cancer trip has been so hard on my inability to accept personal mediocrity. I realize to other people I look whatever way they see me but personal perception is what it all boils down to in the end. I have a hard time being who I am now.
I see me. I see what I can't do. This triggers me to push harder. Too hard maybe.
I have such a problem with muscle weakness and tripping and dropping things. I used to have such a strong capable body. Participating in the elderly arthritic water fit class was a great way for my body to begin to rebuild but having my ass kicked by people over 80 was a bit emotionally challenging at times. What made it more emotionally painful was seeing the weight room behind glass, behind our instructor. Every Tuesday and Wednesday I would see people my age breaking a sweat, lifting weights and working out with exercise balls. I couldn't even hold one of those at the time.
I wanted so badly to be in there with them and would occasionally resist crying in the pool doing my arm lifts. At the end of the session I would have a hard time getting out of the pool. The period of weightlessness would make my body feel crushingly heavy at the end and sometimes I could hardly walk. I persisted. Eventually I could keep up with the class but I would always spend the in between days exhausted in bed. Every day I would try to at least leave the house to go around the block.
I went one time with a friend to a beginner ball class. They did things my body would just not do. I discovered I couldn't just get off the floor and I couldn't lift the bar they held. As the class bounced and moved their feet to the music and manipulated the ball I struggled and moved like a tortoise and had to just try and not fall on the floor. The instructor approached me at the end and asked if I had physical impairments. Despite not being a crier, I cried.
This was just a few months ago. Four months ago when I moved I couldn't manage stairs very well and I still have trouble. Then I decided to walk some flat trails at the bottom of one of our mountains. My stubbornness kicked into high gear and I went up to the top of the mountain! I received such a rush from standing on the top.
I kept going, the next day and the next. It feels like my heart is going to explode when I hike up there. Manipulating my feet to get over the rocks is incredibly difficult but I can do it. Next thing I know, I ran off to Calgary. I was immobile for three days after I drove there. When I got back I went up the mountain the next morning.
It was a dumb ass move but I have a severe stubborn streak. My legs stopped moving half way up but I managed to get to the top and then could not get down. I held trees, dragged my legs over rocks and down trails, honestly I almost had to crawl down. I was hoping to see a random stranger and ask them to help me down but no one went by.
So, I made it. I gave myself a few days off (in bed) and began going again. I finally realized this was so hard on my body that I discussed it with my GP. I was really hoping she would give me the green light for my craziness but she didn't.
She said I can't go from zero to 60 because I could severely damage myself with muscle skeletal injuries or what not. I told her about the rush I get from it and how I am a goal and achievement oriented person. She said to slow down! My goal should be to work my way there in a reasonable way that would help me have more good days. My cycle has been to do something and then crash and recover, do something then crash and recover.
I am so impatient now! So I gave up the mountain and have been working with the hoop. I have prednisone caused arthritis and my hips and hands ache. I bruise easily because my platelets are low. I fight fatigue and vascular problems in my extremities. Every part of me seems broken but I can spin the hoop. Now I've locked in on it and keep practicing, have bed rest and practice some more. I'm utterly exhausted.
But just a couple of months ago I couldn't do this. Now I am obsessed with this and intend to be excellent at it. I finally feel like I can be good at something again, heck, I keep showing my kids and making them watch my new moves. They are such good sports and are so patient with me.
I guess we are all our own worst critics and those with chronic illness all have our own ways of dealing with what we are going through.
Personally I can't believe I can do this. I know I will be killer at it soon because I keep practicing until I drop. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION...and it's fun.