Sunday, July 12, 2009

Exceeding Hyperdrive

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.


Captain Skulduggery Dug said...

Huzzah! You are fantastic! Remember that sometimes moves take a lot of practice and sometimes you feel like you will never get it, but you will find suddenly the move will just click and you will wonder why you were finding it so hard.

The other thing I find is that muscles learn repeated movements and if you let them they will take over and do the moves for you. The only problem with this is if you learn bad habits the muscles will keep doing them and breaking those habits is really hard. Although I have to say I can't see any you are doing yet :)

At the beginning I learned every move I could do in one direction and it caused me to build up one side of my bodies muscles more than the other and I did start to feel a little unbalanced. I then decided to learn all the moves again with the hoop travelling in the opposite direction. It was like starting all over and I found it really hard as my muscle memory fought me all the way, hence now I learn to do any new moves in both directions at the same time. I feel much more centred now, which is great.

Good luck with your hoop path. I'm so glad you are enjoying wiggling!

Isy said...

Hello Baldylocks,
Love your blog. Pulling out my hoop as I threw it behind a door a bit back because between my spine injury and my never seems to work but you are so encouraging. Happy Hooping! Isabelle

BaldyLocks said...

Thanks for the feedback Skully. I'm really wondering what the bad habits are so I can avoid them.

I would say that practicing in my living room might be causing my body to learn things in not quite the same way. I have to be careful because I keep hitting the ceiling!

I am trying to learn the moves in the other direction too because I can feel one side of me being worked harder than the other.

Thanks again for getting me to do this!

And Isabelle,
Glad you feel inspired to bring the hoop back out :)

Anonymous said...

WOW! Lady, you are seriously great with that hoop. Well, heckuva lot better than me and I admire how easy and graceful you make it look. Keep practicing! And when you're ready to hike up the mountain again, I'd be thrilled to go with you, super slow stylez. will call soon... just getting over the shell shock here.


Dennis Pyritz, RN said...

Hey, Baldylocks. Great post! So good I decided to use it as this week's Guest Post at I included two links to your blog as well as a link to the original post. I will be publishing on Wednesday morning.
Take care, Dennis

Bohemian Chic said...

Wow you have been practicing and I can tell you love it..your smile says it all

Lakeland Jo said...

brilliant- you have got me fancying a hoop now. I need to trim and this looks great