On Tuesday, I met with a personal fitness instructor. She designed a work out that I could do that kept my balance issues in mind. She took me through the exercises and I was so thrilled to be doing them. I was exercising, something I’ve wanted to be able to do for months! Better yet, she designed the exercises so I could do them from the comfort of my own home.
The exercises are designed to strengthen my more, my balance, my legs and arms. I was surprised by how tired I was just going through what I thought were fairly simple exercises. I used to do a workout that included 100 push ups, 100 ab crunches, 100 sit ups and running for a half hour. I couldn’t believe that after an hour of going through five simple exercises left me exhausted.
My instructor asked me what my goals were. I could think of only two: next year for the MS Walk, I want to be able to walk five kilometres. I also want to walk heel to toe across the doctors office. Walking heel to toe may sound simple but it’s something I can’t do. At each of my appointments at the MS Clinic, I’m asked to try to walk heel to toe. I can’t manage one step. My balance is no good and I can’t stay upright. It sounds like such a simple thing to do, but to me it’s like climbing a mountain.
I noticed then that my left and right sides are different. The left side is where the MS hit and is strongest, the right side is where my CP is more evident. Each side presented different challenges in the exercises.
On Wednesday evening, I took myself through my new exercise routine. I manage it but it was had to do. It’s something to have an instructor take you through it but it’s different doing it on your own. I managed quite well and was very proud of myself.
That night in bed, I had a full body spasm.
It started, as most of the spasms do, in my legs. They throbbed with an intensity I haven’t felt before. The spasm was brief but it was like my legs were on fire. As they continued to burn, the spasm moved up to my back and arms.
My body was numb, it was on fire, it was like it was being jabbed with needles. As the spasm moved through me, I just lay there in my bed and waited for it to end, to stop, to cease. I just breathed and waited and hoped.
Eventually the spasm stopped after about twenty minutes and I slid into a restless sleep. Yesterday, morning when I woke, I hurt all over. It hurt to walk, to move, to dress. Showering was a slow effort. The spasms stopped, but my legs were like two stone pillars. The muscles in the legs didn’t release or go down until last night.
I don’t know if it was stress, my body just doing what it does or the workout that caused my full body spasm. I have no idea. What I do know is that the workout routine is all about making my body stronger, about pushing past some of the boundaries and doing what I need to despite the pain that my body is in.
Tonight, I took myself through my workout routine again.
Every step I take is a journey. There will be good days and bad ones but I know that I’m on the right path. I can’t let pain stop me. It may slow me down, I may be momentarily afraid but fear and pain pass eventually.
All I have to do is push past the pain barrier and live one moment and one step at a time. That’s all I can do; and that’s enough.