The Time I Joined A Gym While Using A Cane

Hello!  Welcome back!  It looks like its 2016.  Yup.  It also looks like I haven’t published anything since September last year.  Yup.  So much has happened since then, and also not a lot.  I wasn’t sure what to post or what not to post…so I just got bummed out and neglected the blog.  It seems like every post in recent history has started out with “Hey, here’s a blog, and also yes, I haven’t written anything in a while”.  But some really close people in my life have been encouraging me to come back to the blog.  And I’m very glad that they did.  For all of the articles I had written about not letting the internet get to you, and to make sure that you are being yourself and creating things because you like to and want to share them, I 100% let myself believe the lie that it wasn’t worth writing or creating because the internet is so big and someone else will have already thought of everything to write about anyway.  Good grief.  That’s not true at all.

In October, I had a very severe ankle injury, was on crutches and using an air cast (100% not glamorous) for thirteen weeks, and then one crutch for two weeks, and now I have graduated to a cane.  I would never wish for anything like this to happen to anyone, but on the other hand I have such a different perspective about some things in life that I feel like I grew quite a lot during this time.  Right now I am in the thick of physiotherapy.  Ankle circles, wall sits, stretchy band exercises, going to the gym with a cane.  This might be the most humbling and character building perseverance-testing part of the whole injury.  Haha.  So I thought that I might start doing little updates about how things are going, what I’m learning, and the weird stuff that happens along the way.  This will become my new Friday feature.  And even if the only thing that I have to update is that I can now do a twelve second wall sit as opposed to doing a ten second one the week before, this little feature will be here for you.

This week, I will share with you the story of joining the gym, and going for the very first time.  Which happened today.

I feel like joining a gym at any stage of life is a little intimidating.  You don’t know who will be there, or what the change room will be like (will there be somewhere to sit so that I can change my shoes because I can’t balance on my left foot?  You know, pressing life questions).  So, my physiotherapist had let me know that I needed to join the gym.  He wants me to use the bike, and then eventually graduate to using the elliptical to get my leg muscles working again.  So, I waited until I didn’t need crutches and could get myself into the gym with a cane.  I decided that I didn’t want to go in on crutches.  I also had to find a gym that had no stairs once you were inside because I didn’t want to consider wrestling my way up the stairs with a cane and all the super-buff gym people watching me. (In my imagination, all the people at the gym were super fit gazelles with perfect ankles…you know, completely rational concerns).  So, I found an all-ladies gym near our house, with no stairs inside, and an elevator to get to it on the second floor.  Excellent.

Yesterday I drove straight to the gym after physiotherapy because I was already out of the house, and it was on the way home and I had screwed up my courage and oh my goodness just do it now or you might spend the rest of the day trying to psych yourself up to go.  Just go.  Success.  I got into the store, went up the elevator (God bless the people who installed that because there were literally two flights of stairs to climb otherwise).  I also realized that there were no people in the store who cared that the woman with the cane (the fashionable all-black cane that a lovely friend lent her) was going up the elevator and into the gym.  No one.  There were no mutterings of “Look, that limping woman is going to the gym!” (This was a delightful surprise, considering that was what I had expected everyone to do when I came in).  And, they signed me up!  Although I’m sure that most people don’t write “To walk without a cane” on their “Gym Goal” in the sign up session.  But I did.  Because it’s my goal.

Check: Sign up for the gym.

The first gym trip was brief but encouraging.  Now, I had to go to the gym for really real tomorrow.

Today I had my new little gym bag with my shoes and clothes, and I caned it into the store, up the elevator and into the gym.  Success.  Not too many people stared.  (There was a group of ladies having coffee just outside the gym door, and all eight of them watched me go by with my cane…but I did it anyway).  You can do it!  You’re here.  You can get on the bike.  Five minutes.  That’s your goal.  Fives minutes of pedaling.  Woo hoo!

The staff who checked me in said “Enjoy your first work out!”  Little did they know that it would take me longer to take my shoes on and off in the change room than it would to “work out” today.  Good grief are shoes tedious right now.  But, I got back into the change room, and came out with the outfit on and my cane.  And every lady in the gym watched me get onto the bike and pedal like a very slow octogenarian for five minutes.  However, based on their expressions it was very inspirational for them.  “If the girl with the cane can come to the gym and pedal for five minutes, I can come to the gym too!”

However, by minute two on the bike I thought that my leg might fall off, but I kept going and then all wobbly legs I made it to five minutes!

Check: pedal for five minutes on the bike.

I was almost home free.  Although I guess I looked more feeble than I thought because in the change room one of the ladies asked me if I needed help with anything, which I politely declined and then immediately decided that she was being very friendly and weren’t the gym people at my gym nice instead of my instant thought of “Oh no, she thinks I can’t do it!  She thinks I’m all feeble.  Why did I come to the gym!  Why didn’t I buy a cool clear acrylic cane?!  Then they would know that I had myself together…or something…whatever the message is that cool clear acrylic canes give.”

Achievement Unlocked: Went to the gym.  (Will have to go again tomorrow, but went to the gym!)

So, I hope that this encourages you.  There is still a long way to go, but there are also more goals to reach for.  I was given the Bunner’s cook book for Christmas and one of my legitimate physio goals is to be able to stand in the kitchen long enough to make the recipe for vegan butter tarts.  (I’ll be sure to share it when I do).  I’ve never had a butter tart, but that seemed like a really good goal.

Happy Friday!  Have an excellent weekend, and I will see you next week!

Also, make sure to let me know in the comments if you’ve ever had to join the gym on a cane, or pedal for only five minutes.  It will make me feel better 🙂

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With a background in nursing, Lindsay lives and works in Ontario, was created to encourage, inspire and to share life on the road to wellness and living life abundantly.Please make sure that you follow us on social media as well to get updates and other fun things.
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