Happy Friday! This week’s installment has a little bit of everything. I’m going to give you some little updates on my ongoing saga at the gym (the bicycle triumph and the rowing machine of doom and torture), as well as some really interesting things that I’ve learned about myself and the population of Oshawa and Canada at large that I think you will find 100% encouraging.
First of all, my promised gym update. This week was the week of perseverance. Every day I wake up and go “ok, you can make it to the gym. It is your job to be a good patient and to do what you’ve been instructed to and for goodness sake, the gym is not scary.” No, the gym isn’t that scary. The parking lot seems to be where I do the most “overcoming”. I don’t know what it is, providential timing or something, but at least on two occasions as I have been walking to the door from the parking lot, the man who collects carts will pull out exactly behind me with a huge line of chattering carts thundering along and then there’s not a lot that I can do. He obviously walks faster than I do…and man do I try to pick up the pace….but as I’ve been told me someone who has seen my “crutch sprints”, there is no race, and I do not need to go that fast (mostly out of worry that someone would be staring at me as I would crutch to places, I used to just try to swing along as quickly as I could…which was wisely pointed out to me would draw more attention than a normal person going at a normal pace. Fine. Although, just like “Staying Alive” sets a good pace for CPR, so does the “Imperial March” (Star Wars) set a good pace to crutch/cane at. You’re welcome). Anyway, so the cart man slows down so as not to “rush” me, but oh my goodness…just.get.inside. You can do it. Now, before I get out of my car, I do a cursory scan so as not to get trapped in the tide of carts.
Made it to the gym 5 times so far. Check!
At first I stuck to the safety of the familiar bike. I made it for 12 minutes!
Achievement unlocked: Double digit bike time!
Then, today at physiotherapy, my therapist encouraged me to try some of the weight machines and rowing machine so that my legs would be doing more weight-bearing exercise because with the type of injury I had, sometimes the bones on the injured limb are more prone to thinning out. That effectively cured me of any weight machine trepidation. Get. On. The. Machine. Do it. Good grief you’re not that old, you can’t get thin bones yet. No, the other ladies aren’t judging you for using a cane. They are thinking “wow, she is going on the weight machine. Wow, she got on and off of the rowing machine with its sliding (and unexpectedly so) seat of certain death. That’s great! Good for her. I love the gym”. At least…that’s what I tell myself when I see several sets of eyes watching me. Although, if I were in their position I would probably be watching a little too.
I can tell that I’ve worked hard when I can barely walk out of the gym. And it’s not the most exciting when you go each day and by day 5 you are not running and jumping and doing super difficult ankle exercises. Ankles of steel take work, apparently.
I’ve lost count of how many times people have been unusually kind to me during this injury. And not just the people who I know! Completely 100% authenticated strangers! In public! At first I was so super shy about using crutches that I didn’t want to go out because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone whilst crutching around. However, on my second week on crutches I had to go to the medical clinic where I had gotten my x-ray done, and I had to get a second opinion, and then a copy of the x-ray. (The first doctor who saw me essentially said “It’s not broken. Have an air cast if you want one. Get “some physio”) So, I got up my courage (and my abs of steel…because apparently to use crutches it takes abs that can open walnuts…or something), and went back.
And then promptly got trapped in the anteroom (vestibule?) between the two sets of entry way doors because the second set of handicap door buttons didn’t work. Yup…don’t mind me, just trapped for life in between the doors. And then someone was coming along right behind me and held the door for me. Thank you kind-hearted door-holding friend of humanity! Now I won’t have to live here. At first I wanted to be embarrassed that I had to rely on someone to open the door, but the person holding the door didn’t look like they thought that, and they smiled. So I smiled too.
Success. Not having to live between the doors forever.
And the time that I had to get my actual x-ray people moved their feet so that I wouldn’t trip, and made sure that there was someone for me to sit. I am so thankful for them. And I told them so. I can definitely see how this injury has grown my “thankful” muscle. If I had never been in a position of needing any help, I would have missed the opportunity to be thankful!
When I first started physiotherapy, I was still using two crutches, and was going into the office for my appointment. Unbeknownst to me, a lady who was chatting with her friend in the parking lot saw me going towards the door and sprinted across the parking lot to meet me at the door and open it for me. Thank you again, different door-opening helper of those on two crutches who are trying to get into an office that has no automatic door capabilities. Thank you very much!
Then today, after I had finished my gym time, I went down into the store on the main level and was waiting in line behind a man with a cart. I could tell that his “cane radar” had been triggered as I came up behind him (What on earth makes canes make that tapping noise. There is a rubber end…it should be quieter. Instead, it announces “Hey, I’m coming that way…very slowly….with a cane…towards you.”) And he immediately swung his entire cart around, and said “Here, you can put your things down in here while you’re waiting if you want.”
Why are you so nice!? (It could be that he was a Montreal Canadiens fan…he was wearing a jacket) So I declined and said thank you again. I wasn’t holding anything very heavy. But I was very thankful that someone was willing to help me.
Take home message: Be kind where you can, where you are, and if you are the recipient of kindness, say thank you. Don’t miss your opportunity to grow your “thankful” muscles.
I hope that this encourages you!
Have a great weekend, and I will be back with more updates next week.
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