Friday, I sheepishly returned to my very favorite Boot Camp Workout. Despite recognizing nearly half the faces of my classmates, I was paralyzed with shyness and retreated to the back row ducking into my baggy t-shirt and black sweats to hide my support hose and newly gained girth. It’s an intense class with a very fit clientele– these women have muscles, toned abs and really cute workout clothes.
I did my best to keep up and quickly became giddy with the sensation of feeling my muscles work and extend; sweat pouring down my forehead. The class moves around the room and I was in the front row, reaching deep for a lunge-kick when the lady behind me kicked me square in the calf.
Are you a football player? My neighbor Matt is, so he described exactly what happened next. My calf muscle, spasmed, knotted and threw me to the floor.
With the assistance of a sweet classmate and my skills at left-footed driving I made it to the car and then home where I crawled to the couch for the rest of the day. All the kids were home from school and they dutifully brought me water, handfuls of Advil and a new novel every few hours. I watched helplessly as the room filled with clutter and debris– and I prayed, “OK, Lord. I’m sorry I complained so long about not running. Please let me walk. Just let me walk.”
Do you do that? Do you have days where you are struck with the sheer amazement of walking and reaching and sweeping a floor? And do you ache for those who cannot?
By Saturday, I’d created a shuffle-hop that was adequate to take me to 3 out of 4 soccer games and even to Costco with the three littles. But my slurred steps were filled with pain, every movement involved wincing and each misstep a sharp cry of agony. And I prayed, “Have I whined about sore muscles? Never again. Thank you God. Thank you for the freedom to fold laundry and pick up messes and make cookies in this aging but able body.”
And I pondered– as I have many times over the years– how people with arthritis or fibromyalgia or a dozen other diseases make it through each day?
At home, Erik had decided to clean all the carpets in the entire house, which of course(besides a huge mess) precludes 7 family members contracting the stomach flu the very next day. And again, I spent the day on the couch and crawling to the toilet and finding bowls for the most ill and rather impatiently bellowing, “No, I am NOT making dinner!” But I must say that illness is soooooo much easier when everyone is old enough to make it to the bathroom or a bucket– I well remember the years of toddlers throwing up all down the hall and the stairs and right in the middle of the oriental rug….
And when Erik, whose violent illness seems to require an exorcist more than a doctor, is oh-so-very-sick, I can only feel grateful that he isn’t going through chemotherapy where I’m sure the nausea would kill him quicker than the cancer.
I’ve never been one to say, “I didn’t think that could happen to me!” Because my wild imagination has considered every tragic scenario– death, illness, maiming etc– I plan Erik’s funeral every time he’s 1/2 hour late and I am still amazed, completely astounded that I and all my children survived childbirth.
But I do forget how blessed I am today. And knowing that the future night bring my family wheelchairs and arthritis and most likely, cancer, only makes me grateful for those divine nudges to enjoy every day of walking and wrestling and eating apples.
But did I mention it snowed 6″ yesterday? ‘Cause that really stinks.