Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 28

I was able to increase the tension to medium on the weight machine for one set of ten repetitions of my leg extensions today, what a milestone!  That works out to be a few extra pounds.  I'm so excited!

Leg Extensions - no weight, light tension:  2 sets of 10 reps
                          no weight, med. tension:  1 set of 10 reps :))

Exercise bike:  4 minutes (all legs)

Step count today:  213
Left to go:  92,933

Quote of the Day

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it."   ~Anonymous

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats."  ~ Gandhi

Day 27

It was a good day today.  I was able to get some walking in, climbed the stairs a few times, ventured outside and did some much needed yard work, and even got a decent workout in on the weight machine.

Tomorrow will be another long day.  I plan to head outside again since it's pretty gorgeous outside these days.

Leg Extensions - no weight, light tension:  3 sets of 10 reps

Step count today:  207
Left to go:  93,146

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."   ~ Martin Luther King

Day 26

Day 26 already.  January is almost over.  Where does the time go?

I am still dragging my feet (so to speak) and trying to get my energy back.  Both my daughter and I have been sick, and it seems to just keep lingering on.  It is draining me of all my energy, and it's really getting annoying!  I know it is that time of the year, but enough is enough already.  I never get sick, and neither does she, but this year something got us good.

Last Friday was the last time I took any steps.  I did 183 and it was so hard, and so exhausting, I had to call it quits.  The rest of my weekend was a wash, although I did manage to do some cleaning and things around the house, I didn't do any walking aside from up and down my outside stairs.  I guess technically I could count those, but I haven't been, so I won't start now.

Today has been a bit better.  I have gotten some steps in (see below) and will continue to pick away at walking as the day goes on.  I am keeping my chair in the house and on-hand, just in case.  After the fall I took I am really scared to not have it around.  My knee and ankle are still sore, and my ankle still swells pretty badly by the end of the day, but they are healing nonetheless and that makes me happy.  I have been feeling like such a failure since I fell, but when you're sick and injured, you're sick and injured.  I have to keep reminding myself of that, but it's still difficult to deal with since I was on such a great path.  I know I will get back on that path, and with anything, healing takes time, but that doesn't stop me from being frustrated and angry at my setback.  It's hard to sit still when all I want to do is get up and walk, but I know I am limited.

I will get back on track, and when I do my injury will be a distant memory, but for now I'm pissed off.  One step forward, two steps back... that is what my nurses told me would happen.  Doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

I guess it's a good thing I got so far ahead in my step count for this month because now I think I'm falling behind a bit and will have to get caught back up.  That shouldn't be too hard once I've got some energy back and my knee and ankle don't hurt quite so badly.  I'll be able to walk every day once again and the step count will just keep ticking away.  That is what I look forward to the most.

Update 1:18 PM

Good news for the day -- I just got on the weight machine, and out of curiosity tried the leg extension.  I have been able to do this in the past, with no weight, on the lowest tension (which works out to be about a few pounds).  When I have done it before, it has felt as hard as 200 lbs used to when my legs worked.  I could get in 2 sets of 10, but not without tremendous struggle.  So today, I climbed onto the machine, got into position, made sure the weight and tension were set right, and proceeded to grit my teeth and give it my all thinking it was going to be as hard as before.  Well... you know when you go to pick up a 5-gallon bucket of paint and you think it's full, and it's not, and the bucket shoots up in the air and you almost fall from the momentum you created preparing for it to be heavy?  That's the same thing that happened to me on the leg extensions.  My legs shot up in the air as if there wasn't any weight or resistence at all.  I pumped out the first set of 10 reps like they were nothing, and in the process started crying at the realization I am truly getting stronger.

It hasn't felt like I've been getting stronger these past couple of weeks because I've been down with my injury, but today I proved that to be false.  My largest muscle groups are actually gaining in strength, and my once sour mood has turned back to feeling very positive that I will walk again unassisted one day, and maybe even one day soon!

Now I am off to try my exercise bike and see if I can do more minutes than before.

4 minutes riding stationary bike (all legs)
2 sets of 10 reps Leg Extensions

Step count today:  273
Left to go:  93,353

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor."   ~ Henry David Thoreau

Day 22

I was supposed to get up and walk yesterday, but I stood up and felt pain in my knee and chickened out.  Shame on me!

I will walk today.  I have to walk today, I'm going to fall too far behind in my step count otherwise.  I have to make myself get back to not using the chair, but I'm so fearful of falling it's holding me back.  I can't be afraid to fall, I must move forward!

Update 2:34 P.M.

I'm up and walking with my walker.  I'm a bit shaky because 1. I'm scared of falling again, and 2. my legs are getting reacclimated to walking again, but I'm doing OK so far, just taking it slow and being careful.  I do NOT want to fall and hurt myself again.  UGH. 

The good news is I am right on schedule with my steps, in fact I'm still a tad ahead of the game and that makes me very happy!

Update 4:00 P.M.

Well, at only 183 steps today I am calling it a day in the walking department.  Since I am not feeling 100% myself yet, I am still fatigued, and I need to work myself back in gently.  My legs got very tired, very quickly, and I feel very unstable and shaky.  I am not going to fall again, it would defeat the whole purpose.  So, I'm hanging up my walking shoes for the day.

Step count today: 183
Left to go: 93,626

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” ~Harry Truman

Day 21

It's official, rest time is over.  I will be getting up and walking today if it kills me.  Time to take some ibuprofen, strap on my shoes and brace, and give 'er hell!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.” ~ Karen Horney

Day 20

We are 20 days into 2010 already!  Time just goes much too quickly, but I cherish my time here nonetheless.

My leg is still healing and I have not done any walking yet this week.  I have done that on purpose to allow my knee and ankle to heal properly, but it's really starting to make me a little crazy.  I was enjoying all the walking and moving around.  I'm no longer comfortable with just sitting.

I figure today I will try getting some steps in and see how I do.  Hopefully my leg won't give me too much trouble and I can get back into a walking routine like before.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Look at your past. Your past has determined where you are at this moment. What you do today will determine where you are tomorrow. Are you moving forward or standing still?"  ~ Tom Hopkins


This has been an especially hot topic over the past couple of years. Suddenly, it seemed there was a blitzkrieg of Vampire movies, books, and TV shows. Like everything, I guess it comes in waves, as vampires have always been popular with those who enjoy mythology.

But are vampires really a myth? I like to think not. Although, my idea of a vampire might be a bit different from everyone else's. I believe we live among vampires every day. They are not the kind of vampires who only come out at night, can live forever, and literally suck our blood. No, my idea of a vampire is a real life human being; someone who is so needy and co-dependant that they literally "suck" the life out of others. Someone who is miserable, unhappy, negative and all around unpleasant. This, to me, is a vampire.

Like the mythological vampire, these real-life vamps leave you feeling drained of your essence. They take all of your energy and use it for their own gain, constantly needing more to sustain their lifestyle. These are the kind of people who are not likely to do for themselves, but wait for their next "victim" to carry the load for them. Draining their victims little by little until there is nothing left.

I have encountered several vampires throughout my lifetime. They aren't always easy to spot, and often times are the people closest to you; those you would least suspect. This is what makes them particularly dangerous and good at their craft. They begin with those closest to them, taking advantage of the love that is given, manipulating your good nature and desire to help the ones you love, until they have drained every last bit of energy out of every last person who has fallen under their spell.

Like vampires of myth and lore, these people are empty, cold, and full of hatred for themselves and others. Generally unsocial, they only like to be around people they can use and are not apt to have many friends or real-life relationships. They do not interact well with others and only participate in relationships for their personal gain.  These people are life-suckers.  Never truly happy with anything they gain, they are always wanting more.  Always searching for that next big kill.  Leaving nothing but tortured bodies in their wake.

I am baffled at what turns a person into a vampire.  Perhaps it's similar to the myth that you have to be bitten by one to become one, but if that were the case, then I would be one several times over.

Beware of these real life vampires, they will drain you dry if you let them.

Quote of the Day

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 17

Day 17 and I am still resting.  I'm starting to feel a bit restless, but each time I stand up I can feel the knee ache and the ankle is still swollen and sore.  I must take care of those injuries, but it's starting to wear on my patience.  Every other part of my body wants to get up and walk.  All in good time I suppose.

It's finally a beautiful day again today, perhaps I will go take my frustrations out at the park and do a few miles in the chair.  I have yet to fix that caster, but it would be a good workout nonetheless.  I could use some social interaction anyway.  I've been cooped up in this house for days, and that is yet another thing that is really starting to weigh heavy on my mind and soul.

I had a bit of a revelation about the "vampires" in my life today.  Those people who suck the life right out of you by either being constantly negative, or too needy and dependant on others.  My revelation is that I've had enough of those people and allowing them to drain me dry.  I am on a very difficult journey, and I need a support structure.  I no longer have the time or the strength to deal with those who cannot do for themselves.  Afterall, if I'm ever going to walk again, I have to be strong, for me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Physical strength is measured by what we can carry; spiritual by what we can bear."  ~ Unknown

Day 16

Today is the third day I have taken to rest by spending it in my wheelchair.  As much as it pains me to have to use it, I am injured and must take care of that first and foremost.  Both my knee and my ankle are still sore, but they are healing.

My plan is to maybe spend the weekend in the chair as a precaution to ensure both joints get plenty of rest, and while I'm in the chair I will make the best of it by getting my home prepared for more walking.  I will do the chores that are very hard to do while walking, so that when I am walking, I can relax.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Now is the time to take advantage (so to speak) of being more mobile and quick.  I'll get some meals prepared and get the house clean.  I will do some much needed yard work as well, that will take a lot off my mind and allow me to focus on my rehabilitation.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals."  ~ Dorothy Height

Day 14

I spent last night, and am spending today, in my wheelchair.  My knee already feels much better just from the rest.  I figure it's really important I allow it to heal, otherwise I could do permanent damage and that would be a lot worse than using my wheelchair for a couple of days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 13

Well, I made it to day 7 without my wheelchair, but it's a bittersweet day.  I will have to bring the chair back in and use it, at the very least, during the night for bathroom trips.  My whole leg is sore from my bad fall, and the subsequent falls afterward, but the knee is the worst.  I had to put my shoes on each time I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and I got up three times.  By this morning, my knee was swollen, and when I tried to stand up the pain was intense and my leg buckled and I fell to the floor once more.  I'm not happy about it, but for safety reasons I have to bring the chair back inside.

I am very happy I made it an entire week without my wheelchair, and I was even able to maintain a somewhat normal daily life.  I was afraid the chores would pile up, or my daughter would be overwhelmed with helping me, but neither of those were true.  I was able to keep up with the dishes, do the laundry, shower, and take care of the basic needs.  I did call on my daughter now and then when I was just too exhausted and needed something, but all in all I asked her for very little.  I did that on purpose.  The whole idea of ditching the chair was not so that I could get lazy and have everyone else do for me, it was so that I had to do for myself.  And I did.

If it wasn't for the fall I took, I would still be without the chair, and I don't think would ever need it back again.  I kept it for emergencies, and this is an emergency situation.  Today I will have to be extra careful, only walking to the bathroom and back.  I was able to let the dog out and make some coffee, but it took a lot out of me and walking right now is just too dangerous.  If I fall and break something I'd be really screwed, so I have to give in to the fact that I need to rest and let the knee heal AGAIN.  Good thing I grabbed myself a banana and my daughter has a half-day today.

Sitting on my walker waiting for the dog to finish her business this morning, I started to cry because I am so disappointed at this setback.   No sooner did I start to cry, I wiped the tears away and reminded myself of how much progress I have truly made.  Before the injury of course, I was able to do a lot more then I have ever been able to do since my illness.  There was a time when if I sat on my walker, it was all I could do just to get turned around with the walker in front of me again.  Now, it's a motion I do without even thinking about it.  It's the little things like that that keep me pushing forward, and will also allow me to rest without getting too frustrated.

I can also take comfort in the fact that it is only Day 13 of my 100,000 steps in 365 days challenge and I have already walked over 6,000 steps.  That's an average of just under 470 steps per day!  Yay me!

Update 12:26 P.M.

After taking some ibuprofen and then sitting for a couple of hours, I stood up to go to the bathroom and although the knee was at first very sore, it loosened up nicely and didn't hurt as badly as this morning.  This is great news because now I can use the chair to rest for a solid day, and then with some ibuprofen and great care, I can go back to walking during the day until I am strong enough once again to get rid of the chair.  I will be using the chair at night for a while just until I am secure in the fact that I no longer need it.

Step count today:  200
Left to go:  93,809

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reebok EasyTone Go Outside Training Shoe

I think I should give these shoes a try.  By the sounds of it, they work different muscle groups, so maybe one day I could wear them and the next wear my usual shoes. 

I guess it couldn't hurt!

Quote of the Day

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."  ~ John Wooden

Day 12

It's day 6 without my wheelchair and I'm still going strong, for the most part.  My left leg kind of gave out on me this morning and I fell on top of it again.  I hurt the knee, in the same spot as before, but I'm not sure I hurt it quite as bad.  Only time will tell.  I was able to get myself up off the floor (I had to army crawl to the bed and hoist myself up on to it), and able to walk carefully to the kitchen to make my coffee, and then back to my office where I have been ever since.  My whole leg hurts from my hip down, but the hip is bruised from the last fall, and I was prepared for these kinds of things.  I'm going to fall, the trick is getting back up and not giving up.  If the knee is so bad I shouldn't be putting weight on it, well then it's a trip to the ER and I'll have no choice but to go back to the stupid chair for a little while.  That will make me very angry if that is the case.

So, today will be a "wait and see" kind of day.  I probably won't be taking too many steps, only what is absolutely necessary, which means trips to the bathroom and that's it.  Very careful trips to the bathroom.

Update 5:15 P.M. -

So far I've been able to do pretty much the normal stuff I have been doing every other day, just with a bit more caution.  I showered, did dishes, some laundry, and also took the time to rest and elevate the leg.  My knee and ankle are very tender, but as long as I wear my foot brace and keep the knee bent, I am able to walk as long as I take it slow (which is the only way I can take it) and use extra caution.

This is exciting for me because I really didn't want to go back to the chair.  Tomorrow will be seven days without it and I really want to go another week, and then another week, and so on...

Step count today:  597
Left to go:  94,009

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind." ~William James

Day 11

It is Day 11 of my 100,00 step challenge, and Day 5 without my wheelchair.  I am way ahead of schedule on the 100,000 steps with 95,140 steps left to go!

Being without the chair has been really scary, but it has also been really great.  Every time I start to feel like I might cave and use the chair for a day of rest, I tell myself that I won't get anywhere without hard work.  It is hard using just the walker, but I can remember a day when it was much, much harder.  That day wasn't that long ago.  It used to be all I could do to just take a few steps or stand and balance, and now I am doing dishes, laundry, cooking, etc.  I can't wait to see what I'm able to do in another month or so.

I took it easy this weekend since I am feeling a bit under the weather.  I relaxed and watched movies with my daughter and only did what was absolutely necessary.  Even resting, I have still logged some really high step counts, and that makes me feel really good.

I took a fall in the middle of the night Friday night and skinned my knee.  It's sore to the touch on one side but I can tell I didn't tear anything, it's just bruised.  I actually got excited!  It's my first fall and my first skinned knee in so many years I can't even remember.  I'm proud of my first walking "boo-boo"!  Besides, I'm going to fall.  I'm going to have times when I feel like I just can't go on.  But it's those times that make me stronger.

Step count today:  755
Left to go:  94,606

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

"You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Day 10

Day 4 without my wheelchair!  So far, so good.  Still just taking things one step and one day at a time.

In the middle of the night Friday night, I took a tumble in my bathroom and skinned my knee!  That's my first official "boo-boo" while walking in 12 years!  YAY! 

I will post a pic later.

Step count today:  726
Left to go:  95,361

Quote of the Day

"The sun rises so that life can grow, and it sets, so that life can rest." ~Mariel Hemingway

Day 9

It is day 3 without my wheelchair, and day 9 of my challenge.  I am feeling a bit under the weather today with an itchy and runny nose and aches all over.  I will be spending most of the day in my bedroom taking it easy.

Step count today:  650
Left to go:  96,087

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fear #2 - Fatigue


Another one of my fears of ditching the chair was getting so fatigued that I would be unable to do much more than make trips to the bathroom.  Although I am feeling a bit tired, it's nothing I can't overcome, and won't lessen with more weight loss.  When I'm not carrying around 50-60 extra pounds I'll be able to walk farther and more frequently before becoming so fatigued. 

I am able to do much more than I realized I would.  I've done chores, taken a shower, fixed meals... the list goes on.  Even though I do feel like I'm running the marathon at times, I keep reminding myself how good it is for me and trudge on. 

As my strength increases, the fatigue will decrease.  So, that big fear that kept me from getting up out of that chair, was just that, a fear.

Quote of the Day

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." ~Thomas Edison

Day 8

I took nearly 1200 steps yesterday.  I am certainly feeling it, but nobody ever said it wouldn't hurt.  Mostly I am feeling it in my hands where I am getting some very large blisters.  That will eventually toughen up.  My legs hurt of course, but it's not so much of the burning sensation I am used to, I can also feel the actual muscle soreness.  All in all I'm not really in as much pain as I had expected, although it's only the first day.  Perhaps I won't be quite so comfortable tomorrow, or the next day.

Being without my chair is a huge adjustment.  I was up three times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, each time walking with blistered hands and sore, tired, and weak bare feet.  At one point I took the time to put my sneakers and brace on because I just felt it's better overall for my body.  I did it all while half asleep and in a "fog".  After that I feel I can do anything.

I can do anything.  This is not going to be easy, or painless, or fun.  I am going to want to quit and rest and use the chair.  I am going to cry, get mad, get frustrated, feel like a cripple, and want to just say to hell with it all.  But, I won't, because I don't really want to do that.  I don't want to go back to the chair.  This morning I looked down at my daughter for the first time in a very long while.  I got to see her beautiful face from a whole different angle... she takes my breath away.  It's moments like that which will keep me working hard.

The only way I will go back to using that chair is if my legs completely gave out and wouldn't move.  I don't see that happening, but you never know.  They have done it once before.

I am going to take things a bit easier today, only doing what's absolutely necessary.  Even just doing that will mean at least 500 steps.  Already this morning I let the dog out, fed the fish, and made coffee.  By the time I sat down at my desk I had logged 200 steps.

Step count today:  964
Left to go:  96,737

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fear #1 - Chores


You know how the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. Us humans are amazingly adaptable creatures, and when in need, we will devise incredible means for getting whatever it is. Just look at how far we've come with technology.

That being said, I was worried about my efficiency at doing every day chores around my home without using my chair. Afterall, it is just me and my daughter here, and although she has her list of normal chores, I do not want to burden her with more. She has a life too.

Problem solved: The very same little barstool that I stole so I could eat my eggs earlier today came in perfectly handy for sitting at the sink doing my dishes. Not only was I comfortable sitting on it, and didn't feel like I would fall, but I sit up way higher than I ever did in my chair, which makes doing the dishes easier.

I'm very good at figuring things out, and yes I had thought of this before, but there was always that little voice telling me no, that it wouldn't work and I wouldn't be able to balance... blah blah blah... FEAR talking.

So, the dishes delimma is solved. Moving on to the next chore and the next solution to doing it without the chair.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

It's Decision Time

Something in my gut is telling me it's time to ditch the house chair for good and just use the walker, and fear is the only thing holding me back.  The more I go over it in my head, the more I agree with my instincts that there are no excuses for not.  The more excuses my fear comes up with, the faster my heart bats them out of the park.

I've thought, "but it's harder to do chores".  So what.  Harder is good, and anything that's too difficult my daughter would be glad to help with - she already helps with a lot, seeing her mommy up and walking I'm sure would make her very happy to continue to help.

And then I think, "it's really going to wear me out".  Again, so what.  Isn't that the point?  Don't I want to get exercise and lose weight and fight to walk again.  Wouldn't walking again all day every day just make the weight come off that much faster and make my legs that much stronger?  They are already getting stronger from the times I spend getting my steps in, so perhaps forcing myself to quit the chair cold-turkey could be the best decision I've ever made. 

There is a struggle going on inside me, but the idea of ditching the chair keeps winning.  It's a very scary thought, I've been dependent on wheels underneath me for so many years, and I think that is the problem.  As long as I'm dependent on that chair, it's going to take me that much longer to move forward.

It's going to be very hard for a while, but so was brushing my hair on my own for the first time, or sitting up for the first time, or any one of the long list of things I've had to do over the years for the first time all over again.  There was a time when I couldn't feed myself, but out of the need to eat without relying on anyone else, I learned to do it.  There was a time when I couldn't get myself in and out of bed, but again I started trying and eventually got strong enough to do it on my own.  The first time I sat up on my own I thought I was going to fall over and break something, but I didn't, and eventually my trunk got stronger and I was able to sit up all the time without giving it a thought.  There was a time when I couldn't stand for longer than a few seconds, and now I'm standing and doing a sink full of dishes, and walking 100's of steps at a time.

Now it's time to stop relying on the wheelchair and make the legs remember what they are supposed to do.  I have plenty of walking aids, including a rolling walker with a seat so I can sit when I get tired.  And I can't be afraid to rest when I know I need to. 

I will still keep the chair for emergencies, but it will be out in my shed where it will remain.  I also still need to keep my outside wheelchair (it doesn't fit through the doorways in the house) for long distances like going to the grocery store, etc.  But, I have a feeling that before I know it, I'll be donating that chair to someone who needs it because I no longer will.

Quote of the Day

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 7

It's Day 7, wow how time flies. Although I am noticing it's going a bit slower in this cold. After reading the headlines this morning, us Floridians really don't have anything to complain about - except for the farmers, I feel for them. Some of these farmers rely on their crops this time of year for their whole year of income, so I am keeping them in my prayers that they can pull through with minimal losses.

I see it's about -51 below zero up where I'm from. Keep warms guys!!

I didn't reach my 200 followers on Twitter like I had hoped, but I really didn't think I would anyway. Maybe I should have just gone for 90, but oh well, I'm going to do 1,000 steps today anyway! I just think it's time to have a day of nothing but walking. It's tough to get 1,000 steps down, by the time I hit around 700 I'm ready for bed, but I will push on. It's also the day before I must weigh in for my weight-loss blog so I should really give it hell today.

Step count today: 1195
97,701 to go

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Follow Me on Twitter!

Follow me on Twitter! If I reach 200 followers by tomorrow morning I will walk 1,000 steps tomorrow!

Day 6

I woke up feeling a little tired, a lot sore, and a lot sluggish - and I had only gotten 100 steps in yesterday. It always takes my legs an hour at least to "unclench"... for lack of a better term. They get tight, and in the morning don't even want to bend. So I slothed around making my coffee, letting the dog out, feeding the fish, until I finally sat down at my computer to start the day.

And then I watched the video below.

Someone following my blog sent me that video, and after watching it I was bawling like a little baby. That video is a very real reminder that there are others with a much bigger struggle ahead of them, and a much bigger fight in them. I am positively blown away. The courage and determination they possess -- there just aren't enough words to describe it. I have been where they are, much worse than I am now, so I know what it takes to get up and do something like that in front of so many people. I know where that drive comes from, and somewhere along the way I forgot. Seeing those brave souls has brought it all back. What am I doing sitting here when I could be up walking around? Is it difficult, yes, is it possible, YES, should I be doing it every single day without question, HELL YES!

Even when you feel like you're doing all you can and working hard, something comes along to make you feel like you could be doing so much more. That video did it for me.

Update: 2:19 P.M.

After doing my dishes and things I haven't quite figured out how to do without the chair yet, I ditched the chair for the walker, put my walking shoes on, and have been walking ever since. This should be a big step-count day!

Update: 5:21 P.M.

Well, thanks to a wonderful and giving young woman, I am now the proud owner of a Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer. Now instead of constantly counting my steps in my head I can concentrate more on walking and let the pedometer do the counting for me! Thanks Wendy!!

So I did quite a bit of walking today. After ditching my chair and forcing myself to use the walker, I really was able to get a lot of good steps in, and I was even able to do some standing for 5 or 10 minutes while doing dishes or just cleaning up a bit. It really felt good to walk so much and I can feel my legs getting stronger.

Step count today: 397
98,896 to go

Quote of the Day

"The greatest gift is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall." ~ Confucius

Need Some Motivation?

These people define the words "never give up" --

If I don't get up and walk at least 500 steps today I'm a total failure.

Watching that video made me feel lazy.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you make of it." ~ Unknown

Day 5

I'm not a big pill popping kind of person.  Even after months in the hospital and tremendous pain, I begged my doctor to help me wean myself off all the garbage they had me taking.  Sometimes, however, I wish I had just one or two pain pills to get me through nights and mornings like these.

Last night, after walking my steps for the day and settling in to relax before bed, the pain kicked in.  I just block it out and go on with my business, but no matter how much I try to ignore it, it's still there.  I have gotten used to being in pain, that's a daily occurence and it's not if I'm in pain, it's at what level.  I'm not one of these people who moans and groans with every ache and pain... if I did, that's all I would do, but some days I just want to scream into a pillow, or pound on a punching bag, or something to make it go away, even if just for a minute of peace.

Most people don't realize I'm in pain, or how much I'm in, because I never mention it.  It's not as if I have some horrible gaping wound that is obvious it hurts.  I'm not going to spend my days whining about it either, that only makes the people around me uncomfortable and won't help me in any way.  I may be a lot of things, but a whiner isn't one of them.

I've learned all kinds of tricks to manage the pain.  Ibuprofen helps a lot.  I try not to take that too often either, but on nights like last night, and mornings like this one, sometimes it's nice just to take the edge off.

What kind of pain is it, you ask?  Well, since you asked.  Imagine sitting in a pot of boiling lava.  That's the only way I can describe it.  The muscles buuuurrrrrnnnnnnnn.  Actually, maybe it isn't the muscles so much as the nerves, but who's keeping track, it's all pain to me.  I also get the usual aches and pains in my back and my joints, but those are all masked by the overwhelming burning sensation, and it's from my rib cage down.  Lovely.

So, now that I've vented about all that, I've never let it stop me before and I won't now.  Nobody said it would be easy, and like my favorite line in a movie goes, "It has to hurt if it's to heal..."

(Name that movie)

Update: 12:50P.M.

I have spent most of the morning on this forum – Success Vibe – and must admit I think I’ve made some new “friends”. I put that in quotes only because I have not met these people in person as of yet, but I certainly hope to in the future. For now, there are some really great folks over there, with some really great thoughts and ideas, and tremendous willingness for support.

If I was waning in the slightest in my resolve to accomplish my goals, I am no longer. I’ve always known that the positive reinforcement of others can propel us forward, but I got so used to the negative from my past that I forgot for a while. It’s interesting to me how chatting with so-called strangers has felt more rewarding than some of the times I hung out with so-called friends.

It is really shaping up to be a great day, and week. I know it’s only Tuesday, but we all know how fast time flies and before I know it I’ll be stepping on the scale holding my breath that I can show some results. I know I’ll show results, hard work always pays off.

I will be venturing outside for some steps today. I plan to pick my daughter up from school and my outside chair is in the bed of my truck in the garage. This means I must walk to it. I’m looking forward to it for the first time. I’m feeling stronger in my ability to walk and not as scared to fall. I don’t often get outside to walk for safety reasons, but it will be something I will need to transition to if I plan to continue my rehab on a somewhat normal scale. Afterall, getting back to all the things I used to do is the most important part of rehab anyway.

Wish me luck.

Step count today: 100
99,293 to go.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Quote of the Day

“If you think you can, you can… if you think you can’t, you can’t… and either way you’ll prove yourself right.” (Henry Ford)

Day 4

Up at 7 a.m. and it's 32 degrees outside.  I'm sure the strawberry fields are covered in their protective ice, that means they are going to be so super sweet this harvest. 

After a really nice day of rest yesterday, I am ready to go.  Once I get my shower in, I'll be working on getting in some steps before I tackle a house project.  My house is under major renovations right now so all I have to do is pick one.  There is no shortage of work to be done around here.

My plan today is to try to make up for the steps I missed AND get my steps in.  That's a big goal for one day, but who knows, maybe I'll stand up and grab that walker and it'll be a piece of cake.  Or, I'll grab my walker, get about 200 steps in and say to myself "what the hell were you thinking?"


I was right, I got about 200 steps in and said "what the hell were you thinking".  I had to force myself to get more than that down for the day.  I keep forgetting how out of shape I am since I had so much down time after my injury.  Must remember these things before I go making statements I can't live up to!

I'm just proud I got over 300 in today!  When I get better conditioned and lose some lbs I will keep adding steps to make up for the ones lost.

Step count today:
99,393 steps to go

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 3

It's Day 3 of 2010 and I have spent almost the entire day in bed.  I figured I would take this one last day before it's back to school and work to rest and recharge my batteries.

I feel terrible for falling behind in my steps already but as important as it is for me to get my steps in, it's equally as important that I rest, and today I am tired.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I like the cold weather.  I was born in one of the coldest states in the country where actual temps drop well below zero and wind chills can freeze human skin within seconds.  I can take it, I'm a Viking. 

Today, however, my body just doesn't wanna. 

Things move slower when it's cold, including me.  My molecules aren't bouncing around as fast as they would on a normal warm Florida day, and it's slowing me down considerably. 

In contrast, my hometown is right around -35 degrees right now, and here in Florida it's around 35, but it's all relative.  When you go from 75-80 degree days and 50-60 degree nights to 50 degree days and 34 degree nights, it's quite a swing.  Thank goodness for my coffee to keep me warm and the constant reminder it could be much, much colder and the ground could be covered in ice and snow.

Speaking of the ground being covered in snow, I swear it could have just as well been yesterday with the amount of friction I was fighting against that broken caster.  My arms are still screaming at me.  I must get that fixed, but in the meantime while I save my pennies to do it, I will have to start using my good old reliable recumbent exercise bike again.  Then I will have no excuses why I can't get my walking in for the day.  I think if I had tried to walk yesterday my arms would have just gone limp in protest.  My legs were ready to go, but my triceps felt differently.  Walking puts a lot of strain on my shoulders and triceps, so I thought it best to not tax the only two limbs I have left beyond their breaking point.  I'll make up for the missed steps.

Getting back to the cold weather -- it's only supposed to get colder over the next few days.  The local farmer's are in a frenzy, staying up all hours of the night watching the temperature, ready to turn on the sprinklers as soon as it hits freezing to coat the precious strawberry crops in a blanket of protective ice.  Funny how the very thing that could totally ruin them is exactly what protects them this time of year.  Not only does the ice protect them from the freezing air, but it makes for a super sweet harvest in the coming weeks.  Yum.

Strawberry Shortcake here I come. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2

On an absolutely perfect day, I hit the park.  My plan was to climb my bridge and do four miles in the chair.  My first plan went to hell when halfway to the park I realized I had forgotten my crutch.  OK, so I'm not climbing the bridge today, I can live with it, I'll just get my steps in when I get home.  After getting to the park and getting in my chair, something feels "off".  Each time I push forward, it's as if the chair is coming right back at me.  It's almost like someone is pulling me back as I try to push forward.  I look down and I see that one of my casters has come off its bearing which is causing friction and cannot be fixed.  I need a new caster that I can't afford.  I trudge on anyway.

By the time I get done with the two miles, both my shoulders are cramped up tight and my forearms feel shredded.  It was the hardest two miles I've ever done.

Needless to say on a day when it was all I could do just to get the motivation to go to the park in the first place, I'm done for the day.  I'll just have to make up for not getting my steps in some other time.  My arms hurt too bad and I'm completely worn out.

99,700 steps to go.

Making Each Day Count

I've always wanted to start a year by making each and every day count for something.  No matter what I do, I want to look back and know that each day mattered.  It doesn't always have to mean hard work or something spectacular, it could mean spending the day with my daughter doing the things she enjoys... but to me, that would be spectacular.

So far this year (which we are into by one day) I have done just that.  I really tried hard yesterday to make it a day worth talking about.  I took 300 steps for the first time since hurting my knee, managed to work on my kitchen floor, and did the normal every day mundane things in between (like taking down the Christmas decorations).  I worked on my diet plan and mapped out how to approach that in a way I think I will have the most success, and I just prepared myself in general for the year ahead.

I even managed to have a comical rant about being fat and entered it into my other blog:
Thoughs on Being Fat

Apparenlty, I have surpassed my anxiety and have just moved right on to the gotta-do-what-you-gotta-do phase. 

My mother even moved into her own apartment yesterday... so there is another milestone to start the year.  We do miss her around here, but it's also nice to have our own space back.  Afterall, she is just right down the road.

I'm really looking forward to the next 364 days and what they will bring.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1

1:00 P.M.

150 steps taken with my walker so far today...

I knew I was going to be out of shape, and I assumed my legs would have lost a significant amount of strength since the knee injury set me back so far, but in contrast my legs seem to have not lost a whole lot of strength at all.  I am out of shape, that's for sure, and the added pounds I am working to lose don't help matters, but my legs seem to have faired pretty well during my down time.  Every step of the 150 I have taken so far I took with my knees bent so I really feel it in my muscles.  The idea is to walk like that for every step and not let the knees hyperextend at all. 

6:00 P.M.

150 more steps taken for a total of 300 today.  That really felt great!

99,700 to go.

Thoughts on Being Fat:

2010 - Here We Go...

I quite literally have butterflies in my stomach as I write this.  It's the start of a New Year, and for me, the beginning of a long and arduous journey.  Both of my goals for this year are for the best, and once achieved will make me feel like people must feel when they climb Mount Everest or sail around the world, but I can't help but be nervous.  The weight loss part isn't easy, but it's very doable, and the walking part is extremely difficult, but also very doable.  I just get scared I'm not up for the challenge.  A small part of me wonders if I can actually force myself to be so disciplined and strong every... single... day.  Another part of me tells that part to stop whining and get to work!

I get very annoyed at people who complain.  I have nothing but admiration for those who are dealt a shitty hand but remain positive and strong and do what's necessary without a whole lot of fanfare.  I like to think I am one of those people, but sometimes I doubt even that.  Even just writing in this blog I feel like some form of a whiner, and that kind of pisses me off.  I know writing is cathartic, that's why I do it, but when does it go from cathartic to just plain pissing and moaning? 

On that note, I am not here to whine or complain or be one of those people.  I'm here for myself first and foremost so I have an outlet to express how I feel about all of this, and secondly, I'm here for anyone who needs a good kick in the ass to get started on anything they need to get started on to better themselves.

This year is going to be hard, but I want it to be.  I want it to kick my ass and make me wish I had never drummed up this terrible idea to begin with.  I'm not afraid of the work... I'm afraid to fail, but I guess that fear is what will propel me forward and keep me moving.  I guess that's why I started this blog in the first place; to have a handful of people beyond the ones who are close to me that I don't want to let down.

So, today marks the first day of the rest of my life.  It will be interesting to me to see what I am writing about on January 1, 2011.