Helplessness. was not in my nature, so it was time to act! It had been two full months since my unhinged roller coaster began. I had already been to Doctor #1 and Doctor #2. Until I received the results from the lab, I decided to take control. I could no longer sit idly by feeling sorry for myself. My body was in utter distress but I was still the boss…I think!
I had a glimmer of hope that the ugly face of this monster wreaking havoc inside my body would soon be revealed. I thought of Scooby Doo and the gang pulling the mask off of the bad guy at the end of every cartoon episode when I was young. I wanted the satisfaction of doing the same for my real life mini-series horror flick monster demon dude!
Until then, it was a horrible idea for me to remain idle because my joints would stiffen like quick drying concrete. My brain started whispering to “the boss” (that’s me) that I needed to keep moving! The more I stayed mobile, the better I felt. Of course movement was painful too, but immobility was so much worse.
It was time! I decided to get back to my exercise routine at home. I had a library of videos that I actually liked! Before my road trip a couple of months prior, I faithfully worked out to these videos at least three times a week.
I was healthy and fit…or at least I thought I was! At the beginning of 2016, I weighed 135 pounds. For my height, this was a good place to be. I was happy with it…and that’s what was important! I was actually happy anywhere in the 130-140 range. I feel like all women should have a range. One specific weight is not obtainable.
I was also faithful to log my calorie intake on my “Lose It” app. I had been doing that for many years. This was just part of my daily routine. Of course my weight varies just like every woman’s weight does. That’s where this app totally worked for me. It helped keeping me on track.
Once my mysterious pain suddenly took over, my faithful workouts and logging in my “Lose It” app completely halted! We all know what happens when that stops! By the time I decided to try and take control back, I had gained several pounds, but those few extra pounds were the least of my worries! I just wanted the pain to go away.
What better thing to do for yourself than “exercise” the demons! Working out not only made me feel better about myself, it also produced those much needed endorphins to help alleviate some pain. Laughing helped release them too so I tried to laugh as much as possible; however, this was getting more and more difficult to do.
For about two weeks, I tried some of my favorite work out videos at home. I usually ended up just lying on the floor watching the workout instead. I would start laughing when the workout was over and I had only completed about ten minutes of a familiar, thirty minute routine. I was always exhausted.
When my laugh got loud and hearty was when I was trying to figure out how I was going to get up off the floor. I imagine I looked ridiculous and was thankful that I could still laugh at myself. That’s really what helped me muster up the wherewithal to find a way to get up, no matter how silly I looked. I probably could’ve co-starred with Tim Conway on The Carol Burnett Show from the 1970’s and made a fortune!
Ahh…those magical endorphins! God is so good to have these built into our most intricately designed bodies. Laughter is God’s natural pain medicine. Just find a way…
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that exercising alone wasn’t working, so I did something crazy! I decided to go back to the aerobics class I had taken many years prior. I would leave my home video collection behind at the moment. My thought process was if I paid for the classes, and had a group setting, it would definitely work! I just needed more motivation…something I had very little of at the moment.
The last time I attended this class, I walked in with my water bottle, car key, and cell phone. This time I also walked in with a bag full of my “million dollar body armor”. I had my elbow, hand, wrist, ankle, and knee supports.
The instructor that taught the earlier class asked if I was okay. I tried playing it off and said that I was fine. I’m not sure she was convinced. I know I definitely wasn’t! I’m sure I looked like a warrior headed off to battle, but I felt a sense of protection in my body armor. At least I was trying something. Doing nothing certainly wasn’t helping.
Steve was the instructor for the time slot I had chosen. He had been teaching this class for many years. His class, as well as the earlier class, was always fun and exciting. He was definitely the class clown! I could work out and receive my daily dose of God’s natural pain medicine just by attending this class.
Aerobics is like riding a bicycle. Once you know the moves, it’s really not too difficult, except for that twisty, turny, movey, thingie that Steve always insisted on doing when I was there. I swear he probably never did it when I wasn’t there. He called it a “side-three-turn” but I called it a “stop-watch-others”! It was quite comical, which was again…exactly what I needed.
I was unable to use any risers under my step. This was quite humbling but I definitely did not need the increased intensity. In years past, I comfortably used two risers, but that was then, this is now. I just needed to move.
There were some other moves I knew well, but I was physically unable to perform them due to the pain I would feel. I never pushed myself over the line and Steve was quick to give me alternative instructions to improvise the routine when he saw me struggling or stopping.
UH-OH! The only thing I forgot about was the floor routine to cool down. In the past, it’s been my favorite part of the class because of the concentration on abs and glutes. This was always easy for me but the only thing I worried about now was, “How do I get up off the floor? Oh dear! I’m in big trouble!”
I won’t leave you hanging. It wasn’t pretty folks! There were a few times I had to ask for help. Having help made it much more graceful than doing it alone, but on most days, I did it myself. God bless my sweet heart!
If I ever needed to “carry on and smile along the way”, it was then. Writing and thinking about this story makes me laugh out loud, so now, “I’m good, I’m good.”
Maybe one day, I will master the “stop-watch-others” move! I mean the “side-three-turn.” Thanks to Steve and all the wonderful ladies for making me feel “comfortable” before delving deeper into “my alternate universe.”
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 KJV (always)