life lessons

Postcard from Pilates Reformer

Hi again,

I’ll tell you something – I wear Nikes and have found that I can’t ‘just do it’ – it’s a bit awkward frankly. After searching vigorously for the one pair of sneakers that would magically allow me to jump higher, cardio longer, dance with the intent that everyone watches…um, not happening.

Methinks I can’t blame the sneakers.

And as much as I would love to do my best Scarlett O’Hara impression, shake my fist at the sky and drawl a commitment to never be clumsy or compromised again, I’m not sure I’d be able to get up from my knees. I’m getting to a point here –

I’m beginning to think it just doesn’t matter.

There’s a guy – a gentleman really – who claims time with she-who-has powerfully-impacted-my-life Christy (it’s her studio, her heart, her humor, etc) before me. He’s got a degenerative neurological order similar in cruelty to ALS. And the point isn’t what he can’t do, for he has the good sense to celebrate what he can. I listen to the lightness in his voice, relish the smile that seems to generate more from his eyes than his lips, yet I can ‘hear’ from the waiting area. He works hard while he is there, not stinting one minute and enjoying it all. When he says goodbye, I feel the air change.

I have no doubt that he has days when he curses the fates, attends a pity party with or without guests. I’m sure he has daily discomfort and disquiet. It would be insulting to him to suggest otherwise.

The point is, I think he wears Nikes. And he just does it. Maybe I’ll keep my pair too.

Uncategorized

And There You Have It

Hi my friend,

How has your week been so far? Are you finding time to check in with yourself as the driving beat of daily have-to’s increases as the holidays near? Come sit for a minute – I think you’ll appreciate this.

So, I have re-entered the world of exercise – or rather, a modest introduction to the concept of movement. It was quite depressing at the outset, with all these modifications being made for she–who-cannot-bend. I’d alternate between sensing a whiff of possibility in the air and then catch a tear slipping down my cheek, for I couldn’t help but wonder when the hell I became incapable of doing the most mundane stuff?

Anyway, cut to Saturday when I met the trainer for a Pilates session – just me, her and the reformer. No accommodations but for my height (let it go, Kanigan). It was fantastic! Each discreet movement reminded my body that it can still engage – and even suggested that there were some muscles I had yet to meet. In the midst of this delight, Christy said to me “Isn’t it great? You’re feeling your power again. Consider this past year AFGO.”

And what, may I ask is that?

Christy told me about the elderly grandmother of someone she once knew who referred to every plot twist in life as AFGO (Another F–king Growth Opportunity). After laughing at the visual this prompted (white bun, rocking chair, orthopedic shoes…), I delighted in the way it tweaked my thought process.

Most of life doesn’t happen as we plan – there are arguably more times when we have to adjust our thinking to the reality presented. How nimble we are depends upon our state of mind far more than our ability to physically bob and weave. Shaking my head and smiling, I considered the impressive number of growth opportunities I’ve had, while hoping for gazillion more. I welcome most of them – after all, I’m learning to be nimble. I do Pilates.

Have a good day, ok?

aging · friendship · honesty · life lessons · love · Uncategorized

Some Trips Are Longer Than Others

Hi there,

I know – it’s been a while. I’m not sure if you’re still passing this way – and it’s certainly understandable if you’ve changed routes. After all, there hasn’t been anything here to see for more than a year.

But if you’ve stopped by – it’s good to see you. Clearly I’ve been gone – and I’m tentatively back. In the interest of abbreviating a very long year – I got sick. If you listen to my hematologist, rheumatologist and every other ologist I’ve seen – I didn’t know how sick I was. The year has been a blur of blood transfusions, biopsies, a bilateral hip replacement and a brain that went wonky because my blood was so compromised. I had to get multiple assurances that I was clear-headed enough to even try writing again. The thought of appearing more nutty than I usually do was a bit too much for me to handle.

I’m better now. I’m a version of me again – one I sort of recognize and occasionally don’t. I lost a year of mobility and engagement with the world. These days, my body is a cranky participant in my efforts to get a bit stronger – thinking it prefers being sedentary to the aches and strain of movement (honestly, I can’t even call it exercise – it’s more like wishful thinking with a beat). But, I can tell you that the return to normalcy is greeted each day with an emotional ‘thank you’, even if my body and I occasionally disagree. There are no more hospital beds, occupational therapy tools and elevated seats. I can put on my own socks thank you very much. I can engage in the most mundane activities – driving, food shopping, laundry – and I think each is pretty damn fantastic. Musing over the monotonous with a significant amount of delight.

And yes, there’s also some fear – fear of a recurrence (the autoimmune world is at best dystopian, at worst just plain freaky), an awareness of how much I am unaware of – I could explain the list, though I don’t think I need to.

So, I’m going to re-enter the community and see how we do. The musings won’t be this intense – they weren’t before and life doesn’t ask that of me now. I’m just going to keep my eyes open and my heart full – and we’ll see what happens next. Thank you for stopping by – see you soon.