Friday, January 4, 2008

No Excuses

Arthritis affords plenty of legitimate excuses – I hurt, I’m tired, I need to rest – and I felt like calling in all of them this morning when I got up for my walk.

My right ankle is so sore and stiff today, that I had to get up 10 minutes early, around 5:30 a.m. to get things loosened up enough to walk out to the kitchen. And I AM tired – who isn’t at 5:30? And the weather is rainy cold. Can you hear the whiny tone coming through on the page? I didn’t want to exercise. Yet, I bundled up, tied on my new walking shoes, and headed out the door in darkness for my walk.

This was part of the plan. My schedule of working and Momming doesn’t always leave time in the afternoons for exercise and, like most of you, fatigue is a problem for me. So I’m going early today before I’m too tired to get moving. I know the effort will pay off. Just not yet. This is the tough part – to get started and keep at it, when everything hurts. I felt sore and rickety during the walk. It took me about 15 minutes before I could move fluidly in my waddling way. My ankles and hips creaked and ached. Now, sitting at my desk a couple of hours later, I’m stiffer than usual.

But I feel better than I have in a long time. Seriously. I feel powerful. I got my Tin-Man body out of bed, when it was still dark, and exercised for a half hour in a cold rain. I didn’t push all that hard. I did what I could do today. But I did it. After just two days of eating well and walking I feel stronger at least in spirit and attitude. And in my life with arthritis, I’ve learned that those are the things that matter most. But don’t think I won’t be calling in the excuses mentioned earlier – I’ll use mine to strategically -- to get out of the vacuuming.

Are you working toward a healthy change in your life? What keep you going when the going gets tough?

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