We spent Sunday in Laguna Beach for the last day of their summer art festival. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and it seemed as though everyone had the same idea as cars filled the parking spaces and crowds crawled slowly past the exhibits. Pushing a walker around in the heat and across the uneven surfaces was such an effort that today I spent most of the day recuperating.
I have tried to be less horrified by the fact that the mere 1,000 steps registered on my pedometer can sometimes take me out. At the festival I walked 4,023 steps at a slower-than-a-snail’s pace, and it pushed me to my limits. With 10,000 steps being the normal target per day, I wonder whether that will ever happen again. No matter what I do, it seems the weakness remains unfettered by any attempt to train strength back into my muscles. I cannot give up, however, because I see myself as the strong person that used to live in this body. Weight training for me was heaven; I loved growing stronger and gaining stamina. It came easily. It felt wonderful. I remember the sensation precisely.
It baffles me that cancer robs so much from us even when we push back at it with extreme effort. So, I laugh as I struggle to achieve even a minimal training effect while I shut out the memory of what used to be. Walking and strengthening have new limits now, so I go with the flow. Maybe I cannot work hard enough to generate endorphin activity, I still revel in the exhaustion resulting from engaging in great physical effort. And, who knows. Maybe six months or a year from now I will see the effects of my training.
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