Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Back - I Promise.

Wow. It is hard to believe that February 12 was the last time I posted. I'm sitting here, on the cusp of turning my calendar to the page that says "MAY" and I haven't posted here since the beginning of February.

That doesn't mean I haven't written a dozen (or more) posts in my head in the past three months. Honestly, I have. They all ran along the apology theme. "I'm sorry I dropped off the face of the earth" and "I'm sorry I've temporarily abandoned my fitness goals".

I have good excuses. You've gotta give me that much. Just after the last post we found out we were moving to Colorado. Hubby got a great job transfer and we're now going to live amongst the pines in the mountains of a beautiful state. But before that can happen there are a few details to take care of. A house to fix up, then sell. Last follow up doc visits. Last teeth cleanings. Last car tune ups. Oh, and a house to fix up and sell...did I mention that?

For many weeks we've been painting and doing minor (although time consuming) renovations. We need top dollar out of this house, to open up our options in CO. We've had relatives come help, and the weeks have flown by.

I know. I know. There should be no excuse for not taking care of your body. All of the health problems that come from lack of exercise don't kindly go away just because "I was busy". My blood sugar levels don't come down when I don't put in the work. And no, rolling paint on a wall (many walls) didn't really work up that much of a sweat.

Then, over a week ago, we hit the road for Colorado, to go neighborhood hunting. For ten days we drove, and drove, and drove, then explored our new state. We also ate every meal 'out'. I tried to be careful, especially considering I only got one work out in the entire ten day period.

At a hotel in Ohio I rode the exercise bike while I watched my family swim through the glass window. It made my body feel good, at that moment, and for a day afterward. You'd think I'd learn. Exercise = good for mind and body. But somehow, I never found time for another work out, even though almost every hotel we stayed in had a bike of some kind.

I have not given up. I told my fitness guru (also my sister in law) Terry that I haven't forgotten. We will hike together this summer, before I leave the East coast, and I will be strong. She inspires me and I want to have that hike with her before I go.

So today I am back. We literally arrived back in NY one day ago. We unpacked and returned the rental car last night, then collapsed into bed. The kids shuffled off to school today and I dove into getting caught up at home. Emails scoured and answered. Answering machine cleared of its 25 messages. Lists made for the things I need to review and write in the next few days and weeks. It's time to jump back into real life.

Which also means new patterns. There is no reason I can't find time to get to the gym in the 10 weeks I have left in NY. NO reason. NO excuse. It's time to build it into my life for good.

I realized on our trip, as I had hours and hours to day dream as I stared out the windows and watched the states roll by, that there is a goal I need to claim on this blog. I've thought it for years, since the day I decided to have my foot cut off. I've shared it with a few people along the way. But I need to set it up and announce it here, to make it real.

I want to be more graceful. The word I would choose for how I am now is 'clunky'. I can walk with an almost normal gait if I try really hard. But it doesn't come naturally and it doesn't come often.

I don't mind that I limp. I am deeply grateful to just be walking, mostly pain free. I love my new foot that has energy return and pushes me forward. It surely beats my old, 'real' foot, that had no participation in my gait and forced me to drag it around for way too many years.

But I have not reached my full potential with this new leg. I have the potential to be graceful now. I don't have dreams of becoming a ballerina. I just want to be lighter on my feet, not have to think about balance so much. I want to be balanced naturally, using muscles that others use without thinking. I want to rise from a chair smoothly.

I really, really want to not dread staircases some day. That's a goal for later, after I've built a better base of muscles in my legs and hips. For now, stairs are still tricky and take a lot of thought. It was very noticeable as we looked at houses in Colorado. It will be a shame if we have to pass on a really great house, because it has too many stairs and 'mama' can't do stairs well.

I know it would be excusable. Any halfway compassionate person would say, "Oh, she has an artificial leg. No wonder she can't do stairs well...." I could easily live behind that credit I'm given. But I know my situation, and there's no reason I can't be stronger. There's no reason I can't tackle stairs more confidently. I have the bionics. Now it's time to use them.

So I'm back. I'm off to the gym. I'll start weight lifting again. I'll do the 30 minute circuit, then I'll move on to the bike. I'll do it today. And tomorrow. And the next day after that. If I commit to the next ten weeks I have left in NY, I'll have a chance to retain my fitness level as we make our move across the country.

Because once we leave NY, we will once again be living out of hotels and fast food restaurants. I gained 10 pounds in the 3 months we lived in temporary housing when we moved to NY. I'm still fighting to lose that ten pounds. This time around, things will be different. The closer we get to moving into our new home in CO, the stronger I'll be.


  1. I also gain weight right after each of my moves. Up till this past move from Nebraska to Florida, I was pretty good about taking it off right away.

    But this time around, we arrived over Thanksgiving weekend in Florida and we delved right into cookies, candy and holiday parties!

    I'm still working it off, even with my crazy running it's been slow going!

    Keep up the great attitude and good luck with the move!