I used to play tennis, and I loved it life long. I used to jog. Fortunately I can still swim.
But swimming doesn’t get to all the muscles that surrendered to inactivity during both the recent onset of scoliosis symptoms and my earlier journey with multiple sclerosis. I struggle with giving daily attention to the stretches, the standing tall and walking tall, the activation of this or that muscle that my specialists have assigned me in order to reclaim my gait. I haven’t wanted to do it. It’s the last thing I want to do every day.
I had to take a hard look at both the attitude and the behavior. I did. And in the process cried through the regrets of not having paid attention to the impact of choices I had been avoiding for many years. In the 5 months since I made a different choice, I notice that I am, IN FACT, getting stronger and more mobile. While that’s both encouraging and motivating, I still fight to make exercise a top priority.
Yesterday, my own choosing was re-energized when I heard about the situation of a woman acquaintance who has been falling a lot. Now in rehab, she is reported to be having a tough time with the rigorous exercise schedule they require. I know it’s tough. I was there in 2009 when I broke my shoulder.
Apparently, lifelong, exercise has never been her thing. Which means she now falls a lot. If she continues to fall a lot, she’ll have to go to a nursing home. For a woman who is otherwise with it, not real old, and fairly sharp, her hard choices are looming. Will she choose to surrender to her reality? Will she exercise? Or will she be in a nursing home?
That little tidbit of information caused me to revisit my choosing. Will I exercise? Or will I watch my gait weaken, and my stamina for being able to do what matters to me in the years that remain, disappear?
I’ve made my choice, and probably will need to make it daily.
Which means doing what I don’t particularly want to do. It means hopping off the scooter and onto the bike and adopting a new attitude. “This is a regular part of my life now and I intend to make it OK.”
While it is the daily behavior which is more critical to my long term goals than the attitude, you’ll notice I also endeavor to smile.
Is there a hard choice you’ve been avoiding, to make possible the results you really, really, want in life?
Addendum 10 days later: I notice my attitude has shifted. I look forward to the regularity….and the very noticeable progress! Note to self: Behavior rules!!!