Oh my goodness! I am not a happy camper this a.m. I am a woman in great pain and discomfort. I'm not being melodramatic here, just telling you like it is. I hurt and it's making me sad.
Here's the deal. In Januaury, 2007 I decided to choose a healthier lifestyle. I immediately enrolled in a sailing class (I lived in Hawaii and this was an excellent way to spend Thursdays in the "winter".). Beginning this class was a key step in my whole approach to things. I have a history of signing up for/participating only in things that I know for a fact I'll be good at. You see, I'm not nearly as confident as I appear but rather quite insecure (well, at times, anyway). The other thing that was significant is that I'd been living my life as rather a spectator not an actual participant. This was a step in changing that scenario. Ladies, and I think you know who you are, you helped change my life and I love you to death for your part in my life! (Note: this was all done as a result of a great amount of prayer and soul searching. Don't ever mistake this: Jesus is my Savior - but He uses people to help.)
The second thing I did was join Bob Greene's Best Life website. Bob Greene is Oprah's coach and though I have my own issues with her and her show, I've always found Bob Greene to be extremely reasonable and healthful in his approach to weight loss. I had prayed for a sound, non-fad, long-term approach and this is where God led me. Again, I'm very grateful. As a result of this program, which is basically doing that which we all know we need to do, I began regular exercise and changed my eating patterns. I started working out at slightly greater intensity and certainly more frequency than which I was accustomed. Of course, the more I did, the more I felt like doing. I eventually ran/walked the Great Aloha Run (8.1 miles) and finished smack dab in the middle. Most of you reading this, no doubt, remember this transformation in my life.
Since then I've maintained a pretty good regimen. It's not been perfect but it's allowed me to more or less maintain the improvements I've made. Along the way, however, I've pushed myself and as a result suffered some setbacks. First of all, I went snow skiing (first time ever) and had a great time learning to ski in the Alps. I worked hard, hard, hard every day for hours. Each night I went to bed loaded up on motrin and slept like a rock, then got up and did it again the next day. It was worth it, but by Friday, I noticed my knees were so swollen that I couldn't even see my kneecaps. So the next week and for weeks after I spent a lot of time on my back with my legs elevated. I took a lot of motrin to keep the swelling down. I couldn't bend my knees properly at all. I found that if I walked, it would be difficult in the beginning but eventually things would loosen up and I could hum right along. Then I'd come home and rest, elevate and motrinize myself all over again. My ski trip was in February and in April I began training myself to walk a marathon. I didn't complete that goal, but in June I did walk 14 miles at once.
Over the next year, I continued to walk and exercise at a moderate intensity due to my work schedule. I still made time for the basics but didn't have a lot of time for the big things. I also still had trouble bending my knees properly and they felt spongy all the time. (I gained an amazing amount of relief through one auricular acupuncture treatment.) Nonetheless, I found time for hikes and such and even began running. Using the Couch 2 5K training plan I worked up to 5K and found great pleasure and challenges pushing my body this way. Loved it. Once I hit 5K I began training to do a 10K. I completed this personal challenge and was able to support my friend in Sweden who was running by running my own private 10K in Germany. This was a great personal victory, coming back from injury and such. Unfortunately, I think I was running in the wrong type of shoes for my feet. I began developing painful adhesions in my thighs and had some swelling in my knees. So I put my running on hold.
Meanwhile my husband retired from his long service in the Air Force. Between finishing up a job, a trip to the States that involved some family care and the move, my exercise decreased even more. Now I'm in my new home, and all set up. I have these incredible country roads I can walk and bike. The weather is mostly accommodating. However, I'm having all kinds of foot pain. I'm mindful of my footwear. I have custom-made orthotic sandals that I'm using and I don't walk around barefoot. I also am building up my stamina (pain-wise) by increasing my walking distance each time. My feet do fine during the walk but each night I'm having foot pain that makes it difficult to even walk. I know I need to get some help.
Yesterday, my husband and I decided to take a nice long walk. The planned hike would test me; I knew this. It was more than double what I'd been doing. BUT the weather was gorgeous! I wanted to be out in it. I wanted to push my body a bit. I wanted to feel that surge of a job well done. I wanted to overcome. We walked for 3.72 miles which really isn't that far but the hills are so numerous and steep at times that it's a good challenge. Everything was great for the first 3 miles or so but then the pain began. It was like stepping on glass at times. It felt like a fire in my heel and made my opposite thigh burn (those darn adhesions!). By nightfall, I could hardly walk at all. Getting undressed was incredibly challenging since at some point you need to put all your weight on one foot and then the other. I was in tears. This morning isn't much better.
I know I'm whining and am being long-winded. I apologize; I really do. I'm just talking it out and telling you that I know I need some help. My DH lovingly massaged my foot and ankle (forgot to tell you I injured it a year ago and that it also swells a good bit whenever I exercise) and worked out some of my adhesions in my foot. I think, though, that a good chiropractor is in order. I think I finally have time to go. I have to whether I feel that I have the time or not.
The fact is I've worked too hard to lose a lot of ground. I've grown so much personally as a result of prioritizing my health and fitness. It has benefited everyone around me and is not at all a selfish endeavor. My active lifestyle enables me to keep up with my family, participate in physically taxing missions ministries, pursue working with children (need I say more) and enjoy long hikes with my dog and my husband. I'm not willing to just sit by and go back to where I was. Healthful living gives me so much energy and joy. This morning I realized I was quite depressed over this setback, fearful even. Talking it out with you has helped me see what I've already overcome and gives me hope and motivation to get things straightened out soon so that I can keep on keeping on. Thanks for listening.