Friday, July 30, 2010

Saving For a Rainy Day

Just before I laid down on the massage table yesterday, I noticed my left quad and how defined it has gotten the last few weeks. How hard it is. Strong. While I’m not a fan of doing straight-leg lifts with a 5-pound weight strapped to my ankle, doing them really isn’t that bad. Tough, yes. But not hard.

In fact, this whole recovery, while slower than I expected, is physically much easier than I expected. The only thing that hurts during PT is when my PT bends my knee further than it wants to go and he manipulates my scar to break up the scar tissue. (At least today I just yelped and didn’t cry. Usually I cry a little. Maybe even that part’s getting easier. Maybe.)

When my massage therapist started working on my left leg, she, too, noticed how strong my quad was.

“That didn’t take long,” she said. “It’s a good thing you worked out so much before.”

She’s right. Getting fit was like opening a savings account. My body had enough muscle stored up that I could make a withdrawal for major surgery and a 3+-month recovery period and still have enough muscle mass to spare.

My only complaint (and it’s not really a complaint, just a minor grievance) is that while the scale number hasn’t changed since surgery five weeks ago, my weight has shifted and distributed itself in places I’m not happy about (like around my middle…I’m SUCH an apple). But I still have plenty ‘o muscle and determination left in reserve, so when I’m finally back in full workout mode I’ll put all those parts back where they belong.

Buh-bye puppy belly.

I look forward to the challenge, especially with an improved knee. Where will it take me? How far will I go? I can’t wait to find out!

In the meantime, I walk at 1.7 mph on a treadmill in a tank of water (that's obviously not me in the tank, but the other person is on my PT assistants. Hi, Jill!). I ride a stationary bike with the seat jacked up so the soles of my feet aren’t quite flush with the pedal because I’m at a 100- to 105-degree bend in the left knee. I take stairs one at a time and use my cane when I’m not at home.

Living on my fitness savings, I can drive alone and cook dinner and wash dishes and water the gardens and fill bird feeders.

Looky what else I can do:
I’ve accepted that the work the surgeon did on my knee was major and that I need to be patient with this recovery. But while I may not be as far along as I’d “planned” to be pre-surgery, I’m further along than I would have been at 300 pounds, if a full recovery would have even been possible.

By opening that savings account five years ago, I’ve been able to withdraw not only physical prowess, but confidence, too. I know with all certainty now that I CAN recover from major surgery and maintain my weight. And the best part is that I’ve not drained my account. There’s more than enough still in there to sustain me for the duration of my recovery.

It’s thinking about this savings account that keeps me sane through those teeth-gritting knee bends with my PT. It’s the pain that is helping to heal me so I can build up my savings again, perhaps even surpass the previous balance.

So how’s the balance in your own fitness savings account? Do you have enough saved for a rainy day?

8 comments:

  1. So happy to say, "Yes!" Two years has led to a good amount in the bank. :-) But there's always room for more.

    I think you'll be surpassing yourself once the healing is done. I'm doing some fitness things outside my comfort zone this summer, and although they make me feel ungraceful and "newbie," I think they are also making me stronger. (Albeit more sore. ;-P)

    And how I feel your apple pain! But you know, you and your "green house" and me and my "blue house" (my house is blue, and it would be nicer with some home improvement) do their appley best. Which I must say is still pretty darn good!

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  2. I love this idea. I'm so glad it's working well for you and your prior investment in exercise and fitness is there for rainy day withdrawals. I've been running for just over two years--through thick and thin. It helped me that even during a stressful time when I didn't pay attention to my diet, I kept up the exercise and didn't gain as much as I would have otherwise. Now that I'm really working at things again, my fitness base is there to build on. So yes, I've made some good deposits in my fitness bank. BTW, I'm an apple too! :-(

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  3. Ooh, I love this idea of a savings account. Hopefully I am saving up for my 'old age' and won't have to make any early withdrawals for surgery!

    As usual, you continue to inspire, Lynn!

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  4. I think you are doing fabulous! You seem like you are healing well and PT is going as it should be. A less painful, but longer recovery is way better than being miserable and still having to pop the narcotics on a regular basis.

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  5. 'Make hay while the sun shines Nelly' is how I think of it. and literally I think - what might tomorrow bring, and what might I wish I had done today, if tomorrow really does bring IT - and then I DO what IT is (that I need to do for my body). Really good post.

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  6. Yay for apples! Boo for spammers :( Deleting is never ending.

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  7. OK Lynn this is the second blog entry I've read this evening about exercise. It was perfect timing.

    This stupid pinched nerve definitely affected my reserves and as a result I've found myself struggling again. At least I'm getting better and building up again. The exercise is key!

    Good luck - and hang in there.

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  8. I'm happy with the progress I've made, but I guess there could be more. I was thinking as I worked out that I could challenge myself a little bit more. But the improvements are there

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