Saturday, July 31, 2010

Future Shock

When I was at PT this morning, a new patient came in around the same time that I arrived. She was a little larger than me in size and was recovering from a broken femur. As I was when I first started going to PT, she was in a wheelchair.

While I was waiting for my session, the doctor met with her, and because they were talking in the next room, I couldn't help overhearing their conversation (not that I was intentionally trying to eavesdrop). But I learned that this woman is 68 and suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. The doctor was very insistent that she get to the point where she can walk again, but she wasn't eager to do the training; she just wanted to stay in her wheelchair and have hot packs put on her leg.

Seeing this unwell, older woman hammered home for me what MY future could be like if I don't continue to exercise and lose weight. I mean, she's about my parents' age, but my parents are, for the most part, youthful and healthy (knock on wood) and are still able to travel around the world. I joke with them about being old, but I don't really think of them in that way because they're so active. This woman, on the other hand, was OLD. I actually thought she was in her late 80s; even without the broken leg, it didn't seem like she was in any great shape.

That said, I really powered through my exercises today. I'm having a lot less back pain (that new bra is definitely helping!) and only took breaks because I was told to, not because my back was killing me. The therapist was really impressed, especially when I told him about my journey to the corner restaurant the other day -- and when I was walking from one room to the other, he told me to slow down. I actually wanted to do more and asked if I could ride the bike or do the stair climber for a few minutes, but he said that I'd still have to wait a few sessions. They're very conservative about letting me push ahead, but I understand that they want to make sure that their patients don't hurt themselves.

Still, I'm feeling good after my workout. I thought I'd hate going on Saturday mornings, and I do when I first wake up because I'm tired. But then once I begin exercising, I start to enjoy it.

Starting Monday, I'll have to do PT and my full-time job, with the commute. This ought to be interesting! Yet I'm kind of glad I still have PT because it'll force me work out several times a week as I adjust to my new schedule. Once PT is over, I don't know if I'll continue to get up early to exercise, but I'd like the workouts themselves to become a habit. I need to start training for the half marathon, so I'll put together a walking schedule when I'm actually able to conquer distances.

I hope that when I'm 68, I'm not in that woman's position, where I'm still obese and sick, to boot. I still have a lot of life ahead of me and I plan to live the rest of it a little better.

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