Monday, September 17, 2018

Blue Bridge Bucket List

I've often admired runners.  I'm not sure if the fascination came post or pre-wreck but since my injury, watching runners or even avid walkers is something I sometimes envy.

In your twenties, one never imagines themselves in a wheelchair.  But I was.  And due to extensive damage to my leg, I had to learn to walk again.  I still vividly recall the progression of healing.  Moving from hospital bed to walker, to cane...and then a limp that never really seemed to leave, despite physical therapy. 

Though it seemed forever and the days were long, it was only months spent confined.  Yet, it was enough to be grateful daily for the freedoms many of us take for granted physically. 

The first time I was able to drag myself to the car and into the driver's seat, I sobbed.  That simple act, something I'd done hundreds of times before without a thought took so much effort. 

Steps were my nemesis.  Still are.  Going down is more difficult than up, which may seem odd to someone who has never suffered from knee issues.  But when flexibility and range of motion are altered a downward step isn't done with the ease it once was. 

Though only one leg was injured in the crash both feel the pains, as the stronger took on the weight of both and quickly became worn.  Exercise, though an activity I used to enjoy, isn't easy.  My legs will usually tire out long before my drive and determination do. 

For a few years, I simply gave up when it came to walking (or my health).  Sitting on the sidelines, though not where I wanted to be, was where I could be found. 

Last fall, during a camping trip with my family, I surprised them by suggesting a hike.  Wanting to see Cumberland Falls, I had my mind set on navigating steps, regardless of the pain it might cause.  To everyone's surprise, I did much better than expected, mostly due to getting a jump on weight loss a few months prior. 

Since then, I've noticed my stride and speed improving.  My posture more erect and confident.  It's amazing how much your bones appreciate not carrying around extra baggage!

Saturday would see another check on my bucket list by walking across the blue bridge during its annual closure. 

Though I didn't participate in the 5k (next year goals!)  I did make it across and back in one piece. 

excited & ready to tackle the bridge!
Yes, my legs burned and my hiney wasn't happy that night but it actually felt good to have that type of pain.  Instead of pain from inflammation, fluid retention and injury, it was discomfort from muscles being worked.  And I can brag I walked across a river and two states!  ;)

Hot. Tired.  Proud & Happy.

It was a highlight joyful moment from a busy, blessed weekend.  But I couldn't have done it without strength from God, a total focus on my health, and a super-supportive spouse.

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Week of September

September marks the beginning of my favorite time of year.  As if on cue with the flipping of a calendar, the landscape changes.  Leaves are turning...pops of Autumn hues show up in fields and forests...and the weather softens, just a bit.

We're a week into September and I've been blessed with many joys already.

Tim and I lingered on the first day of the month, enjoying coffee on our deck.  (Well, actually, I had tea as I'm on a chai kick right now.)  But the rain clouds held off long enough for us to sit outside, listening to church bells in the distance.  Such a simple morning but one of my favorite ways to start the day.

Saturday evening, we met up with our son and his girlfriend for a double date.  It isn't often all our schedules coordinate and it was nice to spend time with them.  We have twenty-plus years on their relationship but watching the two lovebirds whisper and holds hands in the booth reminded us of our early days together.

Labor Day wasn't anything traditional but somehow ours never are.  Tim had to work so I visited my Grandma, Aunt, and family.  If you have grandparents still living, I hope you treasure them as much as I do.

Mine is 89 and spunky as ever.  She wanted to spend the day getting her ears pierced so that is just what we did.

Decades ago, her first piercing was done by her sister with a potato.  I'm not sure if she had a professional one down the line but a few months ago she accidentally pulled and tore the lobe in her sleep.  That alone sounds painful enough to me but ever the example of strength, she never flinched during the procedure.  The biggest struggle was getting her to accept the price inflation!  It took some coupon and finagling but she was happy in the end.

Of course, I'm biased but isn't she the cutest?

Driving her around reminded me of the reverse as a child.  I spent many hours in that passenger seat with her.  No matter the chair, some of my best talks and lessons in life have come sitting beside my Grandma.  

Today I ran errands, preparing for a great joy tomorrow.  I've been asked to attend our local farmer's market as they celebrate Kentucky authors.  To be listed in that category humbles me.  Rain again threatens but no clouds will dampen the happiness I have in being a part of this event.

If you're here tomorrow as a result of that booth, welcome.  Grab a cup of tea, or whatever you fancy, get comfy in your chair, and sit a spell.  I promise browsing around will bring you joy. 

Here's to the rest of September...

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