Sunday, July 1, 2012
Bringing my Legs Back to Life
I suppose I like good sale jobs. As a person who once worked as a salesman, I seem to work well with being sold. Friends, physical therapists, and occupational therapists have done little to sell me on the concept of swimming as a therapy. As with all the exercises my therapists have offered me, my interests only lasted as far as the vision they could create with their recommendation. But therapists are not salespeople. They never tried to sell me on the idea of my improvement. Am I depressive? What kind of failure has kept me from trying to sell myself on my own recovery?
Somehow, swimming has always stayed on my mind. It was always the last thing on my mind, but it was there. One year ago I inquired about a membership at the YMCA. Six months ago I acquired that membership, and last week I put on my swim trunks for the first time. Every exercise of therapist is try to offer me has had a purpose. I understand that now, and I even knew that somewhat back then. I wonder if I don't have to keep selling myself on my recovery. It seems like I have to get myself excited all over again every time I want to make a new progress.
Even today, after two years of limited use, my legs are still more bone and muscle than they are fat. It never occurred to me how little inclination they have to float on command. The moment I stopped actively wading, my head started to dunk under the water. I did not gulp water, and I didn't start coughing, but I did start to have a clear realization that my body really does not work as well as I thought it would under these circumstances. Grabbing the wall, I made my way over to where the three men wearing lifeguard T-shirts were talking, and I called out to my friend telling her that this was not working out quite the way I planned. Almost immediately, one of the YMCA employees came over and told her that maybe I should be wearing flotation belt.
I can now see how using this swimming pool can advance my therapy, improve my circulation, heal my heart, and prepare my body for surprises in the months and years to come. Well, will go back tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.
Thank you for reading.