"Do not stop, do not walk. Finish 3 miles without stopping. Do not walk." Even as I went to a crawl-pace on the uphills, I did not walk. I kept up my mantra till the end. There is no shame in walking, tonight I was just trying to prove a point to myself.
Working in a retirement community, I see people every day who have become prisoners to pieces of equipment - wheelchairs, electric scooters, walkers, even their own bodies.
Some are victims of cruel physical impairments such as strokes, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, ALS or others. Then there are those who simply stopped moving for one reason or another. They had a fall, broke their hip; therapy was too hard, it hurt too much. And they just stopped moving.
We have the gamut of personal drive in the nursing home where I work. I love watching the determined ones who give it their all during therapy sessions. They work through and past the pain. They are getting better, they are walking, they are talking and they are doing it for themselves.
Then there are those residents for whom it's not worth it. They slow down, stop moving, give up, and become slaves to their own bodies. Dependent on others for their personal care, for movement in and out of their room, their bathroom, the dining room, everywhere.
So, with these visions in my head tonight I was going to be one of those who pushed, who got it done, because I could. It certainly wasn't my fastest 3 miles. The heat and humidity were working against me, but I proved to myself that I can make my body do something it really, really does not want to.
I have come to view running, walking, exercise, movement of all kinds as a gift. I can walk, so I should. I can run (Yes I Can!), so I do. Keep moving. I see, on a daily basis, what a difference it makes just to keep moving, for as long as possible. I am making progress.
This week has been particularly stressful for a myriad of reasons. My morning-run plans were shot, as I ended up having to be at work earlier every day this week. But, I've gotten in two evening runs, even though we are working later every night too. Life detours and plans that I've made for myself don't always materialize. But the key is to keep moving, don't let life completely derail me.
I will keep moving, because I can.
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