Day 6

My pain talked to me today. I heard a request to slow down. I'm not a fast walker by two-legged standards but I do walk as fast as I can. The faster I walk, the more momentum I get going and the lighter my prosthesis feels. The whole leg weighs about 15 pounds which is a lot to lug around. When I slow down my pace the weight of the leg is more pronounced. But pain told me to slow down today.

Lo and behold. Slowing my pace helped. The vice loosened its grip on my residual limb to a tolerable level. I found a gait that was fast enough to gain some momentum and slow enough to allow my muscles some relief. The only times I had to stop on the way home was for Murphy.

Which makes me wonder. Is this a fit issue or have I lost muscle mass the past two years and need to build it up again?

When Mark first hugged me, many years ago, one of his first comments was on how strong my back was. I was so proud of myself when he noticed that. My strength was a result of how I compensated for my missing limb.

I want to feel strong again. Last fall I went to physical therapy for other aches and pains I have as a result of being a long term amputee. Each week in the small PT room as my therapist asked me to try yet another exercise that was physically taxing for me, I was reminded that I want to be strong again. I had about 40% success rate doing my exercises at home between appointments. More often than not I found reasons, excuses, rationalizations about why I couldn't do my exercises. I just wasn't ready to make the leap yet, the leap into change.

So why, when the desire is so deep, is it so hard to change a habit? After just six days I've already made this a part of my daily routine. I've already seen small benefits. In just six days. I've taken the leap. I think I'm flying.