Tag Archives: walking

Did I just say that?

My daughter and I were getting ready to go to a concert. We had eaten a quick supper and she asked, “how do you want to get there?” It had been a mild December, so we could walk. But it was already dark. I haven’t yet ridden my Power Chair on sidewalks at night. “We can call a cab,” I decided. A company in town was offering wheelchair accessible taxis. “I can ride my Power Chair and hop right into the back of the cab,” I explained. For some reason, I was feeling tired and uneasy about going out. Looking to my right I saw my walker and said, “I miss those Walker Days.” I caught my daughter’s gaze as she suppressed a frown. I admitted, “I can’t believe I just said that!”

What was I saying? What could I possibly be missing?

Previously, I would drive, lifting the walker to place it behind the driver’s seat. Parking at a handicapped spot close to the entrance meant I could take out my walker and slowly make my way to the theater. Usually visiting the bathroom before the show started and then taking my seat. There was a time when this was do-able. When these activities involved a little bit of duress. Just enough struggle, but not so much to tire me out. I live with struggle. These days getting up from bed can be difficult. I think I was missing the days when the struggle involved walking. When the walker supported my weight enough that I could do it for a little bit. Now walking is so hard; it isn’t walking anymore,

The difference is...

Friends and I sat down to supper. Over warm bowls of soup and yummy bread, we chatted, catching up on family news. Relaxed, I slouched: “The winter was long…” We all agreed, but I added: “I’m slowing down. I know my walking has worsened…”

“You don’t look any slower.” My friend’s response startled me.

When I answered her, I surprised even myself: “You mean, I walked like this last year?”

Of course, I did. I’ve been watching myself slow down for years. So what did I mean?

It wasn’t the movements that had changed, so much as the effort involved and my  attitude.

Her response shattered how I saw myself. Maybe, I wasn’t walking that much slower. But, I felt like I was. I have grown really tired of moving this body around so slowly.

When the effort of walking involves lifting my mood from darkness, then I use up enormous energy to raise a foot. When my mood lightens, I pay less attention to the heavy leg and allow myself to be distracted by other interests and other pleasures.

The leg remains heavy.

Last year, I was proud to be moving. Lately, I’m just tired, tired of the slow labour of simple movement. The difference is in whether I decide to dwell on the difficulties or not.

Another blogger has been talking about something very similar. Check out “living undone” by Cathy Aten: http://www.cathyaten.com/wordpress/2014/03/put-the-damn-thing-down/

Illustrating this post is a painting by artist Eva Toth. You can see more of her artwork on http://evatothartist.weebly.com or you can search Eva-Toth-Artist on Facebook.