Row

Your boat. Especially when it’s all you have left to do.

Over the years I have been on a journey through many different types of exercise. At my best I swam forty lengths of the pool. After that I went to a small gym for those who wanted more gentle work with weights. I learnt to cycle again. Then there was Pilates. When lockdown hit, I did a couple of things during PE with Joe. I walked on the spot for a while with Step2Next then. And now? I struggle through exercises recommended by a physio. I can barely make it into our local park with trekking poles.

Feeling sorry for myself, I remembered the rowing machine in our garage and thought, sure if nothing else suits me, I should stop the self-pity and give it a whirl. Or a row. It worked. No risk of losing my balance. No self-consciousness as I’m on my own. It’s not the same as having the wind in your face, the splash of oars in the water or the companionship of fellow rowers, but it is all I have and I’m thankful for it.

Have you found yourself having to adjust the things you do when you can’t do them anymore? My mum got a picker to help with gardening as she can’t bend down now. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

That’s the thing I’m learning: it’s not that things are beyond you now, you just need to find different ways to reach them. It might take a bit of pride-swallowing and frustration, but the sense of achievement will be worth it. Take it from someone who sat in a wheelchair and got to her car at the airport in at least half the time it would have taken had she walked.

Can you think of an easier way to reach your goal, or a better, new approach to something you thought you could never do again? Don’t let what you can’t do keep you from the things you can do now, with a little help.

The world is still your oyster; it’s just the way to access that has changed.

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