Aside from my cat scraping the box today, I nearly ended up IN a box today, AKA coffin! As most of you know from previous posts, I have been trying to incorporate a bit more "health" into my living. This has included shutting down the Alaskan Pipeline of caffeine I was pumping into my system, eating better meals, AND trying to exercise more. On top of those looming self "projects", I have also appointed myself chief coach and inspirational motivator for Saint EB's BIKACIDE in September...this means, encouraging her to train for her near-death-experience ride!
Saint EB and I had planned a walk in the park today...a 2.4 mile walk on flat terrain, to be exact. My last stroll through the "hood" took me an even 2 miles, so I made a plan to bump that up a notch and take the loop around one of my favorite parks with one of my favorite peeps. That is, until Saint EB called to say (in croaking voice) she had contracted an upper respiratory infection while on vacation earlier this week and did NOT feel she could make the walk...she chose BREATHING over walking with ME! Go figure...
But have no fear...another one of my "peeps", who I refer to as my "neighbor", jumped at the chance to fill in for Saint EB. It was another beautiful afternoon in Seattle, so instead of driving to the park in the late afternoon traffic, we opted to stroll the "hood" once again.
Neighbor and I USED to take relatively LONG walks together last year...before MS decided to rear it's ugly head again. We USED to walk anywhere from 2 - 5 miles at a time...note the operative word here is "USED" to. Back when I was feeling a bit more spry and spunky, we USED to wind our way through a few woodland parks and trails along Lake Washington and climb some fairly steep embankments in the name of a "good workout".
So Neighbor says to me we will just "take it slow" and maybe walk down to the lake or something. It is exactly 1/2 mile from my home to Lake Washington and going DOWN to the lake is quite easy...it's coming BACK from the lake that is a killer. But I decided to be a sport and try it anyway.
By the time we got down to the lake, I still had feeling in my legs and actually felt pretty good. So Neighbor says to me again that maybe we could just walk down to one of the parks and cut back through on the trails UP in the general direction of "home"...my completely spirited and unrealistic side agreed.
So, we took off down the shore of Lake Washington and headed through the park...I had forgotten this particular park has death cliffs in it! My legs were also forgetting they were attached to my hips at this point. But still, I climbed.
I climbed and I walked and I huffed and I puffed until the blood that used to supply my brain simply drained into my legs to try to keep me moving...all reasoning was gone and survival kicked in. I HAD to make it through the trails to get home where I could collapse on my couch!
After a long and extremely painful 3 miles, we finally returned to home in the "hood"...I was never so happy to see my deck in all my life! My legs had become rubber and my brain congealed like Jello...I gasped for air as I tried to point my shaky finger at Neighbor and bark out, "You just tried to kill me, didn't you!?!" All that could be heard was the deep wheezing in my lungs and the occasional drip of sweat leaping from my forehead as I threw myself down on my deck.
Now, after a few hours of rest and a "present" found in the cat box, I'm a bit less hostile about the walk and feeling a tad bit smug...I just made it THREE MILES through hills and valleys and trails through cliffs!!! Six months ago I could not have walked a block let alone ambulate on hills! Woohoo! I'm back...and it's a relief to feel some strength again (privately I do the "victory" dance and say, "F YOU, Multiple Sclerosis!").
Now, pardon me while I screw my legs back on and try to drag myself to bed...I hope my legs eventually thank me for my stupidity today! They are definitely "crapped out", but in a totally wonderful way...