Walk……Must Walk……..

So, as I said once-upon-a-blog-ago, I have always done some sort of exercise. I started in my early teens, not when it had yet become a ‘’culture’’. Back then there were not gyms on every block in every neighborhood, or walking/running/cycling clubs in every area. But even if there had been, I was never that person. Nope, I used to put on some music (food for my soul), and just do some stretches or floor exercises. As always, if I do something, I do it in an annoyingly OCD manner. Every day between 5pm and 6pm, there I was….being all active and stuff.

Then arrived the infamous Jane Fonda. I started with her cassette tapes (yes, I am THAT old), and moved onto the video tapes. Year in and year out….5pm to 6pm was religiously my ‘’workout regime’’.

Then arrived Pepper….well, as all women who have had children know, life is never quite the same. I would try dabbling in my former all consuming exercise time, but something always put an end to it. And I am an ‘’all or nothing’’ type of gal. I even tried that amazing practice that I saw in the magazines, where mom and babe exercise together…like the earth mother with her earth child….but nope, Pepper was no earth child!!

So, having been such a disciplined exercise doer for so many of the years WHEN IT WAS NOT THAT NECESSARY, my body became an un-exercised, un-oiled and unhappy machine!

Once Salt and Pepper had successfully managed to destroy my health and fitness lifestyle, they then decided to embark on theirs, and so began my decade journey of being a soccer mom. At some point, a lot of the moms decided to start taking a leisurely stroll around the fields, while the little budding world class soccer players were training. Then myself and another ”all or nothing”, Type A, intense and psychopathic friend of mine, decided we were not doing this piddly yacker yacker stroll any longer, and we took it to the streets!! Boy we walked…hard…fast and for a good few years!! I used to call it therapy, and my Sergeant Major partner, my ‘’Rabbi’’. Not because she was Jewish, but because I felt that the sessions were therapeutic and enlightening. She is the no nonsense, tactless and intolerant friend I have referred to in the past. I would start the walk with my thoughts dim and confused, and end it with my thoughts clear and certain!!  

The only problem with old Sarge, was that she traveled overseas at least once a year, so there was a break in our rigorous world class training. But I dealt with the brief inconvenience of it all. My children would repeatedly ask when she was coming back, which I eventually realized was because they craved their clear, certain and mildly better mannered mom back.

Unfortunately, my Rabbi started travelling more often, which then meant I couldn’t ‘’all’’ it, so ended up ‘’nothing’’ it. I decided to start my bedroom fitness plan again, but in the interim had got older and developed some age related back pain. I found the exercises were actually exacerbating the problem. So I listened to all the professors out there about ‘’strong core’’ and all, and tried both Yoga and Pilates. This exacerbated it even more. Especially as the instructor was a young girl, who did not understand that a young healthy body does not necessarily need the same exercises as an ailed and decrepit one. So plan aborted, and that started a few years of doing absolutely bloody nothing!!!

Anyway, fast forward to COVID lock down, and I decided to walk around my complex. Now, I have blogged about this already, so I am not going into detail, but so ended my ”nothing” and began my “all’’. For the last year, as I do, I have completely OCD’d it. It started as my way of clearing my mind and taking my power back. You know, being in control OF SOMETHING, as no way the Universe was having any human being in control of anything….as COVID so powerfully pointed out to us. Here I could decide when to walk, how much to walk and whether to walk!!

I have now realized that I had given my rabbi way too much credit. It was the walking that cleared my mind and soothed my soul. This I realized, when I sprained my ankle during lock down….doing something in a rushed and frantic manner…as I do…seldom because it is necessary. My super duper special spices rallied around me, ice in a bucket to soak my ankle…check, ankle strapped….check, pillows fluffed….check… putting on and binging on Neflix….check and check.

So after I moaned and whined that I was not sure if I could walk with the pain (day one), I was instructed, in no uncertain terms, by my concerned and MOST PRECIOUS spices, that I needed to relax and rest the ankle, and not stress about the walking. Relax?? Rest?? Not stress?? I thought. And there I was thinking my children had figured me out after all this time……clearly bloody not!!!!

So day two, I persisted in my whining, and mentioned that perhaps I should try a slow crawl for a few laps.

‘’Mom, you really need to wait for this to heal, as at YOUR AGE (????) you could cause permanent damage’’, said one (or both) of my swine bastard spices!!!

I am sure I could walk away the pain, I thought….blocking out what disgusting words my spices had just spewed.

Anyway, day three, and I was ready to do a slow limp, to ease my way back into my sanity.

‘’Mom, just Google it before you do any permanent damage,’’ the well meaning Pepper suggested.

So Google it I did. Well I did not like what Google was telling me!! Rest…give it time to heal otherwise permanent damage will be caused….arthritis later in life…..endless, endless reasons why I should do what my spices had suggested in the first place.

So, I did rest. I started doing exercises in my room again, to keep this well oiled machine in the making, ready for my next debut. But what? I cannot hear you!! YES….MY BACK, NECK AND ARMS STARTED PLAYING UP AGAIN!!! Anyway, not one for giving up control, I just went in harder and stronger, determined to move past the aches and pains. Well….don’t bloody even….then I was limping on one leg, contorting my upper body because of the back pain and walking like a duck with aspirations of becoming a penguin!! So, as you can imagine, I was a sheer DELIGHT to be around.

Anyway, until my precious swine spices could take me no longer, I eased back into my walks.

So, in case you thought that is where it ended….last week I sprained or broke 2 toes. I did this by doing something in a rushed and frantic manner…again…..as I do…seldom because it is necessary…which it wasn’t….again. I say sprained or broken, as I do not do doctors unless I have no choice, and I know there is nothing that can be done about it either way. However my trusted adviser, Google, said if there is swelling and bruising, they are probably broken.

However, this was my grocery shopping day, so got into the car, used damaged toes on clutch, shopped on damaged toes, and then….obviously…got a message from a neighbor who here and there walks with me, that she wants to walk. Well, who was I to pass up a walk with company?? So after our 45 minute walk, where I literally looked like a deformed crab, and quietly endured EXCRUCIATING pain, she insisted we call it a day. On getting back home, I finally took my walking shoes off, to be confronted by two swollen and bruised toes. So if Google was to be believed, I had two broken toes. But, I chose not to listen to what the know it all wise ass Google had to say, as it also said ‘’ rest…give it time to heal otherwise permanent damage will be caused….arthritis later in life…..’’

After not being able to resist any longer, which was 5 long days, I took to the road again. I was now limping on my left broken toes foot, granted, slowly, and naturally the cockeyed manner in which I have been walking now has my ‘’not healed enough ankle by the time I started walking again’’ playing up, together with my initial back pains. But hey….my mind is crystal clear.

Interestingly enough, the outpouring of love and affection by my spices during lock down….not so much. No ice bucket to soak my toes, strapping or fluffing of pillows. But even more alarmingly……..no protective instructions to rest until it heals…..…cannot imagine why???

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