The row of bicycles at the Rec Center drew me in as I watched the cyclists pedaling fast to workout songs in their ears. In front of their bikes a computer screen depicts a boardwalk scene along the ocean with pedestrians jutting out of the way as they speed by. It's a fun, pretense ride but not for me back in those days when I first joined the gym.
I remember in detail how I climbed on a bike and programmed my workout. I didn’t realize the gentleman on my right was watching me.
“Are you okay?” He asked. “You look like you’re struggling.”
I could barely make a revolution with my stiff, arthritic knees but I wanted to join the pretend marathon. I told that nice man that I better choose other toys in the playground until I get my knees fixed. Then I headed over to the old people’s bike with the high seat and tiny pedals but at least I could ride it.
I told this story to my therapist after my release to go back to the Rec Center. Even though I’ve only had one knee replaced, he got me to a place where I can ride a bike, a real one just like the other guys and gals at the gym.
“I sat there and wanted to cry I was so happy I could finally do it!” I told him.
“I did what I couldn’t do before!” He listened carefully and nodded. He cautioned me that swimming might be a better way to exercise, and he gave me a safe routine for my air bike at home.
However, I hurried to get well. I should have listened to his take-it-slow approach. I found myself, again, joining the row of cyclists a few days later. Even though I programmed an easy ride, I wasn’t quite ready to spend quite that much time there. I paid for it dearly the next day.
What is my new normal?
Do you ever overextend yourself? The Macmillan Dictionary describes “overextend” as to use more of something than is reasonable or sensible.
Over-extension can apply to any area of life, whether physical challenges or other. I think of many ways I get out of balance.
After that experience at the gym, I took a break from exercise for two days. When the walls begin to close in, I know I’ve been home too long. I longed to get out of town. The change of scenery did me good! The turning fall leaves lifted my spirits.
I watched a disaster movie at the cinema. The excitement of the action packed blockbuster, Geostorm, took me into a fantasy that numbed my pain and kept me on the edge of my seat for almost two hours. I forgot where I was!
And you know what? The next day, I felt great again! Balance returned.
How do you relax? Have you seen any good movies lately?