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?


  1. I'm glad you can do what you weren't able to before! It's easy to over extend ourselves. I do it too!
    I haven't been to any movies lately but I hear there is a good one called Let There Be Light, and we are going to try to see it.

  2. It is easy to get excited about something and jump in head first instead of wading in...I hope your recovery continues at a pace you can handle!

  3. Oh how easy it is to overextend ourselves, been there done that!
    Take your time and do your healing in God's perfect time frame and in His way.

    Sounds like your movie was good for you. 😊

    My way of relaxing is by taking a walk out in nature and looking for God's beauty in the small things.

    Bless you ♡

  4. Glad you made the recovery when you waited out the few days between exercising! Haven't seen any good movies lately, but to relax (and escape) I do binge watching more than I should on Netflix or read lots of good books :)


  5. Hi Mary! Going slow when you want to go fast is a real challenge isn't it? I always think I should be faster, do it more often, basically act like I'm 30 years younger than I really am! I know your new normal will come to you, all new things take time.

    I'm glad you have such a patient therapist who listens and guides so gently. And I'm SO glad you're back to normal after some rest. Our bodies are truly a work of art.
    Blessings on you and yours always Mari. Enjoy those movies (I don't like scary ones!) I might go see Thor with my husband...we'll see when it shows up!

  6. The best form of excercising for frail knees is ...walking. Walking can even cancel surgery provided the person is not overweight (if he is , he can try to loose some weight first).

  7. OH, my friend! Overextended is such an accurate, perfect description of my current condition....just spent beyond words. I surely get what you are saying and am so sorry you had to suffer like that. God bless you and heal you...I am praying for you and sending hugs your way!

  8. I usually ride the stationary bike, then head to the movies after a nice dinner. I pay about $8-10 for my ticket. Two and a half minute after the movie starts I am being asked to leave on account of my snoring.

    I kid. I kid. I only snore at the Dollar Movie theater....

    I usually relax by taking out my drawing paper and work on one of the many projects I keep putting off.

  9. You know sister this post is coming at just the right time for me. The 9th I am having my first full knee replacement and part of me cannot wait since I had to postpone it twice so I can hardly get around. But another part of me is dreading the recovery...i just keep telling myself, Betty you are in constant pain now, how much worst can it be but I think it will be worst , for a while. I will keep in mind not to over do...I do look forward to getting back to the pool, everything is so much easier in the water and I love to swim and can do that again since I had my bypass surgery. My goodness this last year has been one of a kind, first I got hearing aides. Then bypass surgery, now knee replacement and I know the other knee will have to be done also...praying my inner man is maturing a little bit more through these trials. Blessings.

  10. Can't blame you sister Mary for being overjoyed with using that new knee! But I'm glad you easily got rejuvenated. Funny, not from a workout but just the simple pleasure of watching a movie. Simple things still do wonder than most advanced technologies. No matter what, you're a courageous woman to be willing to do all this change to better your life. God bless and always keep you. Take care and stay strong in the Lord's mighty power!

  11. So glad dear Mary that you are recovering. Don't overdo it! That's easier said than done isn't it. Oh girl, I have a way of over extending myself! I have gotten much better since I had the mini stroke in Jan. I had to start saying NO for one thing. But sometimes I think we honestly just want to be a part of so much and so much that we forget to rest, take it easy and well, sometimes the Lord has a way of getting our attention. I am learning....learning and learning to listen to His still small voice. I am so glad you were able to accomplish something Mary that you've wanted to be able to do. God is good. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  12. (Gulp...) Over extending myself is my area of expertise. You think I'd learn after this long!

    Good for you to "get back on the bike". Even better that you're not over doing it and pacing yourself. There's tomorrow. And thanks for the reminder.

    Well, I write... Big surprise, huh? I saw The Dark Tower awhile back. Tough to jamb all those books into one movie...

  13. You have a good and wise girl.
    Do not hurry, everything will be fine.
    God has you in his care.
    Blessed weekend.
    Greetings from Poland.

  14. Your terepaut is good and wise.
    He knows you will regain strength.

  15. I just came from Duta`s blog where she too had a post about bicycles and balance in some way so it was a fun connection!! Glad to hear you are recovering!!
    Actually, I love both bicycling and ....as your dr. said, swimming!! Swimming is the only thing I have done regularly for most of my life, its so soothing and even if I have some physical pain or emotional stress, its always something that is great for either. Some people at my pool do `walking` in the pool. There are two lanes for just walking. People of all ages and all physical abilities can benefit from it, and I often talk to people who have back or knee or shoulder trouble, so the walking in water (!!! makes me think of our Lord, though He walks on water!) is good. Well, with that, hope that the LORD guides you with a great plan of exercise and balance, and maybe even new forms of exercise and health that you will discover with His guiding light!! Blessings and Shalom!!

  16. Yes, movies really are a great distraction. They could be great stress-relievers. I also like to travel, write, or play with our digs. :)

    Hey, I'm glad you're okay and you've found balance once again.


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