I used to ride my elliptical machine for an hour every other morning. Since all the problems with my knees started I haven’t been able to ride it at all. After visiting the physical therapist yesterday he finally gave me the all clear to try it as long as I took it easy and put the height to a position that doesn’t hurt my knees. I decided that today I wanted to try to ride it for just ten minutes.
The elliptical machine is in the basement of my house so just getting to it is very interesting. I can’t go down stairs very well yet and getting back up is a whole new ball game that I will cover farther down in this blog.
Here is the down trip: First of all I need both hands to help me go down and I have to go one leg on a step then bring the other leg to that step and also I have to be standing sideways. I also needed to take water down with me and I decided that I would take a few extra bottles with me to leave down for next time. Needing both hands to hold on as I went down the steps I had to find a way to get my stuff down the stairs too. I decided it would be best to toss each bottle of water down the steps instead of trying to carry them down. My cats who are always all up in my business noticed me heading for the basement and were all the sudden excited that something new was happening in our house this morning. Anything new is an exciting day for the two of them, so I should have known that what was about to happen would happen. Just as the first bottle left my hand Bart decided he would race me to the bottom of the stairs and he managed to dive right in front of the bottle of water that had just left my hand. I am not sure how he was able to avoid getting bowled over by the flying water bottle but somehow he did. Upon seeing Bart’s near miss Mr. KB decided he would like to give it a try himself so just as I carefully tossed the other two bottles down he made a mad dash to dive right in front of the bottles and managed to get nipped just a tiny bit. The hit was not enough to hurt him physically but his pride was hurt so much that he sat at the bottom of the stairs and glared at me as I began my descent. If looks could kill I would be a dead woman right now and you would not be reading this blog post. I also had my phone tucked into the waist band of my shorts because I had decided that just in case I fell down the steps or could not get back up I would maybe need a way to call someone to come save me. About half way down the phone slipped out of my waistband and dropped right on top of my foot…ouch…and then bounced down the steps and you guessed it right at Mr. KB who was still not over the water bottle incident. He ran back up the stairs just about bowling me over and as far as he was concerned this adventure was over!
After what seemed like forever I was finally at the bottom of the steps and ready to tackle the elliptical but then I soon discovered another obstacle that I had not planned on. I had to figure out how to get on the machine. Since my surgeries I cannot step up a steps without a railing because my legs muscles are not strong enough and the physical therapist has been helping me strengthen my leg muscles. He has finally gotten me up to a two inch step and but here I was looking at the elliptical which had about eight inches from the floor to the foot pads. This was something I had really never noticed before today and after a few fails I did finally did have a win and manage to get on the machine. As you know, the goal was to ride for ten minutes. During those ten minutes other than I kept pushing the height button on the ramp, up and down and up and down until I found a comfortable place to ride that did not hurt my knees, the rest of the ride was uneventful and I am happy to say I finished the ten minute goal! YAY!
I know ten minutes does not seem like a huge goal and I would’ve been very disappointed in myself for only making ten minutes on the elliptical machine a year ago, but today ten minutes was huge and boy was I sweating! Excited I started to get off the elliptical and then I realized there was another obstacle I had not planned on… now I had to figure out how to get off the machine, this was a very interesting problem. Every time I would try to get off the machine it would almost tip over and I could not just step off. I finally figured it out though and my ten minute workout which was now up to about 30 minutes (thanks to step descending and cat bowling) was complete.
It was now time to go back up those stairs! Me climbing stairs is an interesting sight to see. I pulled myself up with my arms holding on to the railing and when I reached the halfway mark there is a ledge opposite of the railing and with that I was able finish using the rail in one hand and pushing of the ledge with my other. When I reached the top I raised my arms in the air just like Rocky and said, “YES!” Who would have ever thought something that I never ever really thought about would be so hard and yet bring me so much happiness to complete??! 🙂
My happiness was short lived because at that moment I realized I had left my phone in the basement. Ohhhh noooo! By this time I was exhausted and thought if I go down those steps again I will never get back up a second time! I know I sound like I’m exaggerating but that staircase that I used to fly up and down no-handed, now feels like going up ten floors.
I looked down the stairs; “I can’t do this again!” but a voice in my head said, “oh yes you CAN!” and then all the sudden something inside of me changed. I don’t know that I really wanted the phone as bad as I just wanted to be able to climb those stairs again, so I went for it! I went down the stairs, got the phone and then one more time reached the top and this time I wanted to do the victory dance and jump up and down thing Rocky does once again 🙂 (watch the video at the beginning if you don’t know what I am talking about).
It amazes me what a person can be thankful for when you look at your life from a totally different perspective. Today I’m thankful for the ability to climb a staircase…wow. Today I had to overcome a lot of obstacles just to get what I thought was going to be one small thing accomplished. That is how life is though… always filled with a lot of obstacles. The obstacles I faced today were nothing I ever even paid attention to or considered obstacles at all a year ago. That just goes to show that a person just never ever knows where they will be in life. The small stuff may become big stuff and the stuff that used to seem really small can become really big. (Did that even make sense?) 🙂
When stuff gets tough a person has two choices. Either chose to sit back and not try or tackle the harder choice. Sometimes the harder choice may not go so well but at least we can know that we tried. To me it just seems like it would be sad to never know just how much could have been accomplished had we tried, than to have never tried at all. Even if we try and fail it’s really a win because at least we gave it a shot. I can never ever give up not matter what.
Every single day since all this stuff started with my knees I have I asked God to give me the strength and the courage to push through the pain, the strength to persevere through the weakness and to stand up tall and be strong in whatever obstacle comes my way. I can’t say that every day I do all those things, but on the days like today that I do, I find that He gave me exactly what I needed to win. Life can be really really hard sometimes but if life were always easy I think I would never know what was like to strive for things or to want to do better. If life were easy I would never be thankful for something that I used to think was pretty small and I would never have realized that those every day ordinary things are really very huge and should never be taken for granted.
I know it sounds as if I am bragging today and yes I am, but is not me I am bragging on. The One I am bragging on is my God because without him none of this stuff I wrote about today would ever be possible and I feel so blessed and thankful that he loves me so much that he pushes me to try harder and then helps me to do it.
In closing I would like to say if you think that the obstacles of your life have gotten in the way so much that you have been knocked down so many times that this time you feel so far down that you don’t think you can ever get back up again, call on Jesus ask him to give you the strength you need. He will help you get back up and he will help you persevere through whatever it is.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Have a blessed day and thanks for reading,
Oh and by the way after writing this I decided to tackle those stairs one more time …. I needed a picture of the elliptical 🙂