Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Zero

The last month has been painful and cathartic. 

The cancer may be gone, but its hurricane of destruction continues. The trauma of diagnosis, chemo, radiation and medication decimate me, body and soul. By 2017, I've gained 50 pounds, lost mobility and have constant pain in my joints.  The weight makes me miserable and clumsy. Sleep is fragmented, energy zero. 

Naturally, I overdo it immediately with my first attempt at getting in shape in 2015. This results in a torn hamstring that does not heal properly for a year. The pain is enormous and constant, the limb weak. I tear another compensating muscle in the front of the leg. A cane is now required to simply walk and the next 6 months are spent icing, wrapping and elevating and gimping. You may have guessed, this results in weight gain, depression and hopelessness. 

It's a dark time and there's a temptation to give up having any semblance of my old, healthy body. Obese people understand this - when even getting up out of a chair is difficult and painful, what's the point? Fuck it, bring on the fried chicken. Maybe this is just the way my life will be from now on. Perhaps one day some cute fireman will cut down a wall to remove my 700 pound corpse, still clutching dead chicken bones. 

That tiny spark of my battered spirit though...she's a feisty bitch that never gives up on me even though I've done so in every meaningful way. She's pretty pissed, and also, I'm tired of being miserable. The leg is as healed as it's going to get. 

Since I feel like Zero, where better to begin? That leg protests immediately. It hurts to move, I cannot keep up with the instructor. My moves are clumsy and unbalanced, with limited range of motion. This makes me want to stop, cry, to order a pizza. Instead, I continue with careful attention and at my own pace. The leg aches 24/7, but in a good way. Pilates Core for Beginners is incredibly difficult, because my core is rotten. I continue. 

After the first week, the leg stops aching and the tightness eases so I add short, low impact cardio and small weights. Mobility, balance and endurance improve. Within a month, my clothes are looser and my joints no longer ache. When rising from a sitting position, the stiffness and stone-like muscle lock are gone. 

Yesterday was a rest day - and I was tempted to workout because already my day does not feel right without it. I didn't though. No reason to rush it.