Sunday, November 11, 2012

This walk was brought to you by...

So, today I went for a walk around the block. In broad terms, the walk was two stages of about 2.3km each. I walked to the pharmacy at my local shopping centre (which IS definitely only walking distance away, not that I've ever done it since I've been here), and then I stopped for a bit of a rest and then I walked back home. In doing so I have done a big block, essentially. The block going to the pharmacy is mostly downhill with a small bit of uphill right at the start and towards the middle. The walk home is much harder in that the very last part of it is a climb uphill. Wouldn't be anything to a size 8 person weighing 50kg but to me, well, I felt a bit like that poor elephant in the picture! But the point is, it's done.

And why did I decide to do it today of all days? Interestingly enough, it's not because I saw a picture of a superfit athlete or read about the latest diet endorsed by the Kardashian family (which...blah!). No, it was because I read an article in the QWeekend magazine from last weekend. It was about a man who is in his early 30s. I wish I could link to the story but since I can't seem to find it online, I'll sum it up. In his late teens and early 20s this man had, through determination and knocking on doors and putting himself out there, landed an apprenticeship at a top Sydney North Shore restaurant. He was apparently one of the most promising young chefs in the country, on his way to the top. And then one night, he wrapped his car around a pole (no drink, drugs or wet roads involved - just one of those things) and just like that, his life changed forever and was reduced to him lying in bed all day with about the most severe form of quadriplegia that you can have, only really able to move his head from side to side, entirely dependent on carers for every aspect of his life. Not only that, I don't know much about being quadriplegic but apparently even though you can't move, you can still feel quite severe pain.

And you might ask, did this inspire me because this guy is being brave and putting on a face of strength against the enormous odds which confront him? No. Far from it. In fact, he isn't handling what's happened to him well at all. He gets very angry at life and at people and he does ask a lot "why me" and he laments what has been taken away from him. But who of us could honestly say we wouldn't react like that to such a situation? I can just about guarantee I'd be just as bad as he is and I think in a way he has every right to feel that way.

However, what it made me see was that I bet that guy would give anything to be in the sort of pain I am in when I go for a walk. I bet he wishes he could have a sore knee, a sore back, have difficulty doing physical things as I currently do. The thing is, there is nothing he can do about it. But me? I have the power to do anything I want to. I have the choice - he doesn't. I can choose to just get out there and do things to improve my situation (because if nothing changes, nothing changes, of course) or I can just lie around wishing things would change. News flash to self - they won't. Wishing I was fit and wishing I was thinner is not going to bring a genie in a bottle along to cast a spell on me and make it so.

So, in a roundabout way, what I'm trying to say is I've decided I'm going to make more effort and push past the unpleasantness and pain and difficulty which currently is how exercise is for me. The only way to change that is to do it as often as I can manage.

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