Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Short Stroll for a Tall Man

It's been several months now that I've been doing wheelchair aerobics but it was only recently that I realized that the DVD had two differing workouts. I don't know why I didn't see it, it's perfectly obvious, but I didn't. I'd only been doing the upper body workout. As a result, I've got very toned forearms and, more importantly, can push myself a significant long distance. This morning I pushed out of the apartment, down a long carpeted hallway, through the doors to outside and then down the driveway to where the bus was waiting. Didn't even break a sweat, didn't even need to think of having any assistance at all. That's cool, exercise has helped - no question.

However, I noticed only about a month ago that there was a 'full body' workout option. I tried it and sure enough there were exercises for legs and feet. Very cool. They were hard to do at first but I began noticing that, with daily exercise, I was increasing the mobility in my joints. more than that, the perpetual swelling in my feet and lower legs was diminishing rapidly. Awesome.

Then today we arrived home from work and Joe had forgotten the footrests up in the apartment. I've always been able to walk a bit and do a little bit of a hallway walk on our floor every other day or two. With the increased exercise to my legs, I've been finding my stamina increased a little bit. My balance, of course, has not improved and falling is still a very real danger. I am pretty much OK if I have my hand out and can touch a wall. The extra input to my brain helps me understand where I am in space. So, I walk either near a wall touching it or with my hand on Joe's shoulder.

I suggested to Joe that we try and walk from the car to the apartment. I've never even walked into the building before, but Joe was up for it. We had the chair with us and in emergency I could quickly sit down. I held on to his shoulder and walked in through the door as he pushed the chair in front of him. To anyone watching it must have been quite the sight. Joe with an empty chair in front of him and a body, too full, holding on to his shoulder for dear life.

But I made it in, on to the elevator, and up to the apartment. The only problem was, when I took my sweater off, my eyes were in darkness for a second and I no longer was touching a wall and I almost went ass over teakettles but I landed hard against the wall instead. I sat down in my chair at my desk and patted the picture of my aerobics instructor and said, 'Thanks'.

I don't endorse products here. I have always turned down requests, even those willing to pay for endorsement. But I've provided the link for other chair users. It took me a long time and many purchases to find a workout that worked for me and maybe it will be helpful for you, or if you work with those who are wheelchair users, perhaps they might like it too.

You know the weirdest thing about walking into the building like that. The elevator has huge mirrors and I noticed how tall I am. I'd forgotten. In that mirror I've always been sitting down. I said to the man in the mirror, 'my, my, you're a big bugger aren't you' ... and grinned.


Anonymous said...

Dave, you gave me the chuckle I needed. In my mind, you are always a tall man in big shoes to fill. Have a great day. Islander.

Janelle said...

Delightful. Thanks for this. Nobody will be surprised that you've accomplished another goal. Yet, that doesn't make it any less noteworthy. Joe and yourself certainly accomplish some wonderful things. Lovely that you choose to share some of those with us.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the recommendation, and will order a copy and try it.

In my case, I use the chair because of my fragile joints.. and all too often, exercise that is good for my muscles, overworks and damages my tissue paper joints, but I'll see how it goes.

Dave, have your tried water exercise? Water cancels out that nasty gravity.


Moose said...

Cool! I am not (yet) in a wheelchair but I am pretty severely mobility impaired (and also have nasty balance issues). This is just what I need, especially now, 'cause I'm coming off a bout of frozen shoulder and having a beast of a time getting the thing functional again. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you are feeling stronger. I wish I had your dedication to exercise. I lost my motivation....I wonder if it will find me?

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