Thursday, April 19, 2018


We went back on the road on Tuesday. We traveled to Syracuse last night and landed in Boston today. I've been thinking about this trip for awhile and in preparation started a new routine at the gym. I typically do an about ahour and a half, broken in two parts, one on the ergonometer and one on the cable machine. About two weeks ago I added in something else.

To get into the gym you check in at the desk and then there are a set of steps and, of course, a fairly longish ramp. When I started at the gym I couldn't push myself all the way up. I could, however, pull myself up using the handrails. But a few months into working out and I was able to push myself up, not exactly easily at first but it got better over time.

Thinking about the need to be at the best I could be for wheelchair pushing, I started doing reps of going up and down the ramp. Counting only the ups, I managed I managed between 10 and 15 reps at a time. It got me sweating and it was hard work but I felt sure that this would help me when I was faced with ramps and obstacles on the road.

The first thing I noticed in Syracuse, where we stayed at a hotel where we always stay, is that the long, long roll down very thick carpet to the room wasn't as horrid as I'd remembered it. In fact I even wondered if they'd laid new carpet since my last visit. I asked. They hadn't. It wasn't the carpet it was my strength gained over the winter that had made the difference.


The hotel here in Boston is attached to a mall and after checking in and dumping stuff in the room we headed out to the mall. We accessed the mall by a sky-walk from the hotel and it was on a fairly steep grade down. Suddenly I realized that I was excited about trying to go back up the walk. We took a tour of the mall and I began to worry because my arms were tiring.

But we got back to the sky-way and I pushed up with almost ease!

On the road again.

And ready for what comes.


clairesmum said...

Way to go!

ABEhrhardt said...

It is wonderful to hear about your hard-earned improvements. And it must be great to be able to afford to make the effort.

ME/CFS has robbed me of the ability to fix things by putting in the effort. I always thought I could handle anything - never knew how much we depend on the ability of our muscles to put out effort, and recover from it, until I lost it.

But there are small things I can do - and you encourage me to give them more priority.

Ron Arnold said...

Strength training on the ergonometer and cable machine for something as athletic as what you do getting around in your wheelchair is excellent. (Because it IS athletic! Ain't nothin' otherwise.) The lap reps you described are what will make the difference though as you're using the muscles you're using. In the end - the key to increasing your endurance will be more laps or more pushing anywhere really. I would say to really increase your strength in the muscles that count you could add weight to your chair doing those laps. (Some dumbbells or plates in a book bag would do the trick.)

As a gym rat - my only concern with what I just said would be creating imbalances in what muscle groups you're developing (which could affect posture, cause repetitive stress, etc.) Pushing is balanced by pulling. Just musing . . . I wonder if your weight training in the gym could focus on the opposite muscles you use for pushing - especially if you start 'pushing heavy.' (Perhaps an idea best left to your physician or trainer . . . . ) =)

Anyway - I'm stoked every time you post about your gains. It's awesome!