Today I was cleaning the guest room (I’m having a guest) and I looked at the Sainted Airdyne, the Illustrious Bike to Nowhere that got me here, and I thought, “I can get on it. If I can get on it, I can ride it.”
I followed the stragedy I use for getting in the shower. I lifted myself up onto the seat. I put my feet on the pedals, I went forward and backward, not sure I had enough flexion in the operated leg to do a real “ride,” a real rotation. I was happy going backward and forward, when suddenly, I did a full rotation without breaking my 90 degree precaution (an advantage of being short). I rode for about five minutes in a state of absolute wonder. I really didn’t want to do anything else, but I was afraid of overdoing it. I got off and did my physical therapy exercises.
But…I know the best way to get back on a piece of equipment like that is to “ride” two or three times a day for a short time. I went back this afternoon and rode much longer. I didn’t want to get off at all. I suppose not everyone is like this, but for me exercise is emotional catharsis. I sense that some of the pain I still have isn’t directly caused by the surgery but by other things — all the pain for so long and fear of hurting myself now, as if my body says, “If I keep hurting, you’ll be very very careful.” But care at this point is somewhat different. It also means improving my balance and reteaching my muscles how to work. So I said to my scared little self, “C’mon. This will feel good. You don’t have to go far or fast. Let’s just listen to some music and do what we can.”