Podcast: My Healing Journey

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs. I heeded the verse that instructed me to strengthen my feeble knees, and the result of me getting up off my bum, of the keeping of persevering despite every physical set-back I had, of the continually holding fast to the truth of what I know scripturally, and by continuing to speak healing over my knees as they ached while running or otherwise, I have been made well.

Following is a 27 minute audio podcast. I have put a couple of excerpts below, but take the journey with me. This is a fun audio podcast of my experience being injured while running, and how healing took place through other mechanisms of exercise. This is rife with scripture, major lessons learned, fun and joy in my process of recovery God took me through.

What God did was to help me out anyway. As I was readying myself to read the bible one night, I opened to this passage “accidentally” which listed my instruction for my knee. It is found in Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” Amen to that.

God’s way may prove hard, but He will always give us the grace to accomplish whatever we need to do, as well. God may be working other things, too, necessary for our growth about which we have no knowledge. I like to say, as I have experienced, when teaching, God has used this profession to work things in me and to work things out of me. But, He is always working to perfect us, to help us. That is what we are called to be, “Perfect, as He is perfect.” But the good thing is that he helps us accomplish this through His son, Jesus Christ, through accepting Him, then God sends His Holy Spirit to aid us in all we need to do.

God always tries to help us, to divert us from disaster, but we have to choose down which path we are going to follow. He even tells us, choose the path of life. God could have touched my knee and made it perfect, but he chose to take me through the long route for which I am grateful. Otherwise, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on the growth process of healing. I love that. I love God showing up for me. That’s the neatest. That is truly awesome. Growing is part of this journey, if we so choose, life. The journey can be fun too. The journey is great. The progress is cool to witness too. I like that. The ups and down are all a part of it. The destination, then, is the celebration. Then, there’s another journey.

The four plus years I have endured of this leg pain has found me at the end of these four plus months in a pleasant place. I am healing. It is working. I’m strengthening. I am keeping working out with weights, running and biking. I continue to heal. I can now successfully run on the beach too which I like a lot – watch out Jason Bourne. I like the treadmill too. My healing has enabled me to do what most take to naturally and without any thought or pain: bending, walking, stretching or sitting. One of the greatest achievements is that I can actually cross my legs now without any pain. That was amazing when it happened the first time. I didn’t even realize it until it happened. I just naturally tried to cross my legs without thinking about it, and then voila, there I am all cross-legged excited for my recovery. That was so huge when I realized that. That continues to this day. Kneeling was a similar feeling of achievement. I love progress.

I can walk down stairs with only minor pain, I can put on my pants, shorts, etc. without the need to kick out my leg, and I can run on concrete, but that causes the most pain maintaining its first place position for the #1 worst exercise for me. I can, however, also run over the bridge, a favorite exercise of mine, without being out of commission for three weeks which is incredible! I am healing, continually. I’m learning to control my desires to run more even when I want too to slowly build and not to destroy the progress I have made. Moderation and not overdoing it is how I am progressing well.

I will say I love the transformation of my body. I’ve never had to worry about weight in my life, but having hit 40 and beyond, gravity was winning the skin’s losing reality. However, I have found that what’s headed south is seeing its way back up north again which makes me very happy. Another triumphant moment in my life transformed.

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs and it’s been a good ride. It’s been a good run as they say. I doubt, however, if I did not have this condition that I would have ever been diligent enough or persevering enough to have stuck with it. I like that it’s shaping me up. It’s helped me to disciple myself too which is so crucial in life for success and I have needed that desperately – peace has come as a result too which was promised in the scripture – less pain, less worry about the pain, less fatigue because of the pain, and therefore less overall stress is what I’ve gained with all of this. Follow-through on the short term makes the long-term a whole lot better. I feel better, I look better, I am better.

I am grateful for lent, a period of 40 days in the Catholic Church of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  I’m grateful because part of what I did for that was to commit to working out at least 3x/week (I fasted slothfulness/lack of discipline), every other day with the exception of Sunday. I don’t know if I would have stuck with this if it weren’t for that. Diligence is a man’s precious possession.

 

 

 

 

Swimming Has a Rhythm

It wasn’t until today that I noticed what I thought was very interesting. Swimming has a rhythm. It has a pattern also. Practicing a pattern over and over will allow a rhythm to emerge.

Lessons from the Pool: Finding My Song!

Today I got in the pool for the third time as I train for my pending triathalon at the beginning of next month.

I did alright. I watched a video the other day of how to properly do a stroke, the freestyle catch – by Chloe Sutton, a two-time Olympic swimmer – shown on You Tube. So, today I employed the catch for the second time. I struggled. There is so much to remember. Am I doing it right? I did not notice so much yesterday while at the gym, but today because my pool is much smaller, I had to focus on getting in all right in just a few strokes. So, I was very conscientious of every movement and how my body was orchestrating or not. Breathing, stroking and kicking – they’ve got to all work together – this is something I gathered on my own and was trying to figure it all out. What is the best form? What is the best form for me? Be consistent with every stroke. Get it right.

It wasn’t until today that I noticed what I thought was very interesting. Swimming has a rhythm. It has a pattern also.

I feel that practicing a pattern over and over will allow a rhythm to emerge. Makes sense!! We’ll see!

 

This is my thought!

There’s a stroke pattern, a breathing pattern, and a hip-swivel pattern that should coordinate with the pattern you use with kicking. The body parts and function of each, each have their own style and pattern, but they must work together like an orchestra to strike the perfect concordant harmony, or your style is discordant, labored and rhythmically disjoined, in addition to being inefficient. This is what I found today.

I may be totally off, but the brief moments I had gotten a rhythm, I was following somewhat of a pattern. Two strokes and breath, breath on the left, swivel the hips to coordinate with your stroke! These are my patterns so far. I liked what I found for me! So, tomorrow, I will practice more, putting it all together for my concordant style.

I have not learned anything about swimming other than that brief video I watched, and a bit of 4-11 Tim, my neighbor, dropped on my when he saw me swim the other day that my feet should be under the water when I kick because that’s how Michael Phelps does it. Well, I looked at one of his video’s, also, and it looked like they were above and below. I employed the below bit, and with the hip-swivel corresponding with my arm stroke, I began to feel a bit rhythmic, and more powerful. It was pretty interesting.

Swimming is a struggle for me, but I’m now looking for my song, so that’s okay. I’m getting it little by little and feel more accomplished already after just today with my lesson learned, and my intrigue for tomorrow awaits. I will look forward to developing my patterns more as I swim in the big pool, and incorporate what I have learned, and will anticipate my practiced patterns will allow my rhythm to emerge!

Swim on.

Holly

 

Giving Myself a Smile

“Sometimes, the best smile we get in life, is the one we give to ourselves.”

So, finally, I got in the pool beginning my triathalon swim training. Last week I tried in the ocean, where the event will occur, which got me about 30 seconds to maybe a minute or two. But I was not able to breath well enough to continue comfortably. Swimming is

not (yet) a strong event for me. Holly love BeachFeeling unsuccessful and weak, I banned it for a while, focusing instead on my bike and run events, each of which are progressing nicely along. At any rate, I made it a goal yesterday to get swimming, finally.

When I went to the gym, I rode the bike for 45 minutes and thought I’d hit the lanes after that. Finding that they were occupied, I happily cruised-out of there, but I knew I was not off the hook. I have a pool right outside my door. Given it’s much smaller, the absence of excess chlorine and the presence of sun shining on me as I swam, I was cool with that during my first official train. I needed those quick fraction-of-a-second breaks too while turning around at each short end to help me with my breathing.

I hymned and hawed with getting out there initially, but eventually made it. First, I did pretty much every chore on my list! My house smelled great, my fridge, floors, kitchen and bath were all clean! I was out of chores besides laundry which was also occupied. However, the benefit to that, after my accomplishment, I would get to come back in to my nice, clean pad and enjoy the rest of my evening.

Having my bathing suit on already, I stuck on my head my cap and goggles, and in considering the end, I claimed to myself, “I am doing it,” and with a smile on my face, I gave myself the thumbs up in the mirror, and I walked outside.

Don’t think of it too much – pull off the band-aid – just do it!! This is where I was at.

Breathing is a priority for me and this is a challenging event in that regard!

I gave myself a five to 15-minute limit. I jumped in, put my goggles down, and finally headed through the water. After a while, my shoulder began bothering me. I pressed in, instead of using it for an excuse to quit, and just made my strokes even more deliberate, focused. Eventually, I was pain free.

After a little while longer, I stopped. I’m finished. I looked at my time, and had swam for over 15 minutes. “I did it!“ I was so happy!

Pleased with my progress, and happy I made it with seeming ease, I jumped out, with a smile on my face, and pressed on toward my evening!

As I readied myself for my shower and prayed gratefully, I considered why the swim was seemingly so easy for me, and I then recalled that maybe it was because a bit of grace was shed upon me as I swam, in response to my prayer I shot up earlier, “Please help me, God.” Thank you, Lord!

Accomplishments and fulfilling my goals fills me up with joy and makes me happy. I have found that sometimes in life, the best smile we can get is the one we give to ourselves.

Holly