Friday, November 18, 2011

Cuckoo's Broken Wing

Hi. I'm Gellie and I'm a fat fuck. Big surprise I had a stroke, huh? I've been focused for the past 5 months on rehabilitating the right side of my body. I've had oodles of support from friends, family, and even strangers. If you've read my blog before, you know I've come a long way. I know my weight is an issue but I try not to dwell on it. Most women in their early 30s want to feel sexy but that isn't supposed to be a priority for me right now. Remapping my brain is supposed to be the focus. At least that's how I've felt.

Yesterday a group of my mommy friends started a private group for moral support in exercising and eating healthy to help them lose weight. I thought it was a cool idea but I was also envious. I've grown close to these friends over the past few months and I really wanted in. But that's the sort of thing I don't get to be in because I'm disabled, right? As they kept talking I thought, "maybe having someone remind me that I shouldn't eat a hand full of goldfish crackers every time I make my kid a snack is what I need. Maybe when they workout, I can do my rehab stuff so I can at least tag along."

Ahh the glorious internet! This isn't a local, face-to-face mommy group - we're friends online. This means it doesn't matter when or at what pace they workout, because we're all in different parts of the world anyhow. Then our lovely friend who really got this going posted this:

I stared at this on my monitor for a while and realized if I take each step one at a time, modifying as I need to for my crippled ass, I just might get through it. Last night someone asked what workout are you going to do in the morning? I threw my hat in the ring and said the 100 Workout. I figured if I said it out loud (or typed it publicly in this case) then I'd have to follow through to save face. Let's face it, even at 33 peer pressure is a powerful tool.

This morning after my little one was gone to daycare, I got started. I made little notes next to each item to track how I had to modify it. It occurred to me that if use my hand to actually write my notes instead of type them, well then I'm doing therapy on my hand too! I had previously vowed to practice writing everyday until my hand learned to do it fluidly again so this was perfect!

Here's my notes:

Writing doesn't come easy, but I'm getting there.


100 Jumping Jacks
There is no way I'm capable of jumping jacks so I'll think of something to replace this and come back to it. This is obviously a cardio activity so I'll think of something along those lines. ok NEXT!

90 Crunches
 I did 50. I did 20, rested, then 10, rest, then 20. I never rested more than a couple minutes. I also can't get my right arm behind my head so I clasped my hands together on my chest. This kept my right arm from falling off to the side.

80 Squats
I friggin did it! I did 80 squats! I stood in front of the couch just in case my leg gave out and I needed to throw myself somewhere safe. I also had both of my hands holding onto my cane in front of me for balance. I kind of felt like a fat awkward cast member of Chicago. I need to get a tophat. But I digress...

70 Leg Lifts
Leg lifts are actually part of my physical therapy routine. I lied on my back and broke it down like this: Straight leg lifts, 20 repititions on right leg (bad leg) then 20 on left, then 15 on right and 15 on left. (35 straight leg lifts total.) Then I did knee-to-chest, 35 reps on each leg. Altogether it made the total of 70.

60 Jumping Jacks
Damnit. These again. First I tried stepping up and down the stairs in an effort to do something cardio. After squats and leg lifts this was a stupid idea. I decided to walk in place for 5 minutes. My good leg and hip started to hurt so instead I raised my arms in a jumping jack motion, but standing still. Here's the problem: my right arm cannot complete that motion. It can go just a little more than half way and it's never straight. It's all crooked and kind of floats around. But screw it, I did it anyways to keep my heart rate up. I went on flapping like a bird with a broken wing.

To my surprise (altough I should't be surprised because this is what OT keeps drilling into my head) my arm started to go higher and higher. I won't lie. It hurt like a mofo. I almost couldn't take it. Then I managed to get my right arm ALL the way up 3 times!! Yes! 3 times! I checked the timer which was set for 5 minutes. Apparently I screwed up and set it for 5 hours so I had already been going 7 minutes. Damnit!

50 Crunches
I did 35. I had already done 50 and my stomach was still in shock. As I was approaching 30, I realized I could feel an abdominal muscle on the right side flexing. This is a big deal. I haven't felt those muscles at all in 5 months.

40 Squats
Totally did it (still using the cane.) I seriously need a tophat. And fishnets.

30 Leg Lifts
This time I sat up and lifted my knees for 30 reps each.

20 Jumping Jacks
I stuck with the crippled cuckoo bird move. My legs needed a break.

Walk 10 Minutes
I walked and marched in place and lasted 6 minutes.

Altogether I worked out for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Then I sat at the kitchen table where the 100 Workout picture was still up on my notebook, and cried. I cried because I fucking did it. I cried because I'm one lucky bitch to have a group of women in my life that inspire and empower me in ways they probably do not know. I cried because my body felt things today it couldn't feel yesterday and that means this isn't over. I have so much more I get to do.

This post is dedicated to A.N.U.S. You know who you are ;)