Someone recently asked me (and many people have asked me this) whether I think I'll ever walk without my walker.
I will never give up on my dream of running again. A counselor once, I think, wanted me to get to the point where I would be ok with not running again. But that will never happen. The walker isn't the point - if I can run with a walker, then I am running, and that is all that matters. In my dreams, there are no wheelchairs or walkers. I am walking and running. I am climbing stairs and I wake up wondering how I did that. In my dreams it is effortless. The stairs are simple.
I can visualize walking without assistance. When I'm sitting, it seems so easy.
I walk faster on the assisted treadmill now - to me, the rhythm of this new speed feels like running.
I realized something today. It was like in the old days of running. In running, I would start on a run and in the first few blocks, feel like I shouldn't continue. But I would continue. And at a certain point, I would feel the "auto-pilot" kick in, and the running would just flow, as if I could run forever.
Today, at a new, faster speed, the first few minutes were a killer and I thought there was no way I could really do that for 20 minutes. But at a certain point, something kicked in. It was a somewhat natural momentum that felt smooth, the same feeling, that I could go forever.
And so it goes. Sundays after church I used to be "done" for the day in terms of walking. But now it's just a start. And when I told my physical therapist that I hit the time I wanted on the track, she wondered how tired I was afterward and if I got sore. No soreness, and the only tiredness is feeling like I need a nap, which is different than physical tiredness.
And so the story goes and goes and goes.
Life is still difficult in other areas. But there's a hand guiding me. "Take my hand," I am told. "Relax. I am with you." It sounds so... strange.
At night, I'm doing squats. I'm doubting myself.
I look up. I'm fine. I continue.