I like to be active as much as possible every day. I give myself one of two options when I get up each morning ~ work out or do house cleaning. I don’t have the energy to do both. The Sonoran desert here in Southern Arizona is extremely helpful in making sure that my house is covered in endless drifts of dust, insuring that my house is never clean and vacuuming is always a viable option.
For the working out option, there is a small gym that my HOA dues cover membership in and it works fine for me in between days I do Pilates. There are 2 treadmills, a stationary bike, an elliptical trainer and some free weights, yoga balls, etc. Very basic, but it works.
I can do the treadmill if I clutch the handrails and don’t go too fast. I can certainly do free weights on the bench. The elliptical is kind of rickety ~ it makes a lot racket and wobbles a lot. I also got stuck on it once which was kind of humiliating…
I like the elliptical machine because once I get going on it, I feel sort of weightless and imagine this must be what it feels like to fly. One day I was having a wonderful time soaring through the images of my mind and kind of overdid it in my zealousness. When I finally stopped, the old stems had had more than enough and refused to move. Uh Oh. I’m standing on this wobbly gizmo with frozen legs that I can feel are about to collapse from under me and thinking now what? Fortunately, the majority of rental units here where I live are inhabited by young, studly (generally armed) Border Patrol agents who work out all the time. I flashed a sheepish grin, shrugged my shoulders in the most kittenish fashion I could muster, and held out my hand to one of these hunks of youthful manhood who helped me off. BP agents are very polite as a rule and you’d think by this kid’s demeanor that in addition to tracking drug mules and illegals through the desert all night long, helping gimpy middle aged broads off elliptical trainers is all in a day’s work.
I have since switched to a stationary bike that I can sit on long after I’ve overdone it to cool down. Given 5 or 10 minutes of rest I can usually hirple out to the car and go home to relish the dust drifts that have accumulated while I was at the gym.
Last fall, Lisa and I were up in Northern California visiting the family in Lakeport when we happened across a bright blue shiny adult tricycle at K-Mart. My eyes shone, the trike glittered. My mind began to race…could I…? I got right up on it and fell in love. Once back in Arizona, I Googled and searched and researched and fell more in love. I even found someone here in the Barrio who owned one and let me take it for a spin. Amazing!
One of the major drawbacks of having MS, for me, is that I mentally still think I can just go and go and go. Then I realize I am stuck on the proverbial piece of gym equipment, and can’t get down. I can’t realistically hire my own BP agent to follow me around and gallantly save me from awkward situations and perches. A little voice was telling me that a trike was great, but what would happen when I got too far from home and the gams gave out?
Enter the electric trike. I became like the lady in the Napolean Dynamite movie who sees the ship in the bottle and says in a trancelike voice, “I want that”.
I can see myself, you guys. Maybe in a sun hat, toodling through town (one must toodle on a trike, don’t you think?), giving a howdy neighbor wave as I pedal past friends, filling my basket up with wine! and flowers! and bread! and cheese! and kitty litter (I was getting ahead of myself…let’s be real here) and then getting all hot and stuck and powering up and gliding home.
I close my eyes and envision myself on my new trike daily, and have started a dedicated savings jar for it. My goal is to have one of these babies under my tree next Christmas.