“I wish you would walk normal”. This was a comment that my therapist jokingly made a few weeks back and I have been thinking about ever since. It was just a way of her picking at me during one of my many therapy sessions, but that comment has stuck with me. What is normal? I don’t remember the last time that I walked normally. It had to be back when I was in high school, sometime before my Psoriatic Arthritis became a part of my life. I mean, what does a normal walk look like? feel like?
In the past seven weeks since my surgery I have slowly learned to trust the new hardware. From standing up for the first time to taking those first few step. From ditching the walker for a cane and now getting around without the use of anything but my new knees. I have noticed that getting up from the chair or bed is becoming much easier and that when I walk that I am returning to a normal walk. But I still go back to wondering what is normal? I mean, I know that before surgery I more waddled like a penguin but besides not doing that how do I know that I am walking normally?
Last week I saw my orthopedic surgeon for the first time since the day after my surgery. He was happy with the way that I am healing, with my range of motion, and with actual movement of my knees. He told me that I have done a good job and to keep working at it. I asked about going to the gym, which he said he doesn’t get asked very often, and the one thing that he said that really stuck with me, he said that my goal shouldn’t be to lift 400 pounds one time but to lift one pound 400 times.
So now I am checking out local gyms to find one that my membership will be of use everywhere that I travel on the norm and also has the equipment and classes that I am looking to participate in. One main thing needed is a pool, since swimming is a good low-impact exercise. Another requirement is that they offer spinning classes. This is something that I am going to have to slowly work up to, since right now I am only doing 20 minutes on a bike at a consistent pace. Spinning will provide me with the cardio that I need and help build the strength that I will need in my legs for when I finally buy a road bike and hit the roads.
This next step in my journey to my new lease on life is going to be a fun but slow one. Still have to build the stamina up and continue to build the strength up. I am no longer going to therapy so it’s all up to me, I don’t have a therapist pushing me anymore, it’s just me and my will power to get to that “normal” walk.