Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

ABBEY

My youngest daughter invited me to go to a woman’s retreat hosted by her church. I have attended a few over the years and totally enjoyed each one of them. It is a chance to take a break from my life, spend time with my daughter and see if there are any messages that haven’t gotten through because I’ve been too busy.

Normally the retreat is held in September, this year, it was later, almost November. Cooler weather — winter coats anyone. Thankfully I had already switched my summer clothes for Fall. We had been at the Abbey before, but I had forgotten all the stairs involved in getting from place to place. In the warmer weather, we had just exited the building, walked through the grass and entered where we needed to be. Not wanting to carry a coat around, that wasn’t the option this time.

Thankfully my knees have improved. I don’t know how I would have managed if the retreat was held during the summer. Arriving at the Abbey, before dark, the parking lots were already full. Eight hundred woman had signed up for a refreshing of spirit. My daughter parked close to the spa. And we entered that door. It was building three of five — all of which are joined by hallways and stairs.

I had a pleasant surprise. It had been a four hour drive and since my daughter has an SUV, my knees didn’t hurt. As a matter of fact, I didn’t need the adjustment time that normally occurred when I had been sitting for more than an hour. Our next car might need to be an SUV.

The distance from where we had entered to the front lobby was interesting. Made more interesting when we decided to help a fellow member who was loaded down with luggage, bags and a cooler making her way to building five. We offered helping hands. Many hallways and flights of stairs later we arrived at the lobby, helped by the lobby signs pointing the way. Only to learn that our room was on the first floor, near the spa, in building three.

I was VERY GRATEFUL that I had been taking Arthocin for three months. I hate to think how I would have managed if my knees were still as painful as they had been in the summer. I have to admit that I shared my experience with the Arthocin with many of the woman at the retreat.

I won’t bore you with the minute details — just the highlights. The theme of the weekend was Grace Overflowing. And I noted many times that Grace was Overflowing. It started on the way to the Abbey. We stopped at a Barnes and Noble in Rockford — just to break up the trip. I found a mystery book by Donna Andrews that has given me many hours of laughter — two books in one, at a reduced price. I was unfamiliar with her books and plan to investigate further.

During the opening prayer, I closed my eyes and had a vision of many rosaries — the whole screen filled with strings of beads. Many people praying for not only the retreat but family members, our world and other concerns. The room assignment near the spa gave me signs to follow getting back to our room. We decided that since the car was parked so close to our room, to leave it there and eat at the Abbey. The food was excellent.

I opened the bible on Saturday morning to Psalm 107:21. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.”
Snow showers during Saturday morning. I attended a session on the importance of taking care of your body and soul. The importance of celebrating the Sabbath — taking time to refresh, restore. I talked to the person who was leading the yoga and decided my time would be better spent in the pool and hot tub.

We crashed a party on Saturday of some of my daughter’s friends. The restaurant was completely booked, they had reservations for thirty five, not including us. The manager found a couple of chairs, we became a party of thirty seven and totally enjoyed the buffet of crab legs and prime rib.

Sunday morning, I opened the bible to Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send and who will go for us.” And I laughed.

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GARDEN

In the city, BEAUTIFUL FALL DAY — blue skies, sunshine, very windy. I went to the Garden. Thankfully I brought the hat my oldest daughter bought for me in Florida. It has a ties that can keep the hat on when the wind blows. I would have lost the hat at least three times. I almost did when I put it back on and forgot to tie it under my chin.

When I left the house, the temperature was in the low 60’s. I wasn’t sure how warm it would be at the Garden so I wore a long sleeve shirt and a hooded vest. Then I tied my jacket around my waist. I had to laugh when I saw my shadow. In fact, it was so silly that I had to take a photo of the strange person walking ahead of me.

It was late in the year but many flowers were in bloom. I LOVE the roses. When I first entered the Garden, a white rose was high lighted. It had a lovely fragrance. And a lovely name — MOONDANCE. I wander the Garden with camera in hand. I must admit that I probably take the same pictures each time I go. That morning, the sunshine on a bush made the leaves look like silver. A closer inspection revealed that the leaves were really green, no silver any where.

I usually follow the same route when I visit. I arrived just as the bells rang out the hour of noon. This time I decided to be good to my knees. I sat down three different times during the ramble. Each time I decided to sit, I paid attention to the wind and picked a sheltered area. I also made sure that I would be able to get back up. The first time, I looked at a sheltered brick open building but decided to sit on a bench and enjoy the fountain and white mums instead. Soon after I sat down, a dad and his little girl wandered to the space. Perfect place for her to play and good photo opportunities. I was glad I picked the bench.

I wandered down a lane that is full of flowers on both sides. In the spring, tulips and poppies hold court. They are replaced by an assortment of summer — fall varieties. They are the favorite hangout of hummingbirds and photographers. A woman stood at the ready, camera in hand. I asked if hummingbirds were still at the Garden. She replied that they had left but she was on the lookout for Monarch butterflies. She had a bigger camera than mine. When I felt the weight, I was very glad that my camera is SMALL and LIGHT. Her camera was a retirement present to herself. She has tremors in her hand and the speed of the camera keeps the tremors from showing.

The waterfall was still flowing. Another opportunity to sit and listen to the falling, singing water. I wandered to the island just as the bells rang the one o’clock hour. I thought I saw mountain mint, it smelled like mountain mint, but I was surprised when the sign read Russian Sage. If I remember, I would like to get a plant or two for our garden in the country.

After stopping for lunch in the cafe, I left the Garden as the bells chimed two o’clock. I was very surprised — my knees DID NOT hurt. I was also very surprised when I learned that I had walked over 12,262 steps.

KNEES

I might have mentioned or complained before that my knees were giving me problems. Now the smart thing to do would have been to go to the doctor and get x-rays to determine what was causing the pain. But I didn’t do that. At first I gave my self a time limit — if my knees weren’t better by —–? That day came and went and I still delayed.

I tried to lose weight. My problem is that for the most part, I eat healthy and don’t snack. I eat candy — but I only have a couple pieces of dark chocolate a day. I drink a couple glasses of red wine a day too. But I don’t drink pop or a lot of juice so most of the stuff that is given up to lose weight is not on my eating plan. Nor do I eat a lot of processed food — most of them are high in sodium and I’m restricted. I have been drinking apple cider vinegar with honey in the morning to help my digestion. I think that drink has contributed to my loss of belly fat.
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This summer when we were at the camper, I joined others in the pool for aquacize. Exercising in the water was good for my various body parts. I didn’t use any weights so I didn’t stress my shoulder or knees. I was careful when it came to leg exercises. I wish I could say that the pain decreased. If I paid attention to the wear on my shoes and got a new pair in a timely fashion it might have. I didn’t go for the long nature walks that had been my practice in other years.

So I’m rambling on and I bet you are wondering why. I just have to share. I’m so pleased! In August when we were in central Illinois, my husband and I drove to horse county (my granddaughter’s term for Amish). There we visited their bulk food store, stopped for lunch, then visited their health food store.

I asked the young (80’s) man if they had anything that was good for arthritis and he recommended ARTHOCIN — for joint lubrication, flexibility and comfort. 2 pills a day along with Curamin for pain. They only take cash or checks at the store. I didn’t have enough money to buy both so I got the Arthocin. I’m happy to announce that after a month, the pain in both of my knees has diminished. I bought a joint specific Tumeric Curcumin to take for pain until I was able to get Curamin.

We are home at the moment but the pool is closed for the season at the camper. I might look for a pool in the city but we aren’t ready to just stay home yet. I did Jane Fonda’s strength training the other day and was surprised on the emphasis on the knees. I thought I might be in trouble — but thankfully I wasn’t. I’m able to sleep at night without knee pain keeping me awake. This morning I surprised myself when I walked down the stairs like I used to before knee pain. My shoulder is better also.

This morning, I started month two of taking Arthocin morning and evening. I don’t know if I will need to take it long term, but I’m happy with the results and have to share.

NOT THIRTY

I don’t know if I will ever regain my flexibility. I don’t know if I will ever be able to get down onto the floor and easily get back up. I don’t know if I my knees will work like they did when I was young. A couple of years ago I DID NOT feel my age or even really remember it. Sadly the restrictions that I’m experiencing because of my aching body parts remind me that the years have flown by. I have discovered that water exercise is VERY GOOD for me. Our campground has it every weekday morning. If we are at the camper and the day is dry, temperature 70 or above, I’ll be in the pool.

The person who volunteers to lead the exercise has a GREAT routine that helps many of my body’s issues. Weights are available but I have learned that it is better for my shoulder to just use my body weight instead. I have also learned what leg exercises to do and which ones hurt rather than help.

Sounds positive right? Our instructor had to miss a session and arranged for a certified instructor to teach the class. She does water Zumba also. Her warm up exercises where high energy. I should have been paying attention. I WASN’T. I thought moving quickly the width of the pool would be okay. I WAS WRONG. It didn’t take much time before I had a pain in my knee. “You can do this”, I told myself. It wasn’t too much longer when I realized I could not keep up with her. I also wasn’t able to do the gentle exercises my body was used to. I hadn’t acknowledged my limitations. I left half way through the session. By then I realized that not only did I hurt my knee but the pain traveled down to my ankle. I’M NOT THIRTY ANYMORE, OR EVEN SIXTY. It has taken more than two weeks to get my body parts back into the shape they were before. Soon we are leaving for the city. We will be back but will there still be water exercise? I KNOW I’M NOT DOING ZUMBA.

Recently a man came in to the exercise hour. He did not WANT TO EXERCISE,. He wanted to swim — first in the deep by the diving board, then in the deeper water. Before we knew it, he was swimming in the shallower part of the pool, underwater near me. I told him if he wanted to swim, he needed to go into the deep. His actions brought back a memory. Last year a man swam underwater near me, catching my leg and almost removing it. I’m still dealing with the effects of that accident. That probably explains why I don’t go to the open swim. That also explains why I’m having more trouble with the knee — water exercise is helping make it better.

EAT TO LIVE

It is no secret — I’m always trying to lose weight. It has every thing to do with my knees hurting and my desire to get some of my weight off of them. I continue to try new things that might help. Since I’m no longer young and eat a healthy diet, it is not as easy as giving up soda and snacks. Because of various body parts, I can’t do the exercises I did was I was younger and more flexible. I’m always looking for a new diet plan or cookbook that will help me attain my goal.

Before we went to the camper the last time, I saw EAT TO LIVE, by Joel Fuhrman at Costco. When I picked the book up, I was impressed by the nutritional information. The recipes were quick to prepare, high on protein and low on sodium. Everything I need in a cookbook.

So far I have made four recipes from the book of 141 — one was a soup, two were salads. The only one that didn’t work to my expectation, was my fault. the soup and the salads were filling. I wasn’t hungry after lunch, looking for other stuff to eat. Did I lose any weight? I’m not sure. When we are at the camper, we eat out regularly and I consume more sodium than I should. The temperature has been in the 80’s. Do I drink enough water? Many questions — no good answers.

I enjoyed everything that I made. I found it helpful to have a salad in the fridge, ready to eat when I came home from the pool. I have planned not only to make the same recipes again, but I have looked through the book looking for more.

I have been going to aquacize on a regular basis. As long as I pay attention to the exercises, make sure I’m not stressing my shoulder or my knee, it seems to be good for my shoulder and for my knee. I’m having an easier time walking.

I tried on a dress I bought in Aruba last year, I couldn’t wear it, my tummy got in the way. I tried it on last night, it is now a possibility. That is PROGRESS!

THE TUB

We have an old fashioned claw foot tub in our upstairs bathroom. Over the years I have enjoyed many hours soaking in it. Sadly I haven’t been able to get in it for years. How many? I really have no idea. I don’t know if I was able to enjoy a bath when I had the ulcer on my leg. I know since it has healed I haven’t been in it. Then there is my weight, and the inner tube where my tummy used to be. Lets not forget that my knees are now a problem — if I get down on the floor, getting back up is a challenge.

So I’m sure you are wondering why I’m writing a thought ramble on the tub. It was a combination of circumstances. First I was home alone and my knees were hurting. I thought it would be an excellent idea to soak in the tub. Evidently I wasn’t thinking. I decided that I would climb in fully dressed and see if I could get myself back out.

I DIDN’T take our house phone or my cell phone in to the bathroom with me. I knew my husband would probably call and would expect me to answer the phone. OOPS! I had accidentally washed his cell phone and he needed to get the new one connected. He was at the store working on that issue.

I used our grandchildren’s step to help me get into the tub and sat down with a bang. I was VERY comfortable sitting in the DRY TUB. But I had to get out. I tried pushing my body up using my feet. My slipper socks prevented my feet from getting traction. No problem, I took the socks off. But it didn’t help. I slowly raised my back up to the top of the tub but not high enough to help. Next brilliant idea! I threw my leg over the side. Now What? — leg dangling over the side didn’t help. Thankfully I was able to get the leg back into the tub.

I was VERY COMFORTABLE resting with my back against the back of the tub. I could have sat there until someone came home. But if the phone rang, I couldn’t answer it and someone would be worried. I would get a royal bawling out. My next brilliant idea actually worked. I pulled the little step into the tub. Lifted my butt onto it and got out of the tub. I might actually try that again — later. I would like to loose a few more pounds first or get more flexibility into my legs.

ON THE WIND

I often send up a request for HELP, or PATIENCE or ANSWERS. I don’t want to convey the idea that I ALWAYS receive an answer or a message or the ability to accomplish the task at hand. BUT the reality of the situation is that if I pay ATTENTION, stay open to answers — whatever the query was for is often answered. My recent requests were for HELP — weight loss and a solution to ease the stiffness in my body. All the messages I receive are not answers to my queries, sometimes it is something I have to know.

I recently had deep cleaning done to my teeth. I have to admit that I wasn’t overjoyed when I was told to come back in four weeks for a check up. I thought I was DONE. I wanted to be DONE! The next day I had an email that emphasized the importance of the health of your teeth — how important it was — linked to a healthy heart. I think someone was trying to tell me something. I GOT THE MESSAGE! I will make another appointment, longer out than four weeks because of travel plans but before summer actually starts.

Although the scale finally moved, it didn’t move that far and now it is stuck. The recent dampness and cool weather has made my legs feel like wood — they don’t want to move. I really don’t know if I have received the answers to my queries. BUT walking Robin I ran into a neighbor of mine. She has lost a substantial bit of weight but has also stopped. She remarked that she has to count calories, stay under 3,000 a day.

While I write down the food I have been eating, I haven’t been entering the details into any of the programs that give me a calorie count. Although I continue to exercise, I haven’t been doing any of the programs that are more intense or that raise my heart rate. If I want more results, I have to become more active, enter the details of my diet and increase my exercise.

Recently I shopped at Costco. a person was sampling ECODRINK — a multivitamin in a liquid form. Now I take a combination of vitamins and herbs that seem to help my body. The stiffness in new. Recently I also had an extremely bad cramp in my right leg. The person sampling the product said not only prevented leg cramps, it helped the hair and the nails. Now I take Magnesium on a daily basis but it wasn’t enough on this particular evening. I don’t know if this drink will be better for me than what I am currently doing but I am willing to try. Will it help the stiffness in my body? I don’t know. And I won’t know unless I try it. The drink replaces five of my morning mix of nine pills.

I have a month’s supply. I’ll have to pay ATTENTION and try to keep records to have an idea if it has helped: leg cramps, breaking nails, stiffness in my body. Is this drink an answer?

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