Monday, November 9, 2020

Had I known

I have a very distinct memory of wondering how anyone could think walking was exercising; I could walk all day. Fast forward as I'm pulling up my pink and navy striped compression socks, strapping on my heart rate monitor, lacing up tennis shoes that are foreign as a Geisha wrapping her feet.  I opened the door to a muggy fall like evening. This was the first time I've used the socks to walk to see if they will help with my excessive heart rate from POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). A hint, you don't want to be diagnosed with anything with "syndrome" behind it. Syndrome is code for oh fuck we don't know why this happens or what to do about it, so primary care will send you to cardiology, cardiology will send you to neurology and the circle continues. I knew I was too tired to walk, I knew but I wanted to prove my body wrong - prove my mind wrong. It didn't work. The socks didn't work the humid air made them feel so tight against my calves any benefit was lost with the irritation. I came home and peeled them off and collapsed into the cool oasis, a magic cure these were not.

I don't walk in a loop when I am alone; I walk back and forth like the spindles of a bicycle wheel where my home is the center. These are the things I do now to adapt. Things that never before would have crossed my mind by just walking. The word "just" no longer applies to walking. So I go out and back to the starting place and evaluate and then head in a different direction from my literal home base. I do this so I don't need to bother anyone, the what if I get too far and my legs won't work the embarrassing task of calling when I may be less than a half mile from my home. It is a struggle for me to walk a total of a mile at one time. My body always seems to tell me when I'm at .8. As I type this I still can't believe this is true.

When I've had a few good days in a row which has been rare lately I often choose dancing in defiance. I haven't danced in defiance in over a month. I see my heart rate go up and up and up and I don't care if I feel awful or get lightheaded I can sit on the floor and I'm already at home base. If I pay for it the next day so what; I won't leave bed knowing at least last night I danced alone in my living room. Only conversing with Alexa who never listens to me to skip the song or turn up or down. I don't even care she ignores me.

If I had known some day walking over a mile at a stroll pace was going to be a challenging task in my mid thirties I would have laughed. I would have said it's a joke; walking?  I will always wonder why "walking isn't exercise" popped into my head; at least when it did I was running. 

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