Today I am beginning week four of my program. My body is under going subtle changes. My back and legs are far more limber. It is much easier for me to tie my shoes. Now I practically bound up the stairs of my house, while a month ago I had to drag myself up and was breathless at the top. Although I still prefer the water, I have worked up to a mile at a time walking on the track.
Along with the capacity to exercise, I am also learning patience, which is definitely not one of my strong points. Last week, for example, I came down with a virus and was sidelined for four days. Fortunately two of the days were Saturday and Sunday, which are my days off. But on Monday and Tuesday, I pretty much stuck to the couch daydreaming and napping. Being sick while retired is really a lot nicer than while working. If this virus had struck during my working life, I would have gone into the office anyway, prolonging the bug and probably infecting my colleagues. Instead, this time I dozed my way through it, patiently allowing my body to deal with the pathogen at its own pace.
The lazy couch time reminded of the days during my childhood when I was allowed to stay home alone when I was sick, while my mother worked in town and my dad worked on our ranch nearby. I was never lonely and enjoyed having the house to myself. My favorite solitary game was to pretend I was a shopkeeper, selling my mother's many pieces of fine china and Wedgwood to imaginary customers. After showing them around the built-in hutches in our dining room, I would unstick the pieces they selected from the shelves (my mother never dusted so things were pretty grimy), wash them, wrap them in newspaper and put them in grocery bags. I would continue this until mid afternoon, when I would unpack everything and put it back on the shelves. Strangely, I never once broke a single piece.
It took a few days after I got over my illness to get my strength and stamina back. On the first day back I did only one exercise block, then two and on the third day, finally the full set of four. This took a lot of patience, but I am slowly learning to trust my body, rather than to fight with it. Perhaps the most remarkable change is that I now look forward to exercise, at least most of the time. I am excited about what I can accomplish during the next two weeks before I leave for vacation. I plan to intensify some blocks. I may even attempt to jog for the first time!