January 9, 2014

If I Could Do It Again…

Free WeightsJust before Christmas, I received the good news that I do not need a knee replacement! The doctor’s prescription: stretching and strength training to ease the knee’s increasing pain and stiffness.

What a relief! No need to put my work on hold. No painful post-surgery rehabilitation – just a natural, non-invasive and much less expensive solution to my problem. I feel very thankful and positive about the results.

I’ve dutifully signed up for personal training sessions at the gym and shopped at the sporting goods store for things I need to strengthen and stretch at home as well. 

I was expecting a very slow and subtle difference in how my knee felt and could move. I have been pleasantly surprised. I’ve seen a noticeable improvement right away – that motivates me to keep at it. I’m eager to see how good things can get.

As thankful and optimistic as I am, I must confess some feelings of regret as well. As long as I can remember, I have been encouraged to exercise – stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak ones. I never saw the need for it. I could move painlessly and with ease, so I didn’t think I needed extra exercise. I naturally chose more sedentary activities and was content – for decades.

What I didn’t realize as the years moved on was that I was moving my body less and less – and bodies are designed to move. Increasingly my muscles have become less and less flexible – and now I am where I am.

While I’m profoundly grateful for a non-surgical solution for my present difficulty, I – just as profoundly – hope that these words will help someone else make wiser decisions than I did.

My advice to you: Deliberately exercise your body every day. The benefits will be amazing!

Guest blogger Alan Flynn of Sacramento has cerebral palsy and grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest, the middle child in a family of five boys. He has two adult daughters and a new grandson. Through his writing, he hopes to challenge himself and others to reach new goals in every aspect of our lives and gain self-understanding and enthusiasm for the opportunities waiting for us. 


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