Walk This Way

Walk This Way

 

 

Walking

 

Whaat?   A guy with multiple sclerosis is gonna talk to ME about walking?

That’s laughable.

Next, you’ll tell me a heart patient is talking about snow shoveling….a diabetic who’s making cupcakes….or a chemo patient chatting about hair growth.

 

All kidding aside, My Odd Sock, accompanied by his two sidekick canes, wanted to take a walk—and we did!

 

 

But before I spin my tale, let me say, anyone who is remotely familiar with the words on these pages (and still have their sanity), will know that I am a BIG advocate of exercise.

Exercise will help you manage your MS.  It helps you mantain strength, balance & flexibility.  Exercise will lift your spirits and shoo away the dark clouds of depression.

We as MSers are not perfect (I have the dribble stains in my underwear to prove it!), but even with our limited physical abilities–we can use what we have left and improve it through movement & exercise.

 

I think I need a cobbler!
I think I need a cobbler!

 

 

That’s why I decided to strap on my well-worn wheels, head to the local track and see just how far I could drag my butt.

 

It was one foot in front of the other draggy-foot in a battle of shoe leather versus the asphalt.

 

 

I chose the local, high-school track because of the smooth, level surface.

No cracks to contend with.  No holes.  And no dips (if you don’t count me).

 

My feat.
My feat.

           

My feet.
My feet.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

I rose from my wheelchair like in a zombie from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.  And began a lurching, clumsy, baby-giraffe like shuffle, quad-step.

Alternating left-cane, right-foot, right-cane, left-foot with the precision of a Wankel engine.

 

Caveman walking

 

 

 

A caveman moved with more grace.

(My back about as hairy.)

(Yo Grog–put on a loin-cloth!)

 

 

 

 

There weSundialre no speed records set here.

Government moves faster.

It was a grind as slow as a retired female stripper at the neighborhood senior center.

 

I made it down the straightaway, stopping several times for a slight respite.

I turned around and retraced my steps back to the comfort of my wheelchair.

All totaled, it amounted to a hike of over 200 yards.

Pretty good for an Odd Sock.

 

I was whipped for the rest of the day, but it was a good whipping.  And I vowed to return and do it again in the coming days.

 

My point is, you gotta do what you can with what you have.

You don’t have to step-drag 200 yards like me.  Walk to your mailbox or back & forth across your living room.

If you can’t walk, reach with your arms & kick with your legs.  Stretch as far as you can.

Lay on the floor and try to roll over.  Lift a canned good over your head for added resistance.

And the next day—do it again.  But try to do it more times than you did before.

Do it because you can.  And you’ll feel better for it!  (Just call me the Jack Lalanne of gimps!)

 

I’d love to hear about what you do–how it makes you feel.

Tell me how it helps you coexist with your MS.

Walking.  Moving.  Exercise.  It’s not just another groin pull.

sock

 

 

8 Replies to “Walk This Way”

  1. You’re so right — we’re an example of “Use it or lose it!” I do whatever I can, and even though I’m exhausted, I feel good about making the effort. For me, it’s stairs — I practice trying to go up without crawling, and down with using foot-over-foot method. I’d never make it 200 yards walking, though. So congrats on the victory and keep up the good work.
    Peace,
    Muff

  2. Muff,

    Congrats go to YOU…for having the right attitude!
    Keep working the stairs! Go up them even if you have no reason (Bet you’l always find something upstairs to put away or straighten–IF your home is like this place!).

  3. I walk a lot, practice yoga and tai chi,(modified versions). I have two sets of stairs in the house that I go up and down constantly. I also use a stationary bike when I can. Use it or lose it I say!

  4. Love this one, it’s so timely since I’ve been motivating myself in that direction, too! I’m glad you got yourself to walk those 200 yards, it’s a major accomplishment and I can tell you felt it that way 🙂

    It was my goal this spring to get my butt out there and do some gardening and walking the dog. So far I’ve glared at the weeds to try to scare them out of ground (it didn’t work, they’re so brazen) and wound up sitting and digging them out with a spade for five or ten minutes. When I finally stopped, pulled my cane out of the dirt and struggled to my feet, I was amazed at how much I’d done.

    Another day I walked my dog six blocks, with a cane, but without my AFO. I didn’t die, didn’t stumble or fall, and was thrilled that I could do it. My dog expressed his appreciation by lifting his leg on my shoe, but that’s his way of showing his support so I didn’t mind. I slept through the next two afternoons, but what the hell, it was wonderful. I plan to do it all again.

    You’re so right that we should try to do whatever we can, it brings an instant reward!

  5. I agree “use it or lose it”. I began to lose it because I did not use it so I began again. I walk up and down my driveway (a slight hill) with my rollator. It’s only about 80feet total but, the more I walk it the stronger I get. Congrats to you both. “Keep on keepin’ on”
    Scott

  6. I go grocery shopping and lean on the cart when needed, I do yoga everyday, I do housework and some sloppy gardening…I walk around my neighborhood, use it or lose it baby (I have used sop cans before 🙂 olivia

  7. Karen, Kim, Scott & Olivia…

    Kudos to you for sharing your success!

    (And extra kudos to Kim’s dog for giving all us MSers a big, leg hike salute!

Making it official.