Friday, 6 December 2013

Learning to walk

Ankle update: the cast came off on Wednesday. I can put my entire body weight on the healing ankle. In fact, I have had the permission to do that for the past fortnight, but last week's infection and pain that came with it messed with my walking practice. I'm not quite 'on schedule' with the healing process yet.

Oh, it's hard to walk. The joints are stiff, the muscles weakened. I really need to work on getting my ankle's normal mobility back. I have the instructions, and with common sense and perseverance, I should be able to rehab my ankle. All in good time. I was allowed to keep the crutches for another two weeks, for walking outdoors, where surfaces are uneven and also pretty slippery at this time of year. At home, I should walk without support.

So I do. I walk like a geriatric penguin.

It's hard to believe that only two months ago I walked a marathon in challenging terrain. Yes. An entire marathon plus some: 43K (26.7 miles). The last third of it was quite hard, as my muscles were getting tired, knees and legs aching, a sharp pain in my right heel... but I did it.

I loved the challenge of that marathon, despite the pain and hardship. I did not do it to impress anyone else. I did it to go right out of my comfort zone and to see how I would handle it. My main goal was to endure hardship and persevere until the finish line - and enjoy it as much as I could. A lot of it was very enjoyable, too: the lovely autumnal nature, fantastic views from the hilltops, other participants (the trail runners) to cheer on the way as they passed me - and some even cheered and encouraged me as they went. The Marathon of Dangers is a great event.

Now, a couple of stairs to go up or down is a challenging terrain. I need to love this challenge, too. This will take longer than a day. No one will stand next to me and say "good job stretching, way to go, keep going"...The Marathon of Dangers was one kind of an adventure. This is different - more mundane, less extreme. Still, it takes the same sort of grit to get through.

Will I endure hardship and persevere until the finish line?
Yes. I have a goal, but I'm not going to rely on my own strength to get there. God is my strength and support.

And even if I never heal completely, I can still trust God. The ultimate finish line is not 'walking normally'. It's walking in His path, wherever it takes me, and even if I'm waddling like a penguin.

Psalm 94:18-19
If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.

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