I was having lunch with my dad yesterday. We were talking about my progress at the gym. Our conversation was the inspiration for this post. I’ve been working out regularly for about a year. I’m significantly stronger now than I was when I started. I know this intellectually. I can see the progress. I’m lifting heavier weights. I’m able to successfully do movements now that I could not do a year ago. I can get up off the ground without any assistance. I know I am stronger. The strange thing is, I don’t feel any stronger.
I still feel like the physical things in life take the same energy they always have. I have to remind myself that, even though it’s still hard, it’s a little easier than it used to be. I also tend to live near the top boundary of my abilities. I went to show a house this weekend and completely forgot to take my cane with me. I was leaving the house when I realized I’d left it in the car. I know I’m stronger.
I think my take away is this. I’m always going to feel normal. Normal is always going to feel like work. I can be weak-normal or I can be strong-normal. Strong-normal is better than weak-normal because I can do more when I’m strong. Being stronger affords me the opportunity to fail at a higher level and to succeed at a higher level. Plus working out also reduces my pain level. I’ve found that the days I move the least are the days I hurt the worst. Clearly, I’m better off now than I was a year ago.
Forward motion is a mental battle to keep moving forward. Tomorrow is coming, it always does. Am I going to rise up to meet the day or let it slip by. That’s the mental battle. It seems like the barriers to what I want in life are out there in the world but the real barriers are in my head. Forward motion is a mental battle.