First ascent of 2016: 1 mile, 1,000 ft elevation gain.
I topped the "Y", lungs afire and pounding iron
streaming beneath the roots of my teeth.
Pushing a wheelchair does not provide much in cardiovascular training.
If I can shave 10 minutes off the total hike (which is prime training trail)
by June I'll consider myself back in shape.
Annie, our shower aide, left three weeks ago for another job
and was replaced by Brittany,
who comes every weekday.
The hour and a half her assistance proffers me
I fill with exercise,
which in turn drives my energy during the day
and settles my body and brain for sleep at night.
Why I ever thought less of myself for accepting this service is a mystery.
In the last three weeks my stress levels dropped ten points
and I feel altogether capable of continuing as caregiver
for months, maybe years to come.
If not hiking, I'm on the treadmill reading poetry and philosophy each morning,
maybe lifting a few reps before I go home to shower.
My head is clearer, my optimism less strained.
The ideas flow all day long. Sometimes Mr. PNU entertains me with his own.
We're creeping up on our one year anniversary,
and to me, at least, it's feeling less and less bleak.
Not so much a life sentence
as it is continued adventure and exploration.
Help was all I needed.
And when I called, it came.