I was really hooked on exercise. After seven years in a wheelchair, I was making the most of my new found abilities and I wasn’t afraid of showing off. I went to the church service for mental health awareness week and I got out of my chair and did line dancing at the morning tea. Someone thought it was a miracle that God at healed me in church. But the reality was, it was all down to hard work.
I was at the gym or in the pool every day for an hour. When my six months ran out I got another. I also decided that I would no longer use my chair in the pool or the gym. I would walk from the car-park.
The gym had been expanded and more equipment was added. I started doing weights. It was such a buzz. And then after the hard work I nice relaxing spa in the Rachel Pool. I lost weigh too which was great.
After being able to climb the stairs into the plane, I set another goal. At work, I had a disability park right out the main entrance. There were two disability parks there and if Cathy was working it meant that there were no parks for the public. I wanted to park down in the car park like everyone else.There were two entrances to the building and both had quite steep stairs.
The disability parks were often abused, sometimes by able bodied staff which really made me angry. They could park there for a couple of hours.Often people would double park which meant no one could get through. I figured if my car wasn’t there it would a) be a reminder to staff that it is for people with a genuine need and b) there would be space for others.
I worked hard and one day, I thought well, if I can’t manage it, someone would bring my car up for me. But I did, slowly but surely I climbed the stairs and I never looked back. So I needed a new goal. The community mental health centre was a 10min walk away, down hill there up hill back. Maybe I could do that. To quote Sir Ed, I knocked the bastard off.
Every goal achieved made me try and think of another. The next one was a biggie. On my next trip to Wellington, I would leave my chair behind. I would need wheelchair assistance at Wellington Airport but only because it is such a big terminal and I didn’t want to wear myself out for the next day. And I did it and I am doing it again next week.
And I am careful with my hotels. I always got one that had a gym. If I can choose where I stay, my favourite in Wellington is the Quality, Comfort Hotel. It has an indoor pool as well as a gym so I would exercise in the morning and swim at night. If you are ever in Wellington, try it, the staff are brilliant the rooms are nice and the food is great.
We decided to move to Stratford just before my second six months ended so I didn’t renew. Marty got sick and Jenni and the kids came to stay but I still kept up the aqua jogging. I was trying to find away to exercise that didn’t cost too much. I was going to be out of a job and I didn’t know if Stratford had any gyms. It did have an indoor pool though so I would be able to continue with that.
I thought I would look on Trade Me for exercise equipment. I didn’t want to be one of those people who spend hundreds of dollars on miracle machines that spend all there time in closet on under a bed but I needed something.
I came across a Wii. I had no idea what that was. So I goggled. It looked good, simple easy to use and fun. All the things exercise should be. I found one for $150. That seemed a good price, it had a balance board and Wii Fit plus with it. I asked Simon if it was a good deal and he said yes. So I bid. And I won it. No other bidders.
From that first day I was hooked. I have had it for over six months and I have probably missed about 5 days., .I do about an hour in the morning, I love the balance games. It has improved my balance and my walking so much. I brought a few more games, a kids one that I couldn’t play so I gave it too the grandkids, an exercise one and zumba. That is a bit to fast for me and if Marty is up he laughs so much it is not worth the effort.
At the moment I am 15 week streak so my Wii tells me. It will probably be broken when I go to Wellington next week but that can’t be helped, I don’t get back until 9pm but I will go to the gym in the hotel..
I still use my chair, mainly to go into town, it is too far to walk and easier and cheaper than taking the car. But I am not totally reliant on it. I am a walking miracle. And some days when I am not walking so good, I remind myself of where I have been, how far I have come and what it has taken to do it,
And I am grateful, grateful and I run and play with my grandkids, and there is nothing better than that.
© Barbara Hart 2014