Title Peter Pan reference anyone? Yes, it is. Just clearing up that it does not refer to me. Or anyone I know.
Trying to type a blog this morning is hampered by one thing. I can’t pick up my computer. OK, two things. There is a cat on my lap, causing me to type crooked and crane my already-sore neck. But this is normal. Unfortunately, the elbow pain that causes my current inability to left an object of more than two ounces is becoming normal. And I do not like this.
I hurt my elbow picking up a griddle to wash it last night. True story. I could not make that up. And now pain shoots up my arm if I even contemplate squeezing the toothpaste, let alone anything more strenuous.
Between the anti-rejection drugs that keep me alive but prefer to treat my body like an amusement park fun house; some thirty-five extra pounds sitting on my knees, hips, and ankles; and my, ahem, maturity level, there is a big lack of cooperation between my brain and my muscles. My brain says I can hike volcanoes and clamber down rock slides and garden for hours. My body says, “Um, no, I think we’ll just sit in a hammock and drink iced tea, except if you even try to get in or out of one of those things I will hurt you. Honestly.”
My body says I can’t even pick up a stinking frying pan. Pathetic.
No, this is not a sob story in which you are to now feel so sorry for me that you send well wishes and gift cards and money. Although, that would be OK if you felt so led. Amazon or Target, if you’re asking.
This is a story of legitimate fear. I have some things that I love in life. Traveling. Gardening. Rock climbing and hiking. I do fear a body that one day will not allow me to do all the things I still dream of doing. Some of it is in my control. Some, like the effect of medication causing way-too-easy injury, is not. I am honestly terrified of the day I look out at this beautiful creation in which I want to run, jump, and play in every corner and realize, I can’t.
Then I remember that part that is in my control. And I remember I should be incredibly grateful that any of it is in my control. For many, it is not. And I renew my commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure that I can run and jump and play.
More than that, I renew my commitment to be active in God’s world, carrying out his plan, for as long as I am able. Far worse than not being able to live my dream of cruising the Galapagos Islands or hiking the Coastal Trail of Wales would be to have to say to God, “I can’t do what you ask. I can’t finish your dreams for my life. I didn’t control what I could to be physically able to do that.” That would be the worst kind of horrible.
Our lead pastor has been talking about this subject the last few weeks, and the reflection on strength got me off my butt, literally. I’d been thinking for a while I needed to find some basic strengthening exercises to do what I could to keep injury at bay. I know meds make me prone to it. That doesn’t mean I have to go down without a fight. So I did, finally. I looked them up. I now have a roster of things to do to make those muscles holding together my aching knees, shoulders, and ankles stronger. And I’m doing them. Not perfectly. Not every day. But I am doing what I can to control what I can. So I can hold off that day when I say “I can’t” for as long as possible.
If you would like to see the exercises, try here. http://www.pinterest.com/jimari/in-my-dreams/
If you want to listen to the awesome message on strengthening our bodies for God’s use, go here. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-get-physical-what-physical/id568584787?i=169131857&mt=2 (Our pastor is pretty great.You will like it. Trust me.)
If you just want an iced tea and a hammock, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Those things are killers.