Today when I went to the gym I did something new.  I spent 50 min in the pool.  I'm not really a swimmer, but my goal was to just keep moving--I did all kinds of laps:  jumping laps, swimming laps, running laps, side walking laps, etc.  it was fun and refreshing and I know I got a good workout (I can feel it). Anyway, while there I saw Deena, who had worked with me when recovering from an illness I had 2 years ago.  I see her often, but she's usually with a client, so we rarely get to speak beyond hellos. 

Tonight was different. We had some time to really talk this evening, and I told her how much I appreciated her work with rehabilitation clients.  We agreed that not all PTs know how to work with that segment of the "gym population" and she shared some of her journey.

"at first I thought I would be working to help fit clients create that perfect body," she said.  "But then I found myself drawn to senior citizens and those recovering from illness or injury."  She told me about how she never writes down her workouts with these clients, "because every day is different for them.  I can tell from their eyes and their body language if they're in pain or if it's a good day."  She shapes their sessions to the moment, not to a pre-arranged plan. 

She encouraged me to trust what my body is telling me and to use that as my exercise goal.  Then I was reminded that Deena has lupus.  "Most mornings I wake up feeling stiff and I tell myself I should change my schedule and rest, all the while getting ready for the gym. Once I get going I find myself feeling better and better, and I know that if I stayed home I'd let my lupus get the best of me"

Deena is an amazing inspiration for me. I think chemo is going much easier this time around because I'm not using it as an excuse to stay home. That doesn't mean I don't need to rest some each day, but it doesn't stop me from continuing my goal to get and stay fit.  In some strange way, I feel better than I have in years.

Thanks, Deena!  You're amazing!