Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Day 37: Eye-opening

So I went for my run last night, and it was brutal. Brutal. My legs felt like pieces of lead. But I still did it! Running two minutes, walking one. I know, it sounds really easy, but I'm lugging around a lot of weight right now. Eventually, I'll be able to do it without letting the little old ladies pass me by on foot!

I also just got back from my aerobic class. Check and check for exercise. Eating has been good too. Just had a good lunch, but the sugar monster will come out to haunt me in about an hour, so I'll need to be strong.

I had an eye-opening experience on the streetcar ride to my class this morning. A young woman (not older than 30) gave up her seat for me and my baby. (I know this sounds like a perfectly normal thing to do, but sadly, people rarely do this!). Anyway, she started to play with my son on while we were riding. Soon we got talking, and she told me that she had two children of her own: aged five and six (fifteen months apart!). She then told me that her five-year old was severely disabled / crippled, and was wheelchair ridden. She told me her six-year old was mentally disabled (some sort of neurotypical disorder). When I asked her if she had help at home, she told me that she was a single mom. The strain of having two disabled children was too much for her relationship to bear, and the father took off. She held herself together so well, and seemed so strong. When I told her that I couldn't imagine what some of her days were like, she responded by saying, "You have equally hard days!". I laughed, and said that they were nothing in comparison to her challenges. She shrugged it off, and said that everyone sees their own troubles differently. What a remarkable attitude.

I woke up this morning, and I didn't want to exercise. I whined to myself the entire time as I was getting ready to go to class. I complained in my head about my sore, aching muscles. All the while, there was this girl with two severely challenged children, trying to get through the morning.

We take a lot for granted, that's for sure. Sometimes it takes moments like this to bring us back into focus.

After she got off the streetcar and wished me well, I sat up a bit straighter. I held my son close. And then I did a few extra push ups in class, paying tribute to this woman. Last week, an extra few push ups would have seemed impossible. Funny how we underestimate ourselves all the time, isn't it?

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