About a year before having knee replacement surgery, I stopped using stairs. I would have to find the elevator or escalator. We would search out the “special” elevator for events held at Safeco Field. Instead of stairs, we found the hidden elevator at the cheese factory in Oregon. Instead of taking the stairs to the beach, Mr. Right found where he could drive and park so we could just go down two or three and be right on the beach. For heaven’s sake, before attending graduations and musical performances, attending church, visiting friends homes, my concern was more about managing the stairs than what I was going to where or what I would be doing or enjoying. When someone would tell us about a new restaurant or an art exhibit…..again….you get the idea.
Even getting into a pool or hot tub, the issue was always the stairs. Use the hand rail, be extra, extra careful, go slowly…
During my recent physical therapy days, there were stairs. Count ’em 5 up and 5 down. They did not go anywhere. In case you did not (we don’t) have stairs in your home, you could practice and work the muscles that used stairs. It was rather boring and I sort of felt goofy. There was no reason other than to practice, to use those stairs. I didn’t see much improvement from one visit to the next.
When our boys were 7 and 10 we moved to Germany. They were learning to speak German. We practiced and practiced and practiced some more. It wasn’t until one of them asked if they could please get ice cream from the ice cream truck, did this mom figure out the “magical carrot”. Sure I said, here is some German money, if you want ice cream, you go, you ask in German and you pay with German marks. Well, guess what? They both were excited and both came back with ice cream and change. Mom, could I please purchase some drawing paper? Mom, could I get a roll at the bakery? Sure, you speak German and you pay, and you will get what you want.
Today, I am biking 3.5 miles each day and walking 1 -2 miles. While on our trip to the beach, I realized that I walked up the stairs to the quilt shop, no problems. I walked up the stairs to the bakery. I walked up the stairs to the pool and the hot tub, easy peasy. Now, I will tell you I did take the elevator once I saw the huge staircase up to the upper level of the cheese factory this time and I was secretly pleased to see not a stair in sight at the wedding venue G & M chose.
Just the other day, I was headed up to Mr. Right’s office. I didn’t even stop to think about it and just started up the stairs. I did not hold on to the handrail. I had good posture and put one foot in front of the other. I stopped on the landing and said hello to a co-worker of his, just exchanging pleasantries. I continued on with no issues. I was headed up to see Mr. Right. It felt great.
I am grateful for my continued recovery. I can take the stairs like everyone else. Who knew that at the top of the stairs “heaven” or goodness or quilting fabric or a pool of water or baked goods or a lovely meal or a special person awaits?
I guess what awaits us at the top of those stairs makes the climb a bit sweeter? The “magic carrot” propels us forward toward goodness.
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities, seize common ones and make them great”.