After being in Martial Arts for over a year, I was finally able to do a Round Kick. This is a really big deal to me. When I started Martial Arts, I couldn't even lift my leg off of the ground without losing my balance. I thought it would take years to do this difficult Round Kick.
After tonight, I have realized that I might not be a white belt nearly as long as I thought I would. I am so proud of myself!!!
Thanks to my instructor Dave who showed me different ways to work on my balance and of course Steve and my girls for being there every step of the way.
School is back in session so this morning I went to Sharon's classroom as the volunteer morning reader. Sharon was thrilled that I was going to read to the class. Not only did she get to pick out the books I read, but she got to sit next to me on a chair rather than on the floor with all of the other students.
While I was driving home after reading for twenty minutes to a group of seven year olds, all I could think was, "I love my life." I can finally give back to others by doing something I enjoy. How many people can say that? Actually, many can, but never choose to do so.
In the past, I physically couldn't volunteer in my kids school. "Why?" you may ask. I couldn't walk myself to from the car to the classroom. In fact, I wasn't even able to hold a book anymore. Today I was given the gift of providing entertainment to wonderful children through books. It felt so good to see how much they enjoyed listening to me read to them. I can't wait to go back soon and do it again.
After a long day, I made myself ride my recumbent bike. It had been quite a while since I last rode it. Lately, I've been riding the elliptical (because I can). When I got on it I thought that I'd be lucky if I rode it for 7 minutes. I am proud to say that I exceeded the seven minutes. In fact, I rode that bike for 26 minutes. I even broke a sweat and had to ask Winona to bring me a glass of water halfway through. In that 26 minutes I didn't go easy on myself either. I had the resistance anywhere between three and six. Just before I got off of the bike it read 5.9 miles. I couldn't help but smile and then I ran to tell Steve my good news.
I LOVE that I was able to do this tonight (yes, at night). Two years ago, I could only ride the recumbent bike for a maximum of 5 minutes on the lowest level. I would give it all I had and the results were barely anything. I did it though and that's all that mattered.
So, as I look back at how far I've come in such a short amount of time, I know that I am a living miracle. It's up to me to make sure that I give it all I've got and NEVER take it for granted.
Last night I told Sharon that I would be driving us to the cabin tonight (Steve is already there). She looked at me with concern in her eyes.
"What is it?" I asked.
She informed me that not only have I never driven to the cabin, but in the past I couldn't drive at night.
She's absolutely right. In the past, my muscles would have been far to spastic for me to drive after 3pm. I always relied on others to chauffeur me and the girls to all the activities. For those that know me, you are aware that it's never been easy for me to ask for help. I always wanted to be independent. Once the girls were born I had to swallow my pride and accept help from friends and family.
I am truly grateful for the ability to drive no matter what time of the day it is. It has opened so many doors for me. I can take my girls to basketball practice, pick them up from school, take them to church classes and even be a Girl Scout leader. It's much easier to put events on the calendar when I don't have to call others for help. If I want/need to take the girls somewhere I just do it. Independence is an amazing gift.
Last night was orientation at school for my daughters. While I was there I began to recall how nervous I was for my first day of fourth grade at Crooked Lake School. My brother, Tom, had always helped me find my classroom on the first day of school. The first day of fourth grade was different because Tom no longer went to the elementary school. He had moved on to the junior high which meant that I was on my own. I recall being nervous a week in advance. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to find my name outside any of the fourth grade classrooms. This would be nerve racking for any child, but I was nervous that I would have to walk a long way just trying to find the correct room. There were always lots of kids walking the halls and stopping to read the list just as I needed to do. For me walking was always more difficult around others because a slight brush against my arm could send me tumbling to the ground. I survived that first day of school and found my classroom without any trouble.
I feel so blessed that my daughters are healthy and don't have to the physical challenges that I had as a child.
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!