Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pushing My Limits

It's midafternoon on Sunday, and not only have I had way too much weekend already, I'm a bit worried about the next ten days while Ellie and Scott are home full-time for "vacation."

(Touchstone Preschool closes for a week-plus to get everything cleaned up from the summer program and ready for the school year to start on Sept. 3. It will definitely be an adjustment this year to get used a school program with all the holidays and days off rather than the daycare program she was in last year. But so much better of a program for Ellie, even if less convenient for her parents.)

But on the other hand, I'm rather proud of myself for surprising both Scott and myself yesterday when I kept up (mostly) on what turned out to be a four-hour playdate with two not-quite-4-year-olds at Summerlake Park and lunch at a Baja Fresh. I did spend a chunk of the park time sitting on benches with varying amounts of shade, but we also walked to a little foot bridge over the lake and fed half a loaf of bread to dozens of geese and ducks. Adriana and Ellie had a blast doing that, and were a little disappointed when the birds decided they weren't hungry anymore and took to the air circling the park twice before disappearing to who-knows-where. (They are very well-fed geese and ducks.) We even spotted a pair of otters in the water, although they didn't seem at all interested in our bread. (What do otters eat, anyway?)

After a trip to the largest port-a-potty I've ever seen (it was wheelchair-accessible), the girls decided to follow a path into the "woods." We found our way to the park's second playground, where the girls were delighted to find "big kid swings" (as opposed to the bucket swings for babies and toddlers at the first playground) and long logs split in half and connected together that made great balance beams for walking on and jumping off.

About halfway through the park part of our playdate (before we went for the walk through the woods to the second playground), I was sitting alone on a bench and suddenly thought to myself, "Wow ... I feel almost OK." And that was huge, especially since I'd been so exhausted when my alarm went off and I had to get out of bed for the 10 a.m. playdate. I honestly wasn't sure I'd be able to go at all, so although I wasn't bubbling over with energy or anything, it was a lot better than I feared I'd be feeling at that point.

Of course, if I'd been smart, I would have suggested ending the playdate then, while I was still feeling fairly good. But the girls were having so much fun, and they don't see each other often since Ellie left Kindercare in June, that I hated to be the spoilsport.

And of course, because I never really recognize my limits until they're far behind me, I overdid things and barely could walk up the stairs to crash in bed for a nap when we got home. And I'm still feeling the effects today, although I did manage to drag myself to Ellie's swimming lesson this morning.

But still. It felt kind of inspiring to feel like I'd used my leg muscles a little again and actually gotten a modicum of exercise. Ok, I probably only walked a quarter mile, or maybe a teensy bit more. But I'm guessing that might be the most exercise I've gotten since I got pneumonia in June 2007.

Hopefully it won't take me forever to recover from this weekend, and hopefully, I won't be completely bed-ridden by the time Ellie's "vacation" is up. But I did learn that sometimes I can surprise myself at what I can do when I push myself hard enough. (Now if I could just get rid of the consequences of having pushed myself, I'd consider myself functional again ...)

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