While writing Loved As If, I’m
also recovering from Sjogren’s, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia and a
mis-diagnosed dance injury that was treated as rheumatoid arthritis. For
the past five-ish years, I’ve been disabled. But I hate disability. I’m
a dancer. In high school, I was on the water ballet squad. Walking five
miles each day in in NYC was average. When fighting with God, I’d walk
as far as I could until I was so physically exhausted, I couldn’t resist
anymore and suddenly, usually with a rush of tears, I’d tell Him the
thing I was trying to hide. Walking leisurely back to my starting point,
I’d reflect on how silly I must be to think I could keep anything from
the One who has been with me and cared for me my entire life. Life is
movement, at least for me, spiritual, intellectual, and physical.
Inflammation in my small intestines put an end to physical therapy using a power plate (a cool device). But I refuse to lose everything I gained. Writing requires me to be awake and as healthy as possible. Swimming was the logical alternative and highly recommended by my doctors. So on Friday, I slathered on sun block, pulled on my bathing suit and swam ten laps across an Olympic sized pool. In high school and college, twenty-five to fifty laps was warm-up. Today, ten laps is exhausting. Remembering that two laps in a half-sized pool was beyond me when I first moved to Houston is helpful. But ten laps still feels inadequate. So today, I developed a formula, 10 + X (where X = a multiple of 2). For two weeks, I’ll swim ten laps three times each week. Then I’ll add two laps every two weeks until I can swim twenty-five to thirty laps without stopping. It’s like looking forward to going to New York when I was a child. When circumstances seemed hopeless, the knowledge that I had a goal was one of the things that pulled me through. Whether 10 + X works out as I’d plan doesn’t matter. The goal and the attempt to reach it is what counts. I’ve learned, to look back every so often and am always surprised where I’ve come. I look forward to looking back in a few months at 10 + X and discovering what X equals then.