As I carefully avoid gluten and dutifully do my physical therapy exercises, not to mention generally taking care of my body, I’m trying to be aware of the small improvements. I’d love to wake up tomorrow and feel fantastic, but I know that won’t happen, so I want to be realistic about small wins.
Today’s small win is against my staircase. I live on the third floor of my apartment building. I only considered a third floor apartment because there was an elevator in the building. Of course, when the elevator breaks down (which happens more than you’d think) then I have to take the stairs.
My knees started to bother me on stairs and hills many years ago, probably around 1999. Earlier that year I’d climbed the stairs up La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – I later discovered it was about 450 stairs. By the next year, a single flight was incredibly painful. As I’ve been strengthening my muscles, I’ve hoped to be able to climb more stairs without feeling like my knees are filled with jelly.
The goal was never to climb 450 stairs again. I mean, I wouldn’t complain if I had that option, but again, I’m trying to be realistic. I figured that if I could climb the stairs to my third floor without any pain, that would be amazing. I have been working on this for a while now. I won’t say that it’s completely painless, and I don’t even try it when I’m carrying anything heavy, but when I reach my floor, I can actually walk down the hall without limping, and within a few minutes the aches are gone! Even better, I can get to the third floor without that jelly feeling! And for the first time in the 6 years that I’ve lived here, I can now climb all the way from the 1st floor to the 3rd without having to stop and rest on the way up!!
I’m not running up 5 flights of stairs, I’m not looking for stairs instead of elevators everyplace I go, and I’m not choosing the stairs when I’m carrying extra weight, but for me, this is a WIN!