It is unquestionable that I have had a few challenges and struggles as of late. However, I can tell that my arms are getting much stronger. Movements that used to take me extreme amounts of energy now happen exceptionally quickly. My legs still spasm shaking like a leaf in a windstorm, but my upper body is getting stronger by the day.
I used to have a tough time transferring into and out of a sedan. I simply did not have the correct muscles to make it happen without great struggle and help from others. My wheelchair and the passenger seat were at similar heights. I still could not get close enough to make a smooth transition. The lack of closeness is due to my chair being longer than most causing the distance between seats to be nearly a foot. Without the needed muscles to transfer that gap might as well be The Grand Canyon.
A friend and his wife recently picked me up for a group dinner that we were attending. They have a small sedan loaded with vegan leather upholstery. For my abilities, I try to avoid cars with any form of leather when I can. These leather surfaces for me tend to be slicker than a wet bar of soap covered in Vaseline.
When they pulled into my garage, I came out of the house as jovial as usual. I angled my wheelchair next to the passenger seat and pulled as close as I could get. Using my hands, I placed my feet precisely positioned for proper posterior propulsion. I launched my derriere onto the passenger seat with extreme accuracy. This point is when the slick seating surface can become a problem. I use my hands as a brace yet this slippery material causes my hands to slide out from its bracing position repeatedly. This last part would take several minutes, and I did not want anyone to have to wait on me. My friend at my request simply grabbed my legs one at a time and placed them carefully into the car. I then belted myself in and away we went.
When my wheelchair is at a higher elevation than the seat that I am transitioning from is when the real struggle begins. Transferring from my couch was one of those terribly turbulent times. Not to mention my chair has to sit perpendicular and not parallel to the sofa. Both of these situations make a transfer trickier than catching a magician when hiding the rabbit. However, as of late this couch to chair movement is more straightforward than first-grade math.
The last sign that I am getting stronger that I will talk about in this blog is my speed. Now when I swim laps, I move faster and farther and can hold my breath longer than ever before. I swim faster and can get to the other side quicker.
I thought that after my swim challenge to raise money was over I would stop swimming laps. However, I now swim laps for the health of it, and I am thrilled that I keep it up. I bought myself a pair of webbed swim gloves and have been swimming harder ever since that purchase. The resistance of the gloves in conjunction with my pushing harder has strengthened my upper body tremendously.
As you can see getting a stronger upper body is the name of my game. My new water training is as follows: thirty minutes of trying to move my legs as much as possible. The next thirty minutes I spend swimming laps and doing several weight-bearing squats. The following half hour I do mild leg movements as well as rest. Then it is time for fifteen minutes of designated disciplined dumbbell drills. Lastly, I participate in the water fitness class for the last forty-five minutes. My fitness routine lasts for two and a half to three hours.
Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th