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Day of Rest

Today the 25 degree drop in temperatures from yesterday gave me the desire to start a fire in the fireplace bringing my drinks and books into that room to enjoy the heat.  Four drinks lined the coffee table and my thoughts went to Wondering why do I always have a line of drinks with me whatever I am doing? Tomorrow will have to bring my answer to that question because my body is crying to go to bed.

IT has been a day of rest because my core muscles are not wanting to hold me up.  Something about my scoliosis and the 15-18 inch rod in my spine, probably also the slice up my front and back; God is working to give me back my nerves to my muscles but they are not all returned yet.

It is amazing how God pushes me even when I don’t want to sit up to make me run anyway; it was a very slow run about 15mm; the muscles in my stomach were crying out just a bit, but I finished my 3.5 mile daily run. It is amazing that God has given me so much strength that even days I cannot do much I am still able to move enough to get my ALL GREEN on my Fitbit! God uses different things to teach me how to move and not spend my days laying down on the couch all day.

Ten years ago I spent most of every day on the couch laying down; today, He has used this 9/9 hours a day, to get me moving just enough more to add to my strength! When I started to run in 2012 I still spent most of my time on the couch. I did put on weight when I started to run my first thought was I was gaining muscle but in reality I needed the fuel to give me the energy to run. My weight went up to 160 before I became strong enough to run every day;  God helped me realize that I lost weight if I ran, and gained weight if I didn’t run. Today, I AM STRONG; my weight is 135 pounds of solid muscle with a touch of fat and I don’t need extra food to give me strength to run; I eat much better than I ever have, Live food!

My first stretch of running daily was 10 days in a row;I was in Awe that I could do that and garden at the same time. Months late,r in the fall I made 30 days in a row; It was The Spirit guiding and pushing me, no matter how tired I was even if I had to walk portions of it, I ran 2 miles!  I learned to obey when God showed me He wanted me to run 2 miles, no matter how I felt! He was pushing me to get stronger as He is doing today!

Bart pointed out the hourly movement of 250 steps on the Fitbit; God used it to challenge me and I am all about a challenge! Even if I take a nap I make sure to be up in time to make the next 250 steps; this in itself pushes me to get stronger! I am in awe of All God is Doing in my Life and My Body!

GOD IS VERY GOOD! He only wants the best for me and you! The stronger I am the less my body hurts and the more I enjoy Life!

The Action of Becoming

Yesterday, was a day I enjoyed; I acted almost like a normal person!

I played Frisbee with the dogs,img_0645 AND started a fire in the fireplace which means hauling logs, AND vacuuming,  AND putting together a Christmas angel AND finishing the outdoor Christmas lights AND I noticed the stems fro866602c5-f82b-4e03-8e4e-530203840a25m all the Hosta plants that needed to be cut,(it was very hard on my back all the bending over it probably took on hour to clip them),  AND I walked with Bart, AND I went to the grocery store, AND made dinner, AND I boned the turkey from thanksgiving, AND washed the week’s dishes that had built up; midnight I finally took time to pray and read my Bible.

NOTICE THE AND’S IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH AND NEAR THE BOTTOM THE OR’S! This is the difference between before my healing and after my healing which is still continuing. Before my healing I could do ONE THING; after my healing I am able to string many projects together in one day!

One important thing happened yesterday which gave me great understanding; after I went to bed my back became very hot; for the first time in my life I followed the heat to where it quit being hot; it split hot and cold with a horizontal line crossing my tailbone.  What it told me was I still have a huge area without enough nerves to regulate my core body temperature.

How many people do you know that build up so much heat from sweeping and moping a floor they need to take clothes off; if I have company I put on shorts but if I am home alone off come the pants and I fold the shirt up to let the heat out from my midriff. When I sit, I get cold. I am noticing as I spend hours typing and reading and changing my story; my sweater goes on and off: IT IS WORK!

Today is a day of rest; the kind of rest that makes me sleep sound. I get frustrated because most days I am able to do so much but days like today my body says enough!  December 3, 2016, this img_0644was a day I slept until noon; when I woke up it was hard to put one foot in-front of the other to walk. I brought the dogs outside to play Frisbee and made breakfast. It wasn’t long after I ate breakfast that I had to lay down and take a nap; I slept until 5:30 PM. It is still much better that before my healing;  during a visit from our parents 10 years ago, I was so worn out from sitting at a table and playing cards for hours;  that I slept the whole next day waking only to eat 3 times during the day; I was able to sleep the whole next night also.

Today when I woke  from my nap, I was so weak I needed a quick snack to get my body moving, cottage cheese and a granola bar, energy! This gave my brain food for thinking, and my body energy to move to making dinner.  At the end of this day, God has blessed me with the ability to sit at the computer and type; sitting up at a computer and at a dinner table uses my muscles in a way that takes great strength. God is Very Good!img_0649

At 14 years old doctors put a 18 inch Harrington rod connected to my spine to stop my spine from curving further; when the doctors first diagnosed me they saw that I had double curves, both 35 degrees; within 2 years the curves had grown to 65 degrees while wearing a Milwaukee brace (in the picture you can see the metal of the brace is around my neck).  Surgery was the only thing they could offer to stop my spine from continuing to curve. The surgery took the two 65 degree curves and straightened  them to two 35 degree curves; it fullsizerenderleft me with a 16 inches of  a scar and back muscles  that lost communication with my spine, the nerves were cut.  (this is a picture of me in my cast that went from my neck to my groin) I do see my lower jaw thrusting forward; I still do that today, it is a way my body compensates when I look down to keep my airway open to be able to breathe freely.

I remember the first winter after my surgery my family was visiting relatives who lived on a hilly part of the Minnesota country side; while walking those hills my thighs went numb, it was a bit scary: those nerves must have repaired themselves because the feeling only lasted a few years. Sometimes, strange things happen when nerves reconnect, they sometimes get crossed with another nerve: many days I have had an itch and had to hunt for the spot to scratch, because the place that itched wasn’t the spot that needed to be scratched.

My back ended up with large areas of deadness; you could stick me with a knife and I would not feel it. There were also areas that were so hyper sensitive that at one doctor visit while he was checking my nerves with electricity I almost gave the doctor a heart attack; he touched the area of sensitivity, I jumped with a  scream so loud the doctor RAN out of the room. After a few minutes, he came back into the room shaken and filled with fear, asking if he had damaged my spine.

What I didn’t know at age 14 and I have found out at age 50; if the nerves don’t reconnect to the muscles, the muscles atrophy!

Every year at my yearly doctor visit , my doctor would notice my lack of back muscles as she checked my breathing and heart; she would say, “You need to do core exercises.”

I would think to myself, “my stomach muscles are strong, they are what holds me up!”

At 49 years old, I asked my doctor, “Can atrophied muscles get stronger?”

She said, ” If they have nerves connected to them.”

I then asked God, “Could you give me nerves connected to my muscles so they can get stronger?”

God Did: One evening, during the winter of 2011-12 I remember getting up from the couch, walking into the kitchen and feeling parts of my back that I had not felt since 1976; it was the craziest feeling!

The year God started to work on my nerves and I started running, my doctor FOUND MUSCLES in my back! After a year or two of getting stronger I mentioned to my doctor that she used to tell me I needed to exercise my core muscles; she remembered and was shocked at my transformation! I told her it was ALL GOD! I hadn’t changed anything I did before, I was able gain strength and DO MORE! I do remember the first time in my life I had strength added: I lifted heavy snow for hours then I went to teach children at church I noticed an amazing feeling: I WAS STRONGER instead of weaker!!!fullsizerender

The way I started to run Looked like this: run the block, while tightening all my core muscles because every step hurt; I walked the street and again I would run holding tight every muscle until I got to the next street. By the 3rd – 4th street I was able to run without as much pain.  At the end of the street I huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed, when I was ready I ran home in the same manner! The miracle: when I had the desire to run the next day I was able to do it all over again!  I started to run 5 days a week. Realize my almost mile took a good 20-25 minutes to run! Bart found a 5K to run 9 months after I started running.

What I have learned, it takes back muscles to lift your legs and arms past a certain point. Sometime after I turned 40 I starting to limp on my Right leg; previously I had limped for 20 years on my Left leg because of my accident; I didn’t understand why it switched: it didn’t make sense to me.  I now understand, My Right back muscles were very weak and getting weaker; when I was tired my back muscle could no longer lift my leg, it gave me a big limp: I used walls, counter tops and my family as a cane. During days I was well rested I could dig in my garden, OR weed, OR clean house, OR walk 2 miles, maybe even run a block, OR clean some house, OR go to the store, OR do something that needed to get done: then I would rest for 3-5 days depending on how hard I had pushed myself!

When my body was very weak; what I was able to do was sit on the couch, lay my head against the back of the couch, and watch tv. There were days I couldn’t walk up the stairs to help my daughter or to check on her. When I took my daughter to the store to buy clothes I often sat on the cement floor and let her look, because I just couldn’t stand up any longer. If we went to the grocery store and I remembered something while waiting in line; I had to send my daughter because I couldn’t walk anymore.

God does His Work at the Perfect timing; when I received my miracle, I was so far bent over that it was hard to hold my body up; my butt muscles were working overtime! My body cannot bend at my waist, all forward leaning is from my hips. I was beginning to think I needed a cane; Bart thought I needed a walker; my mom thought I needed a wheel chair: BUT GOD HAD OTHER IDEAS!!!! I finished the race!

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My First 10 Mile Run

My first thought of the possibility that this might be a 10 mile run started around mile 4 but I didn’t believe it was real until around mile 7-8; the distance isn’t a plan or a desire just a thought that Pops into my head, I don’t think it is my thought, I wonder what is 10? Is this a distance? Is it my thought or is God leading me? The thought of 10 is mixed with a knowing I am somehow ending up at my original 2 mile mark, the Speedway gas station!

I started to run regularly, for real, the day after Christmas 2011, I took img_0425Zachery who was about 15 years old for a walk/run; my body, weak from scoliosis surgery in 1976, and broken in an accident from 1983, had the strength to run about one day a month; I spent much of my time on the couch because of weakness.

The very next day, I took Zachery for a walk and had the desire to run; my first thought was, “I can’t run! I just ran yesterday! I will try.” The run was as good as the day before: running the blocks, walking the streets, getting to the 1/2 mile spot, stopping to huff and puff, and huff and puff, before I headed back home. From that day until planting season, I ran 5 days a week: a miracle. I was running about 20 minutes a mile, most people could walk faster than I was running, but I was running and getting stronger.

A year or so later God started to challenge me to run every day; He wouldn’t say anything until I was past the hardest part at the beginning; He put this picture of the Speedway gas station in my mind. I knew He was challenging me to run 2 miles; everyday I had the same response, “Really?” At first it was easy enough, but after a few days my body didn’t want to run at all and He would still challenge me to go the 2 miles, even if I had to walk 1/2 of it. I know He was making me stronger, teaching me how to endure.

I was born to run: in 6th grade I ran fast enough to make it onto the school relay team. We were all lined up and told to run as fast as we could, the top 4 made the team with one alternate. My team took 1st place in the city competition without me, but that is another story.

The next time I tried to run was in college, I had a desire to get strong and be in shape; I started running outside my dorm room in the neighborhood, during the beautiful spring season in ND  but it only lasted a few days. Around that time, I visited my grandmother on her MN farm; the country roads are marked in a one mile square grid, to go around the block I would be running 4 miles. I took off running with great desire to succeed, but about half way I was ready to collapse; it took all  I had to drag myself the rest of the way to her place. I now know that my body was weak from the scoliosis surgery, but back then I didn’t understand at all.

After my accident in 1983, I was too weak to run. After adopting our daughter in my early 30, I  gained some core strength by holding her every chance I had, it allowed me to run at a rest stop parking lot for the first time since my accident. IT brought great joy to my life, such a great gift: Strength enough to run!

Today, I was heading out of town planning to get a 4 mile run; it started out well, nothing spectacular but a decent pace of 11mm with a few pauses for Sam, my beautiful 14 month old puppy, who is built to run! Somewhere around the beginning of my img_03152nd mile I had a shot of pain hit my left knee; it was confusing why it would hurt, soon I realized it  had something to do with climbing on a ladder to clean gutters the day before. I confessed out loud, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus!” and I ran on! It worked well to run on the edge of the gravel road where the dirt was a bit more solid;  at the end of the 1/2 mile section of road I usually turn around, but I had the desire to cross the road and continue on to the next road; by mile three the knee pain was completely gone, but a new pain in my intestines started to grab my attention.

Turning around at the first road sign I head back to the road home; I am concentrating on the occasional traffic and finding solid ground to run on until I notice Sam’s interest peaking; I see something in the grass but can’t quite figure out what is so interesting.  I almost run into a dead deer with it’s parts spread all over the side of the road and out into the field.  I jerked Sam fast; pulling him away from the remains, before he could put his mouth on a piece. What an ugly sight out on this beautiful peaceful country road.

When I arrived at the road home, I crossed it and continued on until I hit the next road sign;  at this time I turned around to head back home; why did I add those two extra bits to my run? I don’t know, but on the road home I start to hear this number 10 in my head; wondering if it means something like miles, I get excited at the possibility but I also think I don’t really want to work that hard. Twelfth street arrives much faster than I am used to so I figure I will head down this road for a bit extra; thinking I can turn here or there but it seems there is a need to make it to the next road, 2 miles away. On the 2 miles return, I startto realize the shoes I am wearing are brand new and my heals are starting to complain; this is why professionals break in shoes before they use them on a big run.2b6397e1-d494-4532-8cb9-9904680a0733

Finally reaching home to change dogs, I have run 8 miles.  Changing to looser pants to relax my intestines, and putting on comfortable old shoes to relieve my heal pain, I grab a banana and a glass of water; then I grab Charlie to run. I think quickly of just a short run but I remember  the picture God put in my head, so off I run to my 2 mile mark: God is Pushing me further! Making me STRONGER!

 

God is Good!