I went to the gym to do my usual routine this morning. I met someone I know from my sewing class and we chatted a little (I hate it when people sit on machines and chat with others, and yet I did that!).
Then somebody near me remarked on my Brianhead T-shirt. She asked if I skied. I said no, I went to Brianhead in the summer and yes, it is really beautiful. We talked some about Utah. We both love it and would like to live there except for the provincial nature of many of the residents. Somehow we got to discussing the gym.
She told me I'm really making progress.
I said, "How do you know?"
"I've been watching you since you first started coming here!"
I told her it was hard for me to see any progress, frankly, and that I just keep going. She said she notices it, she can tell the difference. She was not specific but I'll believe her. Why not? I told her I am in pain most of the time and she said she can see that, but that I seem "more alive". Well, I'll take that, whatever that means. We talked of arthritis and pain killers and physical therapy a bit, both said we don't really want to talk about it(!) and finally parted ways.
As I continued my workout, doing my resistance band exercises, I thought about how I am in general. It is hard to see progress when it is so very slow and not always forward-moving. Yet there are small changes I do notice:
* Overall I feel like I am in less pain. It takes less time to reach some comfort level each day.
* I have fewer and shorter instances of hip pain.
* As I've mentioned here before, I have very little shoulder pain now. No pain when I fasten a bra behind my back, for example, and no pain dropping a package in the mailbox from my car.
* When I do my resistance band exercises I do not feel pain in my legs. When I first started doing these one of the hardest parts for me was that standing at the railing simply hurt. It hurts very little or not at all now.
I have even thought about the Active classes. I want so much to be able to do that class without pain. I don't think I am quite there yet but I see light at the end of that tunnel. I think I am actually achieving something.