Pride and Asking for Help
Today, a woman with her walking buddy looked down at me and said, “Excuse me, do you need help?” I hesitated for a moment. “Yes, I do believe I’m stuck.”
With my girls in school, I took a power walk this morning, after a very long weekend of organizing my home.
I used to be able to go long distances. But the last two years have been taken with a shoulder injury, creating books, selling my house, moving, creating online videos, rehabbing a building, and then moving into it as our new 180 Your Life Center.
My schedule was so intense that consistent exercise had to take a back seat. Which was a mistake.
Now, getting back on track, I thought, “Last week I walked 6 miles in a day, I’ll ramp up to what I used to do this week. It’s just a walk, not a run. No big deal.”
About four miles into my walk this morning, at the half way point, my back started to really hurt. This was unusual. (Couldn’t have been from my morning-’till-night-organizational-blitz from last Thursday-through-Sunday right?) So I sat on a park bench. Still feeling uncomfortable, I thought, “I bet my back would feel better if I laid down for a moment.” It did feel better.
And then I couldn’t get back up.
I was like a turtle. stuck on my back. In a public place. I had left my cell phone in my car. There was no way to discreetly call in reinforcements.
Staring up at the sky, the words of my dear widowed friend, Lori Latch Apon, ran through my mind, “Embrace the pain.” She actually meant, embrace the pain of loss and produce something purposeful. But at that moment, I was telling myself to embrace the pain of sitting up so I could start the slow walk of about 4 miles back to my car.
I tried rocking my legs to sit back up. That really hurt. Still laying on the park bench, trying to look like I meant to be there in a casual one-with-nature-moment, I was thinking, “You can’t stay on this bench forever. Just roll off, the ground isn’t that far.” Turning to start to roll hurt too. I paused.
So, no matter what I did, it was going to hurt.
I decided to rest for a moment and gather courage. I remembered the times I gave birth to my children. No pain compares to that. I tell myself, “If you did that, TWICE, you can do anything.” I always psych myself up that way.
Just as I was about to roll off the bench, two ladies walked past me. I paused, “I wonder if it would be too odd to ask if one of them could give me a hand to sit up.” I decided it was too weird. I’d just roll off. So I didn’t ask. It was like being on an island and watching a rescue plane fly past.
That’s when one of the two ladies stopped, turned back and said, “Excuse me, do you need help?” And that’s when I admitted I was stuck and she gave me a hand-up so I could stand-up.
It was a wincing, slow, 4 mile walk back to my car, my pride a bit dented. Thankfully, we have an awesome team of caring people at our office today who promptly took up the slack and let me relax. Thanks, Pastor Ron Wean, Travis Cooper, LaTonya Lark and Sara A. Myles!
So what’s the lesson here? Go slow. If you are starting back to an exercise regimin, don’t climb the mountain in a day, or even a week. Accept where you are now. It’s a journey. Enjoy the sunshine and listen to your body. And don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if it feels weird. 🙂