May 9, 2016

Today is “no cane Monday”!  I am delighted to not have to be relying on crutches or cane any more. I still walk a bit like a penguin, but that will change. Today was a productive day in the gym and at the desk (the mental gym).

I try to be an honest person, so when my PT asked me this morning why I thought I was more tired today than last week, it took me three minutes of mumbling to guiltily admit that I had mowed the lawn this weekend –well both lawns. I had begun with the “I walked around a lot” line, but she wasn’t buying it. To her credit and my amazement, “The protocol doesn’t say you can’t mow the lawn at 5 weeks, so that’s okay, I guess,” she said.  I dodged a bullet. Feeling greatly relieved  as I warmed up on the bike, I began talking about a book I had recently totally enjoyed called “Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet.[1]

I thought this would be something of interest to my PT as she is close to my age, a distance runner, and her husband coaches a top ranked college sports team. I just get the sense she understands being competitive.  We chat about the book for a few minutes. As I spin on the bike, I hear myself saying, “I love Navy Seals. Absolutely love them. Physically I couldn’t have ever been one, but I want the mental toughness and the absolute drive that that kind of training regimen can give.”  And it is true. Navy Seals are rock stars. She agreed.

 What was I thinking? 

While staying within the Mayo Clinic approved protocol, the next hour I worked out more intensely (lower body,anyway) than I had in probably a year and a half. Legs wobbly –and grateful to be done, I remembered reading the protocol. Oh. There are workouts for weekend warriors to professional athletes who are recovering from this surgery–I realize that we are only in week 5 of 12 weeks of rehab. I realize that my PT is going to see what I’m made of, since I have been talking about wanting what the Navy Seals have.

As I waddle to my car, I remembered my conversation with Rebecca the night before: “I thought the doc said that the rehab from this surgery was harder than rehab from a total hip. This hasn’t been hard at all.”  Wrong. 5 weeks down, 7 to go.

By now you are asking yourself, “What does this have to do with the church or with theology?

For me, there are multiple connections –First, no matter how you try to squirm around the conviction that you are called to be and do more for God, you can’t. God listens and wants you to serve. Your spirit will write checks that God expects your body and mind to cash. Second, the church can be a great form of “working out.”  In fact, it is Paul who tells us to “work out our own salvation.”[2] Did we think he meant, “Take it easy and wait for everything to get better?” Nope. Just like rehab from an injury, you embrace the goal “to get better”. Find a guide who can show you the way and push you toward the goal. Then you just keep showing up and doing the work God has called you to do as a Christian. Wobbly legs and all.

 

 

[1] Itzler, Jesse. Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet. (New York: Center Street Publishing, 2015).

[2] Philippians 2:12.

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