Soon after I started this blog, I was in a bad motorcycle accident that left me with a broken right ankle and badly shattered left wrist. I endured two surgeries, and many months of therapy to regain use of both limbs. For most of 2009, I was unable to do much physical exercise, as it hurt to run for any distance and my wrist wasn't strong enough for lifting weights.
Originally, my surgeon had told me that he thought I'd never be able to do pushups again, as the flexibility and joint stress needed to perform that exercise would probably be gone. I set out to prove him wrong.
I persisted at doing as many as I could manage - even if it was only 4 or 5 at a time while on my knees. Eventually, I worked my way up to 20, then 25. It hurt my wrist some, but not badly, and I knew that the bones were strong enough to handle it.
Running was another story. Every time I would go for a jog, I would get about 1/2 mile and then end up limping on my bad ankle. Instead, I began to use the elliptical machine at our gym, which allows you to run in a non-impact way. With Tamara's encouragement, I also enrolled in the "Boot Camp" class at our gym, which provides a solid cardio workout, which I desperately needed. I even did CrossFit for a few weeks, though it's a bit more expensive and I didn't have as much time to devote to it as I would have liked.
Then I came out here to Ft Jackson for their chaplain school. A week after I arrived, we had our first "diagnostic" Physical Fitness Test (PFT). I had a waiver for the 2-mile run portion, but had to do the pushups and situps. For my age, 34 pushups and 38 situps are considered a passing score. The situps were no problem, but my grader only counted 25 pushups - apparently, he thought that I wasn't going down low enough, despite the fact that my chest was touching the ground on each repetition.
Last Wednesday, we took the PFT again - this time for score. And, I'm proud to say, I did much better this time. 45 pushups, 60 situps, and a 2-mile run in 16:57. I didn't know how I would do on the run, and even though an 8:30 mile pace isn't too fast, it's much better than I thought I would do, considering that I haven't run in such a long time.
Praise God for allowing my body to recover to such a degree, and for continuing to provide me with the strength and stamina to push myself. I'm not yet where I want to be physically (who is?), but it's great to see some positive improvements in that direction.