At last the snow has melted.
It is still threatening to snow now and again, but we DID catch sight of the ground. I have been coming out of my agoraphobic shell, too. Each time gets a bit easier.
Sama on an email list we share suggested taking the same route each time I went to a specific place. This is contrary to the way I used to be. I used to enjoy finding as many different ways as possible to travel to the same destination.
I took Sama's advice, (asked Oscar to drive the route I would take on my own to the fitness center, actually) and it worked!
My visit last week I was really freaked out. I had sweaty shaking hands, and my voice got really tight and rough (I sounded a lot like my grandmother, Lola Metzger, weird... maybe she wasn't grumpy so much as tense?) I made, it, though, and worked on the ergometer (arm-bicycle) for 20 minutes, no problems at all physically.
This week, Friday, I was still tense, but only at about 70% of last week's level. I still had the odd voice, but my hands weren't as sweaty, and my nails didn't leave marks in my palms.
I worked out for 40 minutes and went 7 miles, but set the resistance too high, and strained my abdomen a bit. Not badly, though, I was fine this morning.
This morning, we got up at 7:30 and left for the fitness center an hour later. My anxiety level was much lower, still the odd voice, but no sweaty palms, and I felt close to normal. As close as I get, anyway. Oscar helped me get set up at the ergometer, and left for his Yoga class. I worked out for a bit more than an hour, but left the resistance at level 1. I still went 7.4 miles, but no sore tummy today. I had a good time listening to music and 'pumping' in time to some of the faster songs (about every other song).
When we got home, I made some lovely asparagus, grilled tomato and chicken Lawash wraps.
Then we went to the library, and I DROVE!! The first time since Fall 2007. I was pretty pooped and unfocused after wheeling around the library (on top of my exercise this morning) so Oscar drove us home. Next week, I will drive us to the fitness center, if I don't go on my own, first.
Using the ergometer, I have enough energy to drive home again.
Although I dearly love to swim, getting changed and swimming along with the wheeling around just tires me out too much, I don't feel I can drive myself home safely. When swimming it is all too easy to go past my limits. It feels so fantastic to be weightless and almost pain-free.
After some time spent increasing my strength and stamina, I can swim on my own. Until then, I'll swim with Oscar.
I love the ergometer, though, I can drive there on my own, I can listen to the music, get lost in it, really, and just keep exercising. Then drive home.
I feel really good.