One step at a time

I take one step. Place one foot in front of the other. Go slow, be careful, I remind myself. My head starts to ache, I can feel the dizziness setting in. I take a moment, slowly breathe in. I let it all out. And then, I keep going.

This past week all sorts of interesting things have happened. Last Saturday, I decided to take a small venture out into the world and went to lunch in the valley (also known as Chesterfield), which is roughly ten minutes from my house. I had been looking forward to this outbreak, as I am afraid cabin fever has begun to set in, but it was also a sort of test to see how I fared when actually doing some sort of activity other than homework and resting around my house.

Although it did not go terribly, or even really bad in any specific sort of way, I have to say my energy levels are still not what I would like them to be. By the time I had sat down in the booth to await the arrival of my lunch, all I wanted to do was go to sleep. It was a struggle not to use the soft noodles placed in front of me as a makeshift pillow to rest my head on, and needless to say, it wasn’t a very long lunch date. We consumed our food, got some boxes to go, and headed home to my lovely awaiting bed. This isn’t all the excitement, though, this is just the beginning.

Since the last time I have posted, I have also completed my first full lap around Weldon Springs Park, I repeat, an entire full lap. I am not sure how familiar everyone is with the place, but that trail is not just a little walk around the pond, it is nearly half a mile long!

For me to be able to complete a whole lap, at an admirable pace I might add, is quite the impressive feat. This accomplishment is only the beginning though, as I am looking to commence working out on the elliptical once more this week, although for quite minuscule periods of time. Nonetheless, just being able to do this is a giant step in the right direction, and with careful dedication I can begin to really work at getting back into shape.

My biggest test this week, however, came this past Wednesday as I had a brief meeting with my Calculus teacher, Mr. Mark Schneider, as I went over some questions on the review for an upcoming test. As a normal student, the size of our school doesn’t usually cross the minds of anyone, except for maybe all the intimidated freshman as they scurry around the first week back. To someone who has had surgery though, the size of our school becomes impossibly infinite.

The hallways stretch on as never-ending gleaming paths of torture, and the stairs are a mountain to climb up and an extremely treacherous slope to get down. Honestly, I think just getting in and out of the school was harder than my Calculus homework … and that is saying something, folks.

I’m here now, though, and writing this, so obviously nothing detrimental happened. With the assistance of a very kind friend, I made it to the classroom easily enough, although a bit winded. However, on my journey out I was a lonesome warrior, and let me tell you, loneliness is not a quality one might lust after when attempting to blaze through the battlefield.

My trek down the math and science hallway to the stairs was fairly simple, seemingly longer than usual, and was probably conducted at the pace of a sloth, but it was completed nonetheless. When I got to the stairs, it kind of became like that Taylor Swift Song, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” because as soon as I walked into the building, I knew those stairs would give me trouble, but thankfully, I did not end up lying on the cold hard ground as Taylor seemingly did. They did throw me for a loop though, as I didn’t quite think ahead how you had to look down in order to descend stairs, and with the still limited mobility of my neck right now, this proved to be a difficult situation.

I was at the top, and when I looked down, my whole world began to spin. Each step seemed to tilt this way or that, and I could feel myself begin to panic a little as the task that lay ahead of me turned from a bit daunting to rather dangerous. I took a deep breath though, and retained my sense of calm and normalcy that I usually have as I knew I had to do this on my own and prove to not only my parents, but to myself, that I am able to return back to school and do things like this everyday.

After I took this moment, I gripped that railing tighter than those staples that were in my head and slowly began to descend. By placing one foot in front of the other and half feeling/half glancing my way down the steps, I made my way to the first floor, and when I got there, although feeling as if I had just scaled a building, not traipsed down a flight or two of steps, I had made it. And with that, I knew I was one step closer to coming back, and one step further in my recovery.

Everyday isn’t this tough, and everyday isn’t that easy either, but slowly, but surely I am making my way back to my old life and all the activities in it. I get a little impatient at times, and a little bit frustrated, but one thing that I have learned through these past nine months is what comes easy won’t last, what lasts, won’t come easy. When things get really tough you just have to take a deep breath, remind yourself how far you’ve come, and keep moving forward, even if it is just one step at a time.