Baby Steps…

Since returning to The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida after my birthday trip to Chicago I have started, slowly, to begin a daily exercise regimen. A physical therapist gave me a two page list of low aerobic exercises to do. And sometimes I actually do most of them.

After purchasing my portable oxygen concentrator I have begun a walking program. I’m not pushing it too hard. I do, after all, carry three stents in my heart. Because of my COPD my lung capacity is only 21% of what it should be. Over the last week I’ve been walking every morning and afternoon on top of walking from my boat to the air conditioned “Escape Pod.” Ive been walking in small “laps” to supplement the longer pod walk. Yesterday I walked a half mile all together in bits and pieces.

Last night I opened Google Earth and measured the length of the road I take from the lane out of where my boat is moored to where it makes a 90 degree bend. It’s .3 of a mile. I’m going to give that a shot this morning. Not going to try and do it all in one shot. That’s the goal, however.

The first goal is smaller, yet. In Chicago I had a bad time navigating one city block in particular. I had to stop three times to catch my breath. I didn’t have the concentrator then, just the albuterol inhaler. The last time I stopped I was actually down on one knee! People passing by inquired if I was “all right?” Yah, sure, I just do this all the time to elicit sympathy from strangers.

This is where I walked for a half mile today.

Quarter mile up and quarter mile back to where I’d parked the SUV. Plenty of shady spots along the way in which to rest and catch my breath because I couldn’t do this all in one shot. The oxygen concentrator doesn’t prevent me from becoming short of breath, but it DOES HELP with the rebound time to a healthier blood/oxygen level.

Now, at the end of the day and ensconced on my boat with a fan on me and the concentrator plugged in for charging, I checked my pedometer readings. Including the trek to and from the “Pod” I managed to walk .6 of a mile today. Best day yet.

Not a big deal for most people, but for this 80 year-old geezer it’s progress. Baby steps.

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