At cardiac rehab today I was really proud of myself. It was my first day of full-on aerobic workouts after my surgery, and I felt so gung ho I even walked to the appointment. After hooking up to my heart monitor and having my vitals recorded, I got on the treadmill. They expected a full fifteen minutes from me, and I was proud to give it to them. Midway through my walk I had the intensity up to the target level, and was feeling mighty, when from right next to me I realized the older gentlemen was going twice as fast as I was. I mean his feet were furious. Thump thump thump thump. He was like Fred Flintstone powering his caveman car. I have to believe this guy was pushing 80, and he was hitting it harder than I ever did.
I am encouraged by this. I was probably the youngest person there in cardiac rehab, but I have the benefit that I don't suffer from heart disease, so if I can increase my endurance and overall cardiac health, I'll be much better than I ever was. I remember step one at the hospital, and passing other heart patients in the hall who seemed to be having a much harder time than me. I still have a long recovery ahead of me, but getting that first day of rehab under my belt has been re-assuring. I'll probably never run the Boston Marathon, but I'd like to get in as good a shape as I ever have been now.
December 3, 2013: Last week they finally cleared me for upper body workouts, but what they mean by workout, and what I envision a workout to be, are two different things. I walked over to the stool, and they had set out two one pound dumbbells. They were so adorable. Pink. I could envision many uses for them, but working out wasn't one of them. However, these were the people who had gotten me this far without keeling over, so I complied.
But when I came in this Monday it was a different story. I felt mighty after the treadmill and bike, and wanted to do a real workout. I grabbed a pair of 9 pound dumbbells and tried to blend in to the workout group. No dice. One of the therapists was on me like a hawk and made me put them back immediately. She did, however, allow me to advance to the three pounders. I didn't have the heart to tell her I've been working out secretly at home for almost a month now.