|Donkeys are highly regarded in Ireland to the point there are special programs available to adopt and a specialized Donkey Sanctuary in Cork.|
“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“Irish people speak English, but Irish schoolchildren are still taught Irish, which
is the Gaelic language.”
It doesn’t happen overnight. The past challenging three months have left me longing for our form of normalcy, by our standards, which includes getting out, exploring an unfamiliar country, learning about its people, customs, and culture.
|Yellow irises were growing wild in the countryside. Please click here for information on the wild yellow irises in Ireland that often grow along the road.|
Now that the withdrawal has decreased, I’m back to walking today, adding some lunges and arm exercises to the mix. However, after lying down for almost three months with my feet up, I am weak, unconditioned, and every movement requires a concerted effort. It’s slow going.
Many patients, after cardiac surgery, go through a rehabilitation program for a few months. With my legs being infected, leaving me unable to walk, and with the program only available in distant Nelspruit, that option wasn’t available to me. Nor could I have handled the 90-minute drive every other day.
|We love the reflection of clouds in the water as we drive through the countryside.|
Instead, I have researched typical exercises suitable for my situation and am determined to rebuild my strength and flexibility. I worked out for most of my life. I am very familiar with different modalities helpful in rebuilding muscle and mobility.
The doctors informed us that the strength of my heart kept me alive with my outrageously bad arteries. Through years of intense exercise, I was able to keep my heart strong enough to keep beating while its arteries collapsed. And now, I refer back to my years of exercise experience for this important task ahead of me.
|A little sheep family was resting near the road.|
The keyword here is “motivation.” Mentally, I am highly motivated, but my weak muscles and body defy me. I must work past this feeling of being somewhat “feeble” to move about freely and with confidence.
I only started walking again two weeks ago. And yes, there’s been some improvement within the past two weeks with the walking I’ve done each day, but it simply hasn’t been aggressive enough to affect the type of change I need to stop feeling so weak.
|As we approached the town of Clifden, we noticed several apartments and townhouses on the inlet. Clifden, our area to shop, only has a population of 1,597. “Clifden is a coastal town in County Galway, Ireland, in the region of Connemara, located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay. As the largest town in the region, it is often referred to as “the Capital of Connemara.” Frequented by tourists, Clifden is linked to Galway city by the N59.”|
Today, I decided to step it up, literally and figuratively, as hard as it is to muster the energy, to become more aggressive. I’ve managed 7000 to 8000 steps a day on my fitness device, but sadly, this is not enough. Strength building is a vital part of the equation.
|This precious photo was my favorite of the day.|
Last night, I slept poorly. Without the pain meds, my leg was painful and woke me several times during the night. I don’t think I slept more than three or four hours.
I’m exhausted, but still, during the day, every hour, I will get up and walk at least 1000 steps, make a few lunges at the kitchen counter and use the spring water-filled plastic one-liter bottles of Pellegrino as hand and arm weights, performing a variety of movements. I’ll add repetitions and other exercises as I become more robust.
|A dark brown ram along the side of the road.|
The amount of discipline I’ll need today is over the top. Perhaps after a better night’s sleep tonight, it will be easier tomorrow. But, I’ve resigned myself to this hard reality: no excuses and no rationalizations. It’s a “must do.”
It’s necessary to keep reminding myself. I don’t want to continue to be unfit and feeble with a likelihood of falling that I’ve been over these past many months. Perhaps, I was in this state, justifiably so, but no longer. The time has come for change.
|Yesterday, we crossed this single-lane bridge on the way to Clifden. We can take a few different routes from here to Clifden and will change it up each week.|
I write this here to enhance my commitment and declare to our readers that a better and more healthy life is awaiting me as I continue on this mission. Are you experiencing a similar state of being? If so, join me in this process, and let’s get up and get moving!
Happy, healthy day to all!
Photo from one year ago today, May 21, 2018:
|After dark, “Mom, Two Piglets and Auntie” came back to see us along with another male group of four zebras. For more photos, please click here.|