I normally walk a 15 minute mile. Slower if I am climbing. The pace is fast, but works well, or at least it always has. Within the last year, my heart rate has continued to increase when I exercise. Now a 15 minute mile would be like running a marathon for me with a heart rate at 130 beats or more per minute..
So what is my new normal? Walking a mile in 40 minutes allows me to keep my heart rate under 100. That is not walking, that is sauntering or a stroll. Relatively flat walking a half mile on an incline at my new normal pace, my heart rate will still go above 120. My heart rate stayed at 100 for 1:15 minutes. But with beta blocking heart medication, I recover in five minutes, not five hours.
These unwelcome changes are challenging for me to absorb. I sometimes wish I had never used a ‘Fitbit watch”. Would I have survived these two years? Would I have sought help from medicine? How would I adjust to these limitations without hope? Would I have blamed it on age?
“Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up? What future do I have to keep me going? Do you think I have nerves of steel? Do you think I’m made of iron? Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps? Why, I don’t even have any boots!” Job 6:11-13 The Message
Now at least I have hope. A glimmer. But we Christ followers should be the ‘hope” bringers. We should shine a light on dark places of society; sex trafficking, poverty, injustice and reconciliation. I shine my light of ‘hope’, and move away the darkness of despair that has plagued me for several months.
What are your new normals? What transitions are you facing? Have you had to give up something you love? What was it? How did you cope?
Many people do not keep active as they age. I have tried to maintain an active lifestyle, and that is not hard in beautiful Colorado and Texas. I have to change. I have to adapt to these limitations. I do not have to like these changes.