Saturday, September 12, 2020

Bridge Walking

Last year Hubby was helping me rebuild physical stamina through early morning walks on the high bridge over Biloxi Back Bay. 

Lovely views of the curved beach, beachfront homes and the yacht club with colorful sailboats spiced up what for me is a grueling uphill trek. 

Hubby made the trek doable by helping me go from the parking area up steps to the bridge and over to the concrete barrier that separates car traffic from walkers, joggers and cyclists. That barrier also helped me balance. I touched the top with my right hand as I walked.

Hubby walked beside me when I was feeling a bit off balance. And his conversation diverted my attention from the weakness that made me feel like I would never even make it to the one-tenth mile marker.

When I had gone as far as I felt I safe, he helped me cross over to the other side of the walkway. That side sports a metal bannister, perfect for holding onto. I could take bigger strides with more confidence as I headed back down the bridge.

In 2015, four years post-stroke, I had worked up to just past the seven-tenths mile marker. I was determined to make it all the way across and back, a 3.4 mile distance. But that same year 
I started falling. 

Physical therapy helped. Later that year I finally worked up enough gumption to try the bridge again. On my first attempt a brisk wind nearly toppled me. 

Fear reigned. It took awhile for me to move past that fear. Eventually Hubby and I started walking the bridge again, going a little farther each trip. 

On the days I felt steadier, I would release Hubby from nanny duty so he could enjoy the views or walk ahead. I knew he was always keeping an eye on me, though.
At some point I finally started making it past the three-tenths mile marker. It was slow but satisfying. 

Now, with an increase in the spasticity of my stroke-affected left leg and some other physical challenges, the bridge as a walking choice is on hold indefinitely. 

I am once again attempting to build up my stamina. Hubby is still getting me to other safe walking venues.

I am blessed with a spouse who thinks like a therapist and practices love in action.