Knowing One’s Limits

I was recently told that I should know my physical limits? I asked how am I supposed to know this? I have never been at this life stage nor have had to deal with physical limitations before now to KNOW what I should or shouldn’t do. And while I’ve seen many professionals, none of them predictably agree on what my “limits” should be. I was told that “I” should know my limits?

I’m told to “keep moving”. This is something I can certainly agree to; I want to stay active. The activities I do are not, in themselves, dangerous but it was frowned upon when I mentioned what I was doing. I’m training my donkey to drive a cart. In reality, I’m walking behind my donkey which is racking up those Fitbit steps! I’m communicating with another intelligent species on a goal we both agree upon as we work together practicing our back-and-forth communication skills. Is this inherently “dangerous”? One could argue you could get hit by a car crossing the street; dangerous situations can happen anywhere.

The irony is that resting is more painful than being physically active. Lying in bed to watch TV or reading a book hurts my back more than actually being physically active. It has to do with pinching some nerve when lying at that 45 degree angle. Yesterday I sat at my desk with my knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Although I did take breaks, my knees hurt more from sitting too long than they would if I was out walking! I was awake at 4 a.m. with my knees throbbing from my less-active desk work the day before than when I greatly surpassed my normal step count two days prior. Hmm… I must have exceeded my “limits”?

It is so frustrating getting mixed messages from “the professionals”. And then there is the weather. I can tell when the barometer drops; my joints start to ache even though it is sunny outside. I can almost predict it will rain the next day! Between “stay active” and “rest” plus the weather, I feel like a ping-pong ball trying to follow some mysterious limit that I’m expected to know!

And then there is that “pain scale”. Whenever I see a doctor, I’m asked to rate my pain. Don’t they realize that between my adrenalin and pre-medicating for my appointment, I may not be in pain at the time of my appointment? Shouldn’t the question be what is my pain like on a daily basis doing normal things in life? Why are they looking at that one particular moment in time when they are taking my blood pressure and checking my pulse rate? Why isn’t anyone interested in the “big picture” of my life?

Back to “knowing my limits”… My plan is not accept where I’m currently at but to try to improve on a daily basis. That includes increasing my steps according to my Fitbit. That includes being able to do the things I enjoy whether that is spending time with my donkeys or spending time with my dogs (or any other pet). Am I pushing myself; pushing “my limits”? Why yes I am. Much like I increase my physical therapy exercises to strengthen core muscles or spending more time when I go to the gym. The goal is never to remain the same but to increase overall health. There are days I overdo my gym exercises just like there are days I sit too long at my desk; live and learn, I guess? But to live by “limits” without effort to do more is never the goal. I think my “professionals” and I differ greatly in opinion at knowing and maintaining a specified “limit” that I should magically know on any given day!

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A recent photo of my beloved donkey, Jack. Thrilled to learn a new technique to create this shot. When life is lived without “limits” the possibilities are endless! 

5 comments on “Knowing One’s Limits

  1. I love what you did with the photo of Jack, Jennifer! I wish you the best with training him to pull a cart. 🙂 I like your insightful observation – “But to live by “limits” without effort to do more is never the goal.” So true. Take care! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANKS, Trudy!! Living with a “chronic illness” is never easy but… we all have to keep moving forwards. That is my plan anyways. That and prayer!

      Jack is a blessing in my life when I didn’t know I needed him (that probably doesn’t even make sense?) It has been through Jack that many people have come into my life when I needed my own internal direction. It can’t be a coincidence the spirituality that is represented by a plain donkey… when I didn’t think I even needed Him!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I am so glad that you posted the video of your training with Jack. It’s so obvious that he loves what he’s doing–pleasing you! And I think that’s one of those “spiritual lessons” you mentioned with Trudy above. Oh, that I would live so honestly to just please my Lord, and to follow His pacing for my days! I try to live by my own, or the Doctor’s “limits” but only Jesus knows what is the best way for me. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was just what I needed today, fresh from my own Doctor’s appointment! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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