Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Around Anchorage

Last October, exhibiting the "Old Normal" - disco pants and all!

I spent the weekend in Anchorage, which is a 6 hour plane ride (plus a layover in Seattle and a one-hour time change) from Portland. Because of the distance from the lower 48, it's not the type of place you normally go for just a weekend, but I was asked to come up and judge some skating tests and always love going to Alaska, so I said yes.

I again found myself bumped to the front of the security line just because I have a cane. Again, I didn't argue with this; I suppose it's one of the only perqs for those with hip dysplasia and other disabilities. I felt kind of silly since I still envision myself as I was 9 months ago - healthy and young - and figured everyone in line saw the sham.

That was before I caught sight of myself reflected in the glass-lined walkway as I made my way through security. Who is that old, stooped over woman, shuffling along? Not an athlete or dancer with good posture and a spring in her step. That's the person I am inside my head, but the mirror told me the truth. I have certainly aged since August.

Once in Anchorage I did my judging and then went sightseeing with one of the coaches, her dad, and the other judges. Thankfully we were driven in a van and only got out to walk around when we got to our destination, where we had dinner and then came home. Quite the sedentary sightseeing, and so different from what I used to do.

I did do a lot more walking than usual though, and probably walked faster than my "new normal" pace. On Sunday morning I walked "around" the lake which was near the hotel. The old me would have done exactly that. The new me walked "around" -- meaning "near," not "on the perimeter of" -- the lake. That means I went from the hotel lobby to the lake, walked about a block along the shore, then turned around and came back. That was my limit. I was sore when I arrived home at midnight Sunday.

I hope that my future state "new new normal" after surgery is somewhat closer to the old normal, although I fear I will never really be "normal" again. It would also be nice to feel my age again, and not like this androgynous, clunky, staggering, shuffling elderly lady I've become. I hope to hold myself tall and walk like a dancer or an athlete again. I hope to some day really be able to walk "around" the lake; hell, I'd like to be able to walk all around Anchorage. I hope some day to be "around" normal.

1 comment:

still dancing on these hips said...

Terr: I was the same 7.5 years ago - I looked old, felt old, couldn't walk, hated seeing my reflection in a mirror or window and felt my face aged 20 years in 10 months....Fast forward to October 30(or so), 2002 - I was walking, albeit with a cane in Brugges and saw myself in a window - the limp was gone, I was straighter and smiling....that was just a few days after surgery. When I got back on the ice about 6 weeks later one of the guys who always has to tell it like it is told me I looked 20 years younger...and I felt it. I know you recovery is going to different than mine, but you will be "normal" (whatever that might be) ...it will happen.