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Stand Tall And Walk Proud

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My boxercise instructor finishes her class with that statement every time. She has no idea the meaning it has for me. I have been taking kickboxing classes for years. She is one of the most intense instructors I have ever had. She really pushes you to the limits. Today, she got some bad news and was literally taking it out on us. She wanted to feel our energy!! She worked us incredibly HARD, with long, fast drills, difficult sets and movements and rapid transitions. It was a 75 minute class and I was having my doubts how long I would hold up and I am in decent shape!! Barely getting enough time for a sip of water, she was relentless. At the end I was really feeling my muscles, but proud that I not only kept up my intensity during the entire class, but that I was working harder then most people in the class who were half my age and had their full health. The room has mirrors and you can't help noticing who squats the lowest, who is punching the hardest, etc. I am the queen of squats and punches there. This is in spite of having severe RA, five joint replacements, and 30 some surgeries. Yes, I felt I deserved to "Stand Tall and Walk Proud".
But it wasn't easy. I have had to start over from square one, zero fitness and build myself back up so many times it would make your head spin! I have very bad insomnia and usually wake up only an hour after I fall asleep. I know its due to RA pain and the inability to find any comfortable postion to sleep in except on my back which gets sore if I stay on it too long. I struggle to get out of bed every morning hurting so much, but once I get over the 'hump' I know it will get better. I can do two or three fitness classes a day in addition to speed walking back and forth to the club.
What keeps me pushing? The feeling I get of being able to move. Of knowing what its like not to move and sit or lay around as the pain intensifies. I was in a wheelchair at one point in my life. I know what that was like and I am fighting to never go back there again. I know I am not overdoing my fitness efforts as I never have any pain that lasts from it. I feel I am able to keep going because of my very good vegetarian eating habits and regular exercise are giving me the energy to keep on in spite of a serious lack of sleep and dealing with RA and osteoporosis.
This healthy lifestyle is worth fighting for!! No matter where you have to start, whether its one little screaming painful movement, one at a time, adding slowly, one baby step at a time until it builds up, its WORTH it! YOU are worth it! Your body deserves to be treated like royalty! Treat it well and you will eventually start reaping the rewards. I feel better, stronger, more confident as I strive to be the fittest, healthiest person I can be within my limitations from my disease. I push the boundaries. I never let anyone tell me you can't do it. I see for myself what I can and can't do. I want to enjoy the wonders of life and get out there and live it and not be confined to my apartment sulking around in pain and binging my face off. I am working hard to keep going. I am working hard for my freedom from the chains of my diseases! This healthy lifestyle is the key and so I strive for it!
Never say die and never give up!! YOU are worth it!
"Stand Tall And Walk Proud" one step at a time!
When I broke my elbow Feb 1 2010 due to the osteoporosis (I did not fall, I was simply pushing a shopping cart back to the mall), I was near a vague number I considered a goal weight, 121 and so decided to enter into weight maintenance mode instead of weight loss.
I have maintained my weight in a range from 118-125 since then with the help of my Spark friends and an excellent team I joined called At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team:

The inspirational, incredible members of my team and I stand tall and walk proud on this journey of healthy living together! Come join us! Plateaus are just maintenance in training!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon you are amazing! I love your line "Plateaus are just maintenance in training! " I am struggling at a plateau right now and have almost resigned myself to this will be my maintenance weight. Thanks for giving me the insight to accepting this period as my training for my eventual maintenance. emoticon
    2101 days ago
    To say that you are an inspiration would be an understatement. You are the quintessential Sparker and I am so glad that they chose to highlight your journey for us! What an amazing example you are! emoticon
    2101 days ago
    Linda, you continue to be a strong motivator and an inspiration. Thank you for all you do! emoticon
    2101 days ago
    Linda you are such an inspiration. I love the mantra and hope that you think of daily as you deserve it! That feeling of strength that comes along with making up ones mind not to give up is powerful and really puts so much into perspective. Thank you for sharing your story.
    2101 days ago
    walk tall and stand proud - awesome! you are an inspiration to us all!
    2101 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Marvelllous achievement.
    2101 days ago
    You are to be congratulated and I appreciate your sharing the mantra your fitness instructor uses. That should keep everyone motivated.
    2101 days ago
    You, dear lady, are an inspiration, I am choked reading your blog. emoticon emoticon

    Stand tall and walk proud...you have every reason to!
    2101 days ago
    Wow, great blog. I wish my sister had the attitude you have. She is in pain from arthritis and because of this she will not move. She is going into assisted living at age 77, because of her obesity and unwillingness to move herself.
    2102 days ago
    That's awesome, Linda. I'm glad you're classes are helping. You're an awesome inspiration for everyone who reads your blogs.

    2102 days ago
    Stand tall and walk proud: words to live by! And you live 'em, that's for sure.

    (Glad to know that you share my potato chip cravings, however: misery loves company!!)
    2102 days ago

    2103 days ago
    ...AMEN... thanks for such a powerful blog. No quitting is not an option!

    ~ Dee emoticon
    2103 days ago
    you go girl! You make my 30 minute recumbent ride look measly....but it's a step in the right direction for me.....You are right....the moment we give up, we are through. To whatever degree we are able,-- like Ang said, it may be gimpy steps.--but we have to keep taking them. Self pity is insidious and lethal. No, other people may not know what we face daily,, but do they really need to? WE know it. And we know what a victory our baby step is, even if others do not. Thanks for an inspiring blog.

    2105 days ago
    Wow. Here I was feeling like it was hard coming back to running from a foot injury. That's *nothing* to what you've done. What an inspiration! emoticon
    2106 days ago
    Wow- Linda- I needed to read that! I want to read/show this to everyone I know-including my sister who was diagnosed with RA a couple years ago, as you know. I think she is leaning toward the staying in bed and moaning stage. You are right-got to keep moving, because it hurts more if you don't. Even with Osteoarthritis- I have those getting over the stiffness in the morning, which feels worse than the whole day, once you get moving and stay moving as much as you can. Linda, you are such an inspiration to all of us! You rock! So proud of you for not giving in to the disease! Keep fighting and stand tall and be proud! You deserve it!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2106 days ago
    You. Are. Amazing.
    2106 days ago
    Linda, you brought me to tears!
    2106 days ago
    I am standing tall on 2 feet today!!! Not for long, but at least I can put that foot on the floor now. The cast is helping to keep the ankle from hurting, but it gets in the way all the time.

    So now I can STAND TALL & WALK PROUD & gimpy, too!
    2107 days ago
    emoticon I agree, this is one of the MOST Inspirational Blogs I have EVER Read!! I was Close to being in a Wheel Chair so I think I understand - Almost! - how you feel about Fighting To Maintain your Independance.
    emoticon emoticon Thank You for sharing your Journey, and showing us that it CAN be done at ANY AGE and in Spite of ANY CHALLENGES we might face.
    2107 days ago
    Linda, at my age, I just could NOT do what you do.....sounds like a cop out, ha, but you really have a stamina, and strength the majority of us don't.....I have only had one bone surgery, unlike your 32!!! But my knees just would not take such excess!!! Think I will keep up my walking and hiking! emoticon
    2107 days ago
  • REJ7777
    You work hard for what you have, and it's inspiring to see everything you succeed in doing, in spite of the RA. You are one spunky lady, who can give even the Energizer bunny a run for his money.

    Indeed, you CAN and SHOULD "Stand Tall And Walk Proud"! emoticon
    2107 days ago
    Fabulous inspiration, Linda! I think about you every morning in my remembrances...about how you keep going and going despite your pain and lack of sleep. I feel really jazzed right now from reading your blog!
    2108 days ago
    True, so true LInda. Stand tall and walk proud always. YOu have earned it with all of your hard work and diligence.
    2108 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    This may be your most inspirational blog yet! (And you've had more than a few!). I am humbled, as I always am when I read yours blogs and those of others who are more challenged than I am but who are also much more active despite of limitation than I am.

    Thank you for sharing.

    You are nothing short of emoticon
    2108 days ago
    Great Blog
    2109 days ago
    Your best blog ever! Absolutely amazing!! Great story -- great passion -- well put. Can only be proud to have you as my SparkFriend. I knew about your RA and some of your challenges, but I never dreamed you had actually lived in a wheelchair for some time. You have come so far!! Take care, as I know you will, and continue standing tall and walking proud.-Marsha
    2109 days ago
    "This healthy lifestyle is worth fighting for!!"
    You Rock!
    2109 days ago
    Awesome blog! You do know you inspire all of us daily don't you? And, physically, despite your RA, you put me to shame daily - I am not, at this point, even nearly able to keep up with you... though I must admit I'd love to take a class with you just once to get my butt kicked big time.

    Have you ever considered starting a group for RA sufferers that focuses on doing the kinds of things you do? Maybe one of the gyms would work with you to start a class that's directed towards that. I just keep thinking you have so much experience, determination and proof in the pudding (what does that mean really?) that you CAN do this regardless of the physical issues you have to deal with. You have so much to offer, I'd love to see you be able to spark people right there like you do for us everyday.

    Wouldn't it be cool if that worked into something like a really good paying consultation type of job? Ok... just blueskying... but why not? You never know what might come of it.

    I'm just learning more and more that there are tonnes of people who have "issues" of one type or another and what they really need is some leadership, role models and lastly, a darn good kick in the pants! I think you're pretty capable of that and more.

    Thanks for sharing. Hugs and keep doing what you do because it seems to work so well.

    Enjoy! CJ
    2109 days ago
    Great blog! As always, you are a wonderful inspiration to me, Linda.
    2109 days ago
    "Stand Tall and Walk Proud" should be your motto forever, Linda! I'm so proud of you and thanks for your inspirational blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2109 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/12/2012 12:05:10 PM
    AMEN!!!! emoticon
    2109 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Great blog, Linda!
    2109 days ago
    Wonderful blog. I voted for it.
    2109 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. That is good advise, and yes good health is worth fighting for.
    You have a lot to be proud of.
    Have a great day!
    2109 days ago
    That was incredibly encouraging! Keep on girl! You sound strong and sure of yourself, and that's awesome :)
    2109 days ago
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