A number of people have asked me lately if I can feel a physical difference now that I've been walking everyday for a number of months.
After my first month of walking, at the beginning of the year, the muscles in my body felt looser and I had a spring to my step. Taking two stairs at a time was much easier. But after a few months, I plateaued. I've grown accustomed to my new normal and now I don't feel any physical benefits from my daily walk.
If I were able to walk a longer distance each day I would likely find the benefits increase, but a mile is about as far as I can comfortably walk on a daily basis. On those days when I walk further than a mile, I usually pay for it the next day with a blister on my residual limb.
Just because I don't feel any positive side effects from my daily walk doesn't mean I will give it up. I walk becuase I am committed to my cause: the Prosthetics Outreach Foundation. I walk because I said I would. And, most important, I walk because I trust that my body needs it.
Since I lost my leg, I've never been one to "honor" my body, in fact I've had a love/hate relationship with my body. I love that it kept me alive and I've often hated what it looks like and feels like. The natural aging process has given me pause, though, and as I feel aches and pains that weren't there three years ago and see wrinkles emerge, I realize how finite this body is. I escaped death once, but there will come a day when it's my turn and this body will cease to breathe.
So I remember that walking is good for my heart, my lungs, and my muscles. I'm counting on my daily walk to be a source of stability and strength. But mostly, I just trust that it's good for me.