I really like my legs.
Such a scandalous statement, isn't it? I mean, how bold and self-centered can I be, right? Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will be saying the same thing.
I'm not saying I stare in the mirror, posing to admire the beautiful appendages that they are. I'm not even especially wild about the shape of them or how they look.
Legs are so much more than that.
Lately I have been noticing the power in my legs. I don't feel it when I am running mile after mile, and I don't feel it much on a slow jog. When I run, I think my brain just says, "Move faster than normal." Or if I am on the treadmill, it says, "Keep up so you don't fall."
But I do feel it when I sprint. I'm not sure of the exact code my brain needs to use, but I become aware of my quadriceps lifting my legs to a precise height in a specific allotment of time. The code reaching my legs is a warm rush of adrenaline that exits the muscles almost as soon as it goes in. The waves splash through like waves in confined quarters, back and forth, until I stop. At that point, the adrenaline turns to lactic acid. And while that is more of a "freezing-up" feeling, I am proud that I know how to get it moving on through. I don't have to do anything; it just happens.
The result is a body that can move fast, and stronger, powerful legs.
Sometimes, after a load of exercise, the legs hurt. It's really more of a soreness, and it does go away. But I'm glad for the soreness. I'm glad that my legs have feeling. I'm glad to feel the weight of my children when they sit on my lap, even when some of them are too big to sit there anymore. I'm also glad to feel my favorite cat purring when she curls up in that lap for a siesta.
I've rarely noticed such things before, but I think about it more each time I hear from a friend of mine who has multiple sclerosis.
She had a rough summer dealing with her disease. Living in a bi-level house, she had to plan her day around the trips she would make to the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry. Going down the steps to leave her house was a big deal, and heaven help this poor mom if she did too much and wore herself out. Now, she was able to find a device that helps her to think less about her walking, and enables her movement greatly. It has made a huge difference in her outlook.
The use of her legs, just to walk, is life-giving.
This weekend, my legs are going to get a workout like they've never had before, as I ride with my husband (on our anniversary) in the MS 150. It will be a challenge, as we ride for 5-6 hours through New Jersey, and back the next morning. I'll get to see if 40 years of standard use can be put to a higher test. I'm excited to see what they can do, because I don't doubt I will finish. Our bodies, when in full working order, can do a lot more than we often challenge them to do. I think it would be wise to test those limits once in a while.
To participate in this ride, we had to raise support for the MS Society -a group who helped my friend pay for a portion of her device in order to improve her quality of life. Of course, the main focus of this group is to find a cure and stop the suffering of those with multiple sclerosis, and I pray they do.
For those who gave in support of my ride, thank you, and may you be blessed.
My legs do such wonderful things for me. If something ever happens to me rendering me unable to use my legs, I wouldn't resent those people I saw using their legs as I once did. What would upset me would be seeing someone with perfectly capable legs...
Who chose not to use them.
Passion Under Grace,