An attitude of platitude…

gremlinThe muscle spasms in my legs have been more vicious as of late. The minor “twitching and jumping” of before has recently evolved. This once mild-mannered gremlin that started as a monster from a kid’s movie is all grown up. It has developed into a powerful beast that puts the villain of horror movies to shame. While I have been in the pool, these paroxysms have nearly taken me under water several times.

I have now changed my way of thinking in the water and I am more aware of my surroundings. It is imperative that I know where the pool walls are so that I can grab them in that moment of desperation. For that matter, the necessity is there to learn where everything is for that needed instant of self-rescue. The idea of self-reliance is still an essential desire of my goals. This story shows the way that my swim classmates handle my challenging situation. Even when they do not know what to do staying alert and ready with a helping hand upon my request is the way to go.

leg movementI got into the pool a few weeks ago at ten minutes before nine, and things felt ordinary. Little did I know, havoc and chaos would soon show their ugly heads while I was not looking. I began exercising my legs keeping them moving for about an hour. I was shifting them up, down, back, and forth as continual movement is the key. At nine-fifty I decided to swim to the lap lanes to complete a forty-minute session of laps. While I swam my laps, I felt several times my leg muscles stiffen as I towed my lower limbs behind me through the water.

I was swimming my laps while periodically I could feel my leg muscles clench and hold. As I dragged my lower half through the water, I felt them shake like a choking motorboat. Thankfully when the muscle relaxers that I take are fresh in my body, the spasms are less significant though these meds only last for two or three hours.

At ten-thirty I realized that it was time to end my lap swim and I went back to sitting on the bench in the shallow area. The community center has jets built into the pool walls that allow you to massage your sore muscles. These massage ports can help your lower or upper back depending on the one that you use. I sometimes try to use them on my shoulders, but it requires significant manipulation of my body. This complicated contortion is not impossible, but it is also not done with ease.

At a few minutes before eleven, my fellow students and I headed to class. That is when havoc and chaos my twin turbulent troubles blew in to liven up the party. I tend to move in the water backward because in that direction I am strongest. As I glided through the water, my legs emphatically and abruptly locked up forcefully floating them upward. This spasm thrust me onto my back and nearly pushed my head below water. At this point, I had no control as I tried to upright myself. A technique of sweeping my hands upward in the water forcing my head and chest out of the water was taught by my instructor one day. However, my legs were so stiff that even though I tried this skill several times, there was no success. Eventually, I was able to grab the wall and twist around and get myself in a vertical position.

This spasm was a mild case that did not occur during class. Thankfully my fellow students know how to deal with my obtrusive outbursts. Everyone seems to accept my problematic positioning in their way. Honestly, I could not tell you how everyone acted as I was focusing on not panicking and trying to keep my head above water literally. Several times the instructor has helped me get near the wall and upright when I have been in the middle of class. After a few minutes, my legs seemed to calm down allowing me to join the class once again.

eye rollOn the other hand: while I am in public some people get an annoyed look on their faces like my slowness disturbs them. Occasionally, they reluctantly hold doors open for me showing visual “tells” that they do not want to be there. Microexpressions and body language both let me know their true feelings. Some people are easier to read than The Cat in the Hat book.

slowSome people cannot be bothered to take those few extra seconds to be helpful. These individuals feel that if they show kindness just one time, they will be significantly inconvenienced. I continue to be flabbergasted by the inpatients of others. They do not realize that everyone is a mouse hair away from their personal life-altering situation.

Be kind to everyone because it could be you who is in a bad situation someday.

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