dreamstimecomp_2439573Last week I returned to the Land of the Living. I think I’m a month behind everyone else on New Year’s resolutions, but better late than never. The cold I had really took its own sweet time and I couldn’t find the energy for much of anything. But just in time for February, I’ve officially headed back to the gym.

And it’s good for me. Well, of course it’s good for everyone, but it’s particularly good for me, being in a wheelchair. I keep hearing that prescription drug commercial in my head. You know the one, “a body at rest tends to stay at rest, while a body in motion …” For Restasis, or Cialis, or some such -is. Wait. Not Cialsis. I know that one. It’s the one like Viagra with the inexplicable ad. In it a man and woman sit in separate bathtubs in the middle of a wheat field. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps they find wheat arousing or the walls of their house blew away.

Anyway, believe the adage, “use it or lose it.” I know it to be true. I feel like a big, stiff bear waking up from a long winter’s nap. And the few things I used to do with ease (and believe me, there were only a few) are now difficult again.  Like, I used to be able to touch my toes while down on a big floor mat. Either my arms have shrunk or my legs have gotten longer, because now I’m a good foot away. More likely, my once flexible muscles have hardened up as fast as day old bread. So, I’m back to square one.

It’s good for other people, too – my being out and about. Not all of you, of course, because my readers are very socially aware, but it’s good to remind the general public that disabled people are out there. If you’re like most people, you just don’t think about people being different or having different needs, unless you know or see someone like me. After you’ve seen me in my power chair at the strip mall, you’re less likely to park in front of a curb cut — my only way down from or onto a curb.

Plus, my being out may inspire someone in ways I will never know. This is one of the perks of being disabled. I can help someone without ever lifting a finger. Imagine the person down in the dumps, who sees me smiling, just going about my business, and stops and thinks, “Wow, look at that happy girl in the wheelchair. What have I got to be grumpy about?”

And speaking of being grumpy, my mom and I are both guilty of it as of late. We’ve been bickering — another thing that prompted my return to a fitness regime. I know how exercise improves your mood and outlook. And I think this is true for all relationships — it’s good to do your own thing once in a while. Allow yourself to miss each other a little bit.

So be aware, I’m back out in the world. I’ll be the smiling girl in the wheelchair. Just like the picture. Minus the green hair, of course.