I've been very proud over the last week at how well my fitness level is progressing. It's not easy to come back after giving away a kidney, but it is entirely possible. I've been finding that, after weeks of work, running is becoming easier, cycling is not so hard, and my muscles (the ones I'm allowed to use) are getting stronger.
I think it's helped that I haven't really given myself any kind of time limit to get back to where I was before the surgery. I've had good days and not-so-good days. On days when I struggled to stay moving on the road or on the treadmill, I reminded myself of what I learned a couple of years ago when I was first learning how to run: just because it's hard today doesn't mean it will always be hard. It will be easier next time.
Ironically, even though I am taking it slow and steady, it feels like this patience has rewarded me with a quicker return to fitness than I expected. My 6km run this morning all of a sudden felt like a breeze... no, who am I kidding... it's never easy to run... maybe it felt just a tad easier than it has been since I started up again. It feels like it's time to try a little bit more. And it feels like I'm ready for it. And I feel proud to prove to people that donating a kidney doesn't mean that you will be bed-ridden and struggling for the rest of your life.
So, here's a picture of me after my run this morning. Isn't it weird how photo taken in your bathroom mirror are always so foggy? Maybe it's the sweat, I dunno. But maybe you can see how energized I feel.
Faster and stronger and proud.