Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011: Walking Progress

This final part to the vacation series I'm doing is about my walking progress before, during and after the trip. I never really know how my walking is going to be from one day to the next. I find out in the morning when I first wake up usually. Every day is like a crap shoot.

Before the trip, my walking was starting to slide into no man's land again. Very stiff-legged and hard to move. I was exercising, but it didn't seem to do much for my walking. The elliptical has your legs moving in a different motion than regular walking. When I go from being on my elliptical to walking around on normal surfaces, I unconsciously try to mimic the motion of the elliptical.

The first few days we were in Atlanta, I had a slightly difficult time. Not too bad, but definitely worse than my "good" days. I wasn't having any of the jerky starts and stops, but I was definitely slower than I wanted to be. Luckily, it cleared up fairly quickly. My husband reminded me to roll my hips as I walked. When I walk and I don't think about it, I tend not to rotate my hips. That makes it harder to move. But when I focus on rotating my hips as I step, it is a lot easier.

The terrain at Reynolds Plantation actually seemed to help too. At the resort, we were walking from the hotel to the lake and to the restaurant quite a bit. The path we took had us going up and down some fairly steep hills. We took shortcuts here and there through the grass or the sand, and in some ways it was easier, and in others it was harder. Walking through sand is easier on the joints, since your feet don't impact the ground as hard, but the sand puts more resistance on your steps. The grass is again gentler on your joints, but it's uneven and you have to watch out for those sticks and twigs that like to "jump up and get you".

My walking improved so much at the resort, I even let go of my husband's arm a few times in the hallways of the hotel. I chickened out though as soon as I heard anyone walking behind us. I don't know why, I don't really like people walking behind me. Especially kids. I'm always expecting kids to run up and ram into me. I go into self preservation mode and grab onto whatever I can. Need to work on that.

Since being back from vacation, my walking ability is still good. I haven't noticed any sort of decline at all. We've gone to a few movies since we've been back, and I've had no problems. Went to Costco and wandered around there, and I was a pro at pushing the cart that day. To me, I felt like I was going at a pretty good pace. I was probably going slow in other people's opinions, but who cares? Now to get me back to using the walker.

So, there you have it. My vacation recap. We had a great time, and are looking forward to our next vacation back east. As always, keep moving.

Read the first two entries of the vacation series. Part 1 and part 2.


  1. Hi, I found your blog when I searched for the 5 finger shoes and cerebral palsy together. My six-year old has ataxic cerebral palsy, and I have been looking into getting him some different shoes. He currently wears braces that go almost to his knees. I was wondering if you also wear braces, or if you just rely on your walker for support. He has a walker as well, and he seems more comfortable without the braces. I'm not asking medical advice, I plan to discuss this with his OT and his orthotist, just wondering if you wear braces and if you feel the shoes made you feel more stable or comfortable. Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much for your comment! I wore braces as a kid, but I can't remember exactly when I stopped. I do remember I wore them in kindergarten.I may have worn them from time to time is first grade, but I don't remember. After the braces I wore orthodic inserts. I wore those until my mid teen years. Since then, I haven't worn any braces or inserts.

    As for your six-year old son wearing Five Fingers, I'd say sure, give it a try. If your son likes being barefoot, he'll probably like the shoes. I'm glad you're going to ask your doctor first, that's always a good thing. :) For me the Five Fingers do make me feel more stable. They provide no support, but it makes your toes spread apart which gives you more surface area to walk on. Normal shoes leave your toes squished in the toes. These shoes allow you to use all of your toes for balance.

    Thanks for stopping by, and let me know what happens.