Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!

(By Lois Robinson)

I don’t know about you, but I find myself holding onto things that I really don’t need any more. There is a show on television called “Hoarders” about this. I’m not talking about the disorder of hoarding, but I am talking about keeping things based on the assigned value you have given it, then not wanting to give it up because you might use it someday. Sound familiar?

This issue came up in me recently. Here’s the back story. About two years ago, I realized I needed a recumbent exercise bike for my home as my knee was continuing with its struggles. Since my back had then become involved, a recumbent bike was the ticket! I searched and searched Craigslist and other places.  I then searched some more. Finally, one came up for sale in Cherry Hill on Craigslist for only $75.00- right in my budget.Yay! With extreme excitement, my best friend Jessica and I took a road trip up to the owner’s residence. The bike sat in his garage. Boy was it nice! An Edge 491 with all the bells and whistles for only $75.00! You can’t beat that. I immediately said I would take it, so Jess and the man loaded into the truck and we rode home. This was going to be one of the pieces of equipment that was going to help rehab this leg and get me on my feet walking normally again!

We lugged it into our house when we arrived home and set it up in the living room so I could pedal, pedal, pedal while watching TV, which made the time go quicker. You may know what I am talking about. All I kept saying was that it was such a huge gift from God to get such a great bike for $75.00. I then began the journey of using that bike every day, praying that this new bike would be a tremendous part of getting the knee joint mobile. I rode it faithfully. The discouraging piece was that no matter how much I exercised on it, the knee would still return to the same level of stiffness two minutes after I stopped pedaling. This went on for a year.

I then had to get the next surgery because the boney scar tissue still grew no matter how much exercising I did on the bike or with stretches or weight training. The same result would occur: extreme stiffness and weakness. The surgeons said he would remove the entire scar, get the joint mobile again and then lots of bike work for the rehab. I was optimistic because I had my own bike at home now, a recumbent one at that!

Surgery day came and went. I stayed for 3 days in the hospital, strapped into a Continual Passive Motion machine on my back for all three days. Once I got home, I had to start the bike and stretches. I followed the orders because my hope was this surgery would be the last and I would walk normally again. So I rode the bike: pedaling, pedaling, pedaling.

Well, today is the day I sold my recumbent exercise bike to a lady that was in rehab for her hips. It was a battle for me to even consider selling it. As some of you know, my leg is far from healed. I have to walk with a crutch due to extreme stiffness and weakness. I will get a 3rd opinion next Wednesday, but this may be a lifelong chronic condition I have to learn to live with. As I processed what was going on inside my mind and my heart, I realized that I had in some way linked the exercise bike to my healing. In my mind, that bike meant I was going to walk again, and selling it said I was not going to walk again, that I had accepted the notion that I will not walk normally ever again. I was not ready to accept that. So holding onto the bike meant there was some form of hope. Though I have another upright one in my office, the recumbent was the one that I had such high hopes for. The journey of rehab certainly didn’t unfold the way I thought it was going to when I excitedly loaded it up that night in Cherry Hill.

As I watched the older couple leave with it today, I was thankful that the Holy Spirit allowed me to see how I had assigned such irrational value to the bike, as if it was responsible to help me walk again. Yes, it is an integral part of the rehab journey, but God and God alone is my Healer. He could choose to heal me instantaneously without any bike if He chose to. For now, He is choosing not to heal my leg that way, but He is certainly healing other aspects of me: my heart, my mind and my ability to understand what is truly valuable and what’s not.

I do hope the hip patient enjoys the bike. As for me, my rehab journey is doing well.  The leg is the same, but my heart and mind are healing well!