Our YWCA is closed this week for its annual scrub and tune-up. This year they’re refinishing all the pools, so we won’t be back in the water until August 20. Since I get a little squirrelly on weekends when I don’t have my water aerobics class, a whole week without water or my other exercise options carries the potential for what my shrink calls “destabilization.” After stumbling though this for a few years, I finally figured out that I need to put an alternate exercise plan in place in order to come out the other side without going completely yampy. Like the Russians in Hunt for Red October, I always need a plan.
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This year my friend, Penny, generously offered me the use of her condo’s pool. I’m also hitting Tom and Cheryl’s stationary bike in the evenings, setting up “walking dates” with other friends, and doing solo walks as long as my feet hold out. I’m much more comfortable in the water than on land—my feet and joints get too sore pounding the pavement, and I have a congenital twist in one leg that generates monster blisters no matter what kind of shoes I wear. But, as long as I can give myself a few days between walks, I’m good.
So much in my life has shifted since last summer’s break from the Y. This year I’m deeply committed to getting the exercise my brain and body have grown used to and need along with continuing my exploration of the vegan way of life. Another year of living medication-free and developing strategies for managing my bipolar disorder roots me in my Bipolar Bad-Ass way of life. As a reminder this week, I added another mantra to my Inspiration Door. The illness rises and falls, but my determination to live well remains constant.