If the Shoe Fits

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I’ve been on a quest for good walking shoes for at least a month, now. With the weather warming and travel plans ahead, I want to be sure that I have a reliable, comfortable pair that will minimize my feet issues, even as I am coming to accept that no pair exists that will make walking fully pain-free.

This is always a challenge. The biggest stumbling block is that you can’t walk outside in shoes that you’re trying out at home without committing to buying them. (I know of one clear exception, Allbirds, which gives you a 30 day trial of walking anywhere—if the shoes don’t work out, you send them back and they are donated to people who are homeless. Zappos has also accepted returned shoes I’ve lightly worn once outside, but I don’t want to take unfair advantage of that option.) So how to really know if the shoes will be comfortable on pavement or uneven terrain, which are always the big challenges?

My strategy now is to wear a pair I’ve bought around the house for a few days. Usually, if there’s a major fit issue, I’ll know right away. If there are other structural issues, I’ll know in a day. If the shoes are still comfortable after a couple of days, I’ll take the plunge and wear them outside.

But, first, they have to meet a number of criteria. The fat pads on my feet have thinned so much from scleroderma that I have to set a high bar:

  • Is there plenty of room in the toe box? No pinching?
  • Are they lightweight so as not to aggravate my joints?
  • Is the shoe made of materials that breathe, to avoid trapping perspiration and triggering Raynaud’s or causing skin breakdown?
  • Does my foot feel balanced, with pressure evenly distributed over the entire sole?
  • Does walking in the shoes adversely affect my knees, back or hips?
  • Is there sufficient arch support?
  • Is there a removable foot bed, so I can use my own orthotics or a good ready-made alternative?
  • Is there enough shock-absorbency, so the shoe doesn’t tire my feet or trigger the neuropathy in my right foot?
  • Can I walk without noticing the shoes? Do they fade into the background?

Then there is the question of style. I refuse to wear shoes that look like boats. Fortunately, now that so many of us baby boomers are aging, and many of us have buying power, there are a lot more alternatives for comfortable shoes that are at least somewhat attractive, even if heels are out of the question (and bad for your feet, anyway) and daintier styles lack necessary support. When I first began having these issues several decades ago, the choices were much slimmer. Now there are options, even for my particular taste.

If the shoes pass all of the above tests, then it’s time to risk a test drive around the block. None of this is foolproof. I’ve tested shoes outside, thought I had a winner, only to discover after repeated wear that they don’t work out in the long run. This has happened more times than I would like.

Which brings me to my latest acquisition, a pair of Abeo sneakers that I found at The Walking Company. I’m on first-name basis with the sales clerk, at this point. She knows my issues and really tries to help me find the right shoe. I landed on this pair after several rounds of other shoes that didn’t work out. Then I went back and upgraded the removable insoles. That combination seems to be on target.

My walk around the block on Monday in lovely sunshine was an A-. Pretty good, all things considered. While there is no pair that will make walking painless or tireless, these sneakers give me hope that I’ll be able to sustain longer walks—balanced with thoughtful pacing and rests. Staying active is simply too important to give in to all the obstacles that this disease throws in my path.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com. Please view Privacy Policy here.

Fitful

As Election Day arrives, I have found it harder to sleep. So much is at stake. I’ve been plagued by a low-level headache that flits from temple to temple. I’m exhausted at night but can’t easily turn off my mind. Regardless of the outcome tonight, our country faces a very contentious future that will take a long, long time to heal. More stress is guaranteed.

7736889972_edcee6db5c_oThere is only one silver lining to this mess: I will finally get in shape. Why? Because I discovered last week that the one way I can get rid of my tension is to work out. Al and I at long last got back to the gym Thursday night. I walked a mile on the indoor track, rode 2.3 miles on the stationary bike and listened to a podcast that had nothing to do with politics. Voila! My mood improved. Nothing like putting one foot in front of the other or pedaling, pedaling, pedaling to push out the stress.

On Friday, Em got me away from the computer to take a half-hour walk around the neighborhood—something I have been neglecting recently as I’ve focused on work deadlines and read too many election analyses. On Saturday, we all joined Al’s brother and his extended family and friends for a three mile Boston VisionWalk in memory of Al’s nephew, who died all too young, two years ago. It was an uplifting way to get exercise and do some good in the world. I devoted Sunday and Monday to board meetings for The Good People Fund, which supports creative individuals who tackle hunger, poverty and other seemingly intractable social issues at the community level, with amazing, positive results. All of this was the best I could do to counter all the hate speech and negativity swirling around us. It helped me sleep a little better.

As I write, I have no idea how the election will turn out. I am afraid for our country. I am praying that sanity and compassion will prevail, that innuendoes and guilt-by-association will be debunked, that each of us will think beyond our own needs and concerns to do what is best for our society and nation as a whole.

And I will keep on walking, keep on walking, one foot in front of the other.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Image Credit: Ryan McGilchrist

Gym Date

chiseled-abs-1230552-640x480Last time I saw my cardiologist, he made the brilliant suggestion that I try to find an indoor track at a local college, so I can keep up my walking practice when the weather gets too cold. I need the aerobic exercise to build up my endurance and stay strong. His idea was a very good one, especially given the past few days, when the temperature here one morning dropped to -16° F —without the windchill.

As it turns out, there just so happens to be a local college five minutes from our home, where Al earned his master’s many moons ago. So that makes him an alumnus and me a spouse of an alumnus, which gives us access to their wonderful recreation facility—including an indoor track. We also get alumni pricing, which is about a third of the cost of the community gym I had joined last year (and barely used).

So, a couple of weeks ago, Al and I went over to the college on a Thursday night for a tour of the facilities. Now, I’ve read about undergraduate institutions building great health and fitness spaces to attract students. This place is no exception. It’s clean, well-equipped, well-lit, with plenty of exercise options, a beautiful indoor pool and an elevated indoor track that encircles the gym. The track is made of some kind of rubber, so it’s easy on your feet. And we get to use the faculty/staff locker rooms. (Given how long it takes me just to tie on my sneakers, this is a good thing.)

We have since joined and made it to the gym three times together, with Thursday being our date night. Al and I both do the track, though he combines running and walking. I also ride one of the stationary bikes. Al is experimenting with the exercise equipment, weights and swimming laps.

I was a bit wary, at first, of being around all those healthy young undergrads. We certainly stand out, with our 60+ physiques and graying hair, amidst all the cute girls with their perfect thighs and bouncing ponytails, and the cute guys with their flat stomachs and strong shoulders. But the front desk staff have been very polite and welcoming, and no one really pays us much mind. We’re just part of the mix.

That’s fine with me. Actually, I find the youthful vibe invigorating. It’s fun to watch the baseball team as they practice hitting balls against wall mats down in the gym as I walk my laps, or the Frisbee team tossing and catching, or whoever else has the space reserved. I draw energy from the young adults who zoom past me or race on the treadmills in the room with all the stationary bikes. And it’s fun to wave to Al as he speed walks or jogs around me.

We both feel better. And it sure beats feeling trapped inside in sub-zero temps. I still hope to keep walking outside when weather permits. I’ve also found a great Pilates studio for full body workouts once a week. But it’s nice to have a good gym buddy, too—especially when he’s your honey.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Image Credit: Thom W

Resolution Report Card

As we fast approach 2016, the media are full of retrospectives, best-of lists, worst-of lists, remembrances and clearance sales. The usual accounting.

lantern-festival-06-4-1196554-639x426And, of course, it’s that time of year to consider New Year’s resolutions. But instead of coming up with a new list, I thought I’d review last year’s and see how many resolutions I actually accomplished—and how to move closer to my goals this year.

My top priority for 2015 was to enhance my weekly exercise routine. I took the plunge and joined a community fitness center. But it didn’t work out. The classes mostly consisted of repetitive movements that are hard on my joints, and the studios were as chilly as refrigerators. I could not motivate myself more than maybe three times to go to the gym and use the stationary bike. The one class I really liked cost extra. Not worth the membership. My one big accomplishment: walking 15 minutes to a half-hour around my neighborhood at least three times a week.

My New Year’s remedy: At the recommendation of my cardiologist, I checked out local colleges for indoor tracks, to continue walking warmly and safely this winter. Al is an alumnus of one of them, which gives me spouse privileges at a very reasonable rate for the campus recreation facility. I also found a new Pilates studio nearby with a variety of exercise options that enables me to use a punchcard for drop-in classes, rather than pay for classes I may miss. I have to be more consistent with exercising, to stay strong and flexible, and this seems to be a more realistic formula for success.

Decluttering our home was also high on the list. Well, we got started clearing out books and old toys. Then we stalled. I managed to cull through decades of old files from the filing cabinet in the basement—dating back to the 1980s! But I still have to consolidate what’s left in a manageable way and then transfer current files (sans unnecessary paper) to the filing cabinet from my office floor. Over the winter, I want to finally tackle the family room in the basement. On the plus side, if we hadn’t been decluttering this fall, we never would have discovered a huge plumbing leak, and damage would have been much worse.

Last New Year’s I promised myself I would limit multi-tasking and keep my to-do list to what I could actually accomplish. Let’s just say this is a work in progress. Same for spending undistracted quality time with my family, minus iPhones and other beeping gadgets. Getting better about this, but there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Did I favor locally grown, organic produce when grocery shopping? Not as much as I had intended. Need to work on that one.

Another goal for 2015—saying thank-you to someone for something specific, each day—I  try, but could be more mindful about this. I did fulfill some major community volunteer commitments, another resolution, without draining my energy, which I plan to continue.

Then there was my big creative goal: write the first draft of my novel. I haven’t finished, yet, but I am making steady progress. I’m just about at the halfway point, and I participate in a weekly workshop class in Boston that is helping me to sharpen my writing and stay on task. I’ve learned a great deal about how much is involved in an artistic project this big, and I know, now, that it’s a multi-year undertaking. That’s okay. We took an amazing trip to Europe this summer to do research for my novel that taught me I really can travel, despite the complications of my scleroderma. As I wrote last year, investing in my own art is truly central to my being—and well-being.

I need to remind myself of one more goal from last year—go/do/see someplace/something new each month. So important to keep growing.

As for adding anything new for 2016, the best goal I can think of is this: Remember to just breathe.

Best wishes to all of you, Dear Readers, for a healthy, fulfilling and prosperous 2016. Thank you for your continuing encouragement and thoughtful comments as I enter my fifth year of writing this blog. Let 2016 be a year of more progress toward a cure for scleroderma, and toward a just and lasting peace in this troubled world of ours.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Image Credit: Yee Wong

A Walk in the Woods

The leaves are turning later this autumn. Warm weather through September has delayed our annual New England spectacle. The sugar maples are just beginning to splash streets and forests with their glorious golds and oranges and crimsons. And the brightest leaves are just beginning to fall, as they must, as the flow of sap slows and the trees harden off for the winter ahead.

photoWith the trees’ annual cycle of endings have come losses for friends. Three have bid goodbye to parents in the past few weeks–aged 89 to 98. It’s been a time of cooking for shiva meals, joining in evening prayers, hearing stories of long lives, well lived. The last funeral was yesterday, October 12.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday. She died 16 years ago. She always enjoyed the fall. As leader of our Girl Scout troop when I was in grade school, she took us on camping trips in the woods, where we would sleep in big canvas tents pitched over wooden platforms. I’m sure those adventures nurtured my love of walking in the forest, especially at the height of autumn.

I was thinking of her as Al and I hiked in a nearby state forest on Sunday. My joints began to ache and my legs were heavy by the time we emerged from the trails, but the view and the scent and the refreshing air were worth it. So, Mom, these pictures from our hike are for you. Rest in peace.

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Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

52 Pick-up

Sunday was one of those Goldilocks-and-the-Three-Bears kind of September days—not too hot, not too cold. Just right. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the air had a crisp edge and there was a pleasant breeze. Perfect weather for combining exercise with a fun outing—a mile-and-a-half walk to the annual fall arts-and-crafts street festival in my hometown.

chalk heartAl and I set out around 2:30 with a goal of finding a wedding present for some young friends who are getting married next month. As we walked along shaded streets, he noticed a plastic strap, the kind that binds packing boxes, lying near the curb. He picked it up.

“Please don’t collect any more litter until we’re on our way back,” I said.

“I have a halo,” he said, placing the packing strap around his baseball cap. I had to laugh. We continued on our way.

Al makes a habit of cleaning up litter wherever we go. This used to drive me crazy, but I’ve made my peace with it—just his way of being a good citizen and tending the planet. He’s promised me he won’t pick up cigarette butts or food. And he washes his hands thoroughly when we get home. This is the one piece I insist on, so he doesn’t pick up germs or spread them to my hands.

Soon we reached the street festival and poked around hundreds of booths selling jewelry, photos, ceramics, skirts sewn from recycled T’s, henna painting, candles, soaps, jams, weaving, hand-spun wool, recycled sweater mittens, hand-turned wooden bowls and more. We ran into friends. We watched a fencing exhibition, a West African dance demo, a juggling unicyclist. I stopped to draw with sidewalk chalk. We found a wonderful local artisan whose woodworking we admired for the wedding gift. Al bought a ceramic snail; I found a burgundy fabric purse for evenings out.

On the way back, Al pulled out the plastic shopping bags he’d stuffed in his back pocket and began picking up litter. There was no shortage. Plastic water bottles were abundant. He scooped up soda cans, cigarette cartons, aluminum pastry trays, plastic bottle caps, random bits of paper, nips bottles. I started spotting for him—a plastic bottle stuck in a stone wall, a whisky bottle, lids from drinks. Really, it’s astonishing when you start paying attention, how much trash people toss on the street without thinking about the consequences. I’m sure a cultural anthropologist could draw some interesting conclusions. But, basically, a lot of people are just plain careless.

We moved to the side to let a couple pass us on the sidewalk. “That’s so great that you pick up litter!” said the woman. “Thank you!”

Al just smiled and kept going. He separated recyclables from garbage and emptied one plastic bag in a park garbage can along our way, then refilled the bag as we walked. By the time we got home, he had collected dozens of bottles and cans for our recycling bin and more trash for Monday morning’s pick-up.

I commented that there was hardly any litter on our street. “You’ve probably picked it all up!” I said. Al laughed. He went straight to the bathroom sink and washed his hands with plenty of soap. He’d lost his halo earlier. But, not.

Gotta love him.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Walk This Way

Ever since we got back from vacation, I feel too sedentary. Instead of exploring for hours on foot (true, it was a bit more than my feet could handle), I’m sitting at my computer far too much. Ginger’s no longer here to bop my hands off the keyboard when it’s time to go out for a walk around the block. It’s all too easy just to keep writing and not get any exercise.

walk-on-1445129-639x424So I’m trying to change my habit. I’ve tracked a half-hour walking route around our neighborhood—a manageable distance—and my goal is to get my butt off the chair and out the door at least four times a week.

This is actually proving easier than I expected. In fact, it’s quite pleasant. (It helps to start a walking habit when it’s warm out.) I’ve made it out and about my route at least five times in the past week—even Monday evening, after a sweltering 90-degree day.

Em is home for a transitional break between her summer internship in D.C. and returning to grad school, so she’s joined me a couple of times for a walk-and-talk. On other days, I’ve enjoyed a chance to clear my head and walk in silence. There are plenty of street trees for shade and only a few cars on the side streets to watch out for. We’re fortunate to live in a safe neighborhood with plenty of dog walkers, cyclists, families pushing strollers and other folks out walking or jogging.

Sometimes, I find myself so deep in my head that I barely notice what’s around me. Other times, I try to focus on the colors of the houses and birdsong and gardens as a meditation, staying in the moment. I’ve decided it doesn’t matter which mode I’m in, as long as I stretch my legs, swing my arms and get lungfuls of fresh air for a good, aerobic half-hour.

What if it rains? Depends on how long and how intensely. My alternative is to go to the gym and ride the stationary bike—not as refreshing, but at least I’m exercising.

It remains to be seen how well I can keep this up as the weather gets cooler and, eventually, too cold for me to be outside. But I figure if I establish a solid pattern now, when the walking is easy, my body will get addicted to the exercise and I’ll crave it enough to stick with it.

I definitely feel better when I walk. And worse when I don’t. No doubt about that. I can do it any time I want. Best of all—it’s free.

So, no excuses. Time to get moving.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Photo Credit: Francesco Maglione 

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I made good on my exercise commitment last week—I got to the fitness center twice, once for my barre class and once to ride the stationary bike for 25 minutes, plus I took half-hour walks on two other days.

Then I developed an ulcer in the nail bed of my left big toe. It’s infected. I have no idea how this happened. I am meticulous with skin care. It might have been as simple as picking up bacteria while walking around in sandals. Or just bad karma.

So, I’m back on antibiotics, limping a bit, carefully testing pressure on my left foot. I was able to walk around the block on Monday and get through most of the exercises in my barre class last night.

This is the minutiae of living with scleroderma. Just when you think you have everything in balance, something kicks it out of whack and you have to recalibrate.

But there are much more important issues in the world than an infection in my big toe.

On Sunday, at Al’s initiative, I joined my husband, our rabbi and cantor, and about a dozen other members of our synagogue at morning services at the local A.M.E. congregation. We came to show solidarity over the tragic shootings at the historic Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., last week.

Al had called ahead, the previous Friday, to ask if it would be okay with the pastor if we came. We were welcomed with thanks and gracious hospitality. Other members of the community came as well, in a spontaneous show of support. It was heartening to be part of a mixed sea of faces, all gathered to assert that what happened in Charleston was terribly wrong, that we care, that we must pull together as a society to end the violence and bridge the widening racial divide in this country.

Will any lasting good come of all those people, from different backgrounds, gathered together in prayer on a Sunday morning? I cannot say. But I know we helped to comfort our neighbors and sent good will out into the universe, and that must count for something.

After the service, we went out with friends for a Father’s Day brunch, then to the art museum, then home. Al mowed the lawn. I lay down and rested my sore foot.

My toe will heal, albeit slower than I want it to, with a combination of medication and careful tending. I will get back to my exercise plan. There will undoubtedly be other physical setbacks, but I’ll deal with those, too.

Would that our nation’s ills could heal as readily.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Photo Credit: Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino

Pep Talk

No getting around it. I need more exercise. One weekly barre class is just not enough to stay in shape. Ever since Ginger died this winter, I haven’t been as good about taking a walk every day—no furry muzzle bopping my hands off the keyboard when it’s time to stretch and get out of the house. And I haven’t felt motivated to go to the gym. It’s chilly and impersonal and the three large flat-screen TVs broadcast an endless stream of bad news, too depressing.

But a visit with my cardiologist last week and my lead rheumatologist on Monday made it quite 2078973271_3307fc3441clear that I will feel a whole lot better if I move more. It’s critical for my longterm health and well being. (Not to mention body image—without Ginger’s nudging to walk regularly, I’ve put on five unwanted pounds since February—all below the waist.)

This has all been complicated by two issues: the fact that if I exert too quickly, I get short of breath due to some physiological complications of scleroderma, and the fact that my feet, despite all my efforts to find the right shoes, tire easily. They’re really sensitive from thinning fat pads, also due to scleroderma.

After long conversations with both trusted physicians, however, the bottom line is this: my body is high maintenance, but if I’m mindful of the boundaries of my endurance, the more I exercise, the more I’ll be able to endure.

So, I basically have to get off my butt and work out for a half hour at least three days a week.

I know I could listen to audiobooks or podcasts or music. But I’d rather read while I exercise. I have a backlog of books and New Yorker magazines. So my first strategy is going to be to try to read while I use the stationary bike. The treadmill is another option, but if I want to go easy on my feet, the bike may be a better bet.

Neither of these options sound thrilling. They don’t call it a treadmill for nothing. And a stationary bike is, well, stationary. But I can’t ride a regular bike anymore because of the pressure it puts on my wrists. So, I have to make the best of what I can actually do.

Another psychological obstacle to overcome: I will never look like all those pictures of buff, attractive people that decorate the fitness center, supposedly as motivation—”This could be you!” Nope. No way. In fact, I think those images do more to discourage me, because the ideal is so far beyond my reach. 

But the reality is that striving for an ideal body is so not the point. This is about building endurance, feeling more flexible and confident. Trusting myself that, even if I have this damn disease, I can still be physically strong.

My cardiologist said I shouldn’t overdo it, and there’s no need to do big, strenuous routines on the bike or to run on the treadmill. Just listen to my body and do what I’m comfortable doing, to start, and work up from there.

They convinced me. I know I have to. And who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise myself and actually enjoy the gym. Stay tuned. . . .

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

Photo Credit: Harry Pujols

Tending Barre

Around New Year’s, I decided to shake up my exercise routine and join a community fitness center—to access a greater variety of classes, to use the fitness equipment, to break up my work day with a workout.

Good intentions. But, to be honest, I’ve been less than diligent about going. I’ve had plenty of excuses. It’s been way too cold out. I don’t like changing in and out of exercise clothes in the middle of the day. I’m too busy.

Then there have been a few mishaps as I’ve tried to find my place—like killing my knees in a Zumba class and getting short of breath in a “Senior” exercise class. The latter experience left me mortified (can’t they call it something else?), but it was a serious workout and I arrived late, didn’t warm up enough and started feeling faint during the aerobics portion of the class. I recovered, but not without scaring my instructor. Later in the day, I received a thoughtful follow-up email from the fitness center director to be sure I was okay and to suggest a few more options.

Really, the big issue is being careful that I don’t accelerate into strenuous aerobics too quickly, which seems to trigger what my physicians suspect is stress-induced pulmonary hypertension. But it spooked me, and I wasn’t sure what to do.

Then I discovered Barre Exercise. I’ve always loved dance, and over the past ten years, I’ve taken jazz, modern and Middle Eastern belly dancing. As my feet have become more sensitive, I’ve had to cut back. It’s very hard to keep my balance on the balls of my feet as the fat pads have significantly thinned out due to scleroderma.

But this class uses a ballet barre. So I have something to grab onto.

It’s been many years since I took a basic ballet class, and I am no Pavlova. But I had forgotten how much I enjoy the form and grace of ballet movements. All the Pilates classes have paid off. I know how to align myself and engage my core. And I still remember the fundamentals—foot placement, arms, the essentials of a plié, tendu, dégagé, coupé, attitude, battement. I can’t quite hold my balance in an arabesque, but I can approximate the position.

The workout is quite intense—deceptively so, because each movement is limited and controlled. But I work up a sweat, and the cold room no longer feels cold after about 15 minutes. The pacing works, so I can keep up with the aerobics without getting short of breath. And there is plenty of stretching at the end.

Most of all, I actually feel graceful. This is the best part. My range of motion has been so constricted over the years by this disease that the fact that I can actually make a beautiful shape with my body is astonishing and wonderful. I leave the class feeling refreshed and a little more confident each week.

I still need to figure out a way to get myself to the center more often. I know I should probably do the treadmill or stationary bike to build up my aerobic endurance, even though the prospect is boring as all get-out. I’d like to find another class that I enjoy. But at least I’ve been able to tap my inner dancer, once again. Whatever my physical limitations, this is what I always return to. 

Photo Credit: quinn.anya via Compfight cc

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.