So this trip with my mother, I had no idea what to expect. We have not traveled together alone for many years…almost 25 years, although she has been to visit me wherever I’ve resided.
I know for a fact that she does what she can living alone. She used to do her daily routine of a Chinese Form called “Luk Toong Kuen”, but has since only committed herself to certain parts of the form. She had intergrated her Seniors Aerobics with her morning workout and continues with the Senior Aerobics three times a week.
Her balance was very off when we began this trip but now, five days into it, she has already become more stable and strong. Just being still and watching the ways in which she approaches her routines has taught me a lot.
She seems to be at a very interesting point in her life. Her mind is strong, yet the body chooses not to follow. So instead of finding the stretches or asanas that work, she attempts what she used to with very little luck, hence creating a loss of confidence within herself.
Once I realized that the shuffling of the feet and the relying of the cane, which by the way she has no idea how to use in flow with her movements, was mainly the cause of mistrust, we began to work with that first. The knowledge that she is stronger than she realizes. That she needs to step down with her feet to feel the ground she is walking upon as opposed to shuffling lightly.
Just that one change in her footing began to shift her strength. What next? The fear of falling. She would look down and hesitate to step. Can you picture us walking arm in arm and then suddenly – STOP. Not me, just her.
She would look down and suddenly stop. That’s when I realized that her eyesight might be affecting her judgment. The depth perception. I notice that in myself these days too. My visual perception is definitely not the same as it used to be so I can believe it is more intense for her. If she is standing at the top of an escalator she cannot judge when to step on to it. Interestingly enough, this is just like my three-year-old. They both say that the lines are moving so fast that they cannot tell the separation in the steps.
So to assist her balance, I told her to walk standing straight so that her weight is over her feet. Step down hard and solid to feel the earth, and don’t focus down or sightsee while walking; instead, focus on the direction ahead. I would let her know when steps were coming up so that she could be aware of them.
Can you believe that these minor adjustments, which are major for her as I had to constantly remind her, helped her to climb over 500 steps to the Acropolis in Lindos, Rhodes, Greece, and walk over the rugged archeological landscapes of Pompeii, Italy, Ephesus, Turkey, and around the great Pyramids of Giza?
My joy was to see her joy. Her triumph each time she got back onto the tour bus and was applauded by others on the journey who were so much younger than she is.
[tags]Seniors Aerobics, trip with my mother, travel around, trip with my mom, archeological landscapes[/tags]
This is such an inspiring story. I have witnessed some of the same challenges that my husband’s mother has experienced. It’s amazing what you can learn when you travel together or spend concentrated time together. Thank you for sharing your insights. Namaste, Karen