I’m doing physical therapy right now to help me overcome arthritis in my knees. The way physical therapy works is this. You go to the PT’s office once or twice a week and they stretch you and direct you to do exercises. Then they give you exercises to do at home. It’s like practicing the violin between lessons. If you don’t do it, you won’t get better.
Last week my PT gave me a new exercise. I usually do my PT exercises just before I get into bed. It’s a good reference point for a new habit. I already brush my teeth, take some pills, and get undressed before bed: what’s one more thing? But for boring logistical reasons, this new exercise wouldn’t fit into my bedtime routine. So I didn’t do it.
I kept meaning to do it. I even scheduled it earlier in the evening with an alarm and everything. But the alarm always went off in the middle of dinner or talking with Anna or something else. So I didn’t do it. For more than a week.
Today, when I got home, I did my new exercise. Let me tell you: I feel great. I feel all light and glowy and smug inside, like I’m a competent human being again. And this from moving my leg back and forth a little.
Not doing my new exercise was bringing me down. I was breaking a commitment, and I was doing it every day. It’s amazing just how good it feels to fulfill that commitment today. Like a putting down a big weight.