Sunday, 27 May 2012

Some Nice Pipes

I caught a glimpse of my flexed bicep out of the corner of my eye the other day and was shocked. I was helping Mike up off the couch and like always, I bent my knees and went into a squat. I placed one arm behind him on his back and one arm in front for him to hold and lean on. Sometimes we count; one, two three and then stand. When we stand, Mike leans forward and my arm supports a lot of his weight. This particular time I glanced down and to the left and saw my flexed bicep…it looked huge.

I answered the door the other day and the first thing the young sales man said to me was, “Wow, you must work out.” I do workout, I have been teaching group fitness classes for over twenty years and as a kid I was always active in sports. But, the muscles came before all that. I attribute them to my Mennonite genetics from my dad’s side, although my mom had some nice pipes too (still does). I frequently asked her and my dad to “flex” for me when I was kid.
The muscular build works well for me as a fitness instructor, but when I was a young girl, I hated it. My calves were so big I was unable to wear the really cute zip up boots all my friends wore. Same with my thighs and the latest designer jeans; there was no squeezing them in. Over the years, though, I have come to accept and appreciate my muscular frame and now as the primary care giver for my husband with ALS, it’s a real blessing.

When I pop a wheelie with Mike in his wheel chair and manoeuvre it over or around obstacles or down steep hills etc., I ask Mike, “Do you trust me?” And he says, “Do I have a choice?” When I pick him up from a fall or help him up off a chair or in and out of the bath tub, I tell him it’s good he isn’t a really large person. He tells me it’s good that I am really strong.
I sure have a new appreciation for nurses, furniture movers and dry wall deliverers. I am lifting and supporting the weight of Mike many times a day and just hope that I am able to do that for a long time. My strength is of course limited and the more help Mike needs the more I rely on the strength of God, which is unlimited. I call upon the Lord many times throughout the day for strength…physical strength, mental strength and emotional strength as well.

2 Corinthians 12:10 says: For when I am weak, then I am strong. It doesn’t make much sense at first glance, but at a closer look, it makes a lot of sense to me. I believe when we can’t rely on our own strength any more, and draw from the divine strength of God, we are very strong!
By the grace of God, I will take the best care of Mike that the Lord musters in me for as long as possible. And I will do the best job I can do with His help…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:19

Be of good courage, and He will strengthen you, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

I passed on the 'muscle' genes to our childred. Although, Erin got more of her dad's longer leaner, defined build. Nathan got the largest share of muscles, but he's covered up here in his suit jacket at Madison's graduation banquet - June 25 /12. 

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