Thursday, November 6, 2008

Margret does Yoga, and other athletic things

Before her decreasing oxygen saturations robbed Margret of her get up and go, and other things, she did lots of the things any normal kid does. She ran, she played, she climbed and hollered and played tag.

We walked through our local parks together, and especially enjoyed the hikes through Jacobsburg State Park. All the girls liked to look down from the bridge and spot fishes lurking in the water below. Sometimes, if everyone were very tired when we reached the other end of the trail, I would let them wait together while I trotted back down the trail to the parking lot where we started. Then I'd take the car to meet them, and we'd all go home.

She did gymnastics and balance beam in special olympics here, and when she stayed that year at her dad's house, she did cross country skiing - and brought home a medal.

One Christmas I bought a gift certificate for riding lessons to give to the horse crazy B. Margret came with us, and the teacher offered her a lesson too. It didn't work out exactly as the teacher had expected, with Margret almost falling off. She needed a little more individual instruction than the other girls her age, but both girls got lessons. Margret even competed at a horse show or two, and brought home ribbons. She enjoyed riding. She enjoyed being around the horses. We were very proud of her.

As a family we each got our own bowling ball and shoes, and, surprise, surprise, went bowling! Margret was pretty good, too. I had to hustle to stay ahead of her. Husband was lots better than Margret or me, so we mostly competed against our own previous scores.

Margret and I joined a water aerobics class at the Y. She did great. While I swam laps in master swim, she developed a lovely backstroke with a little help from the swim coach. She was comfortable in the water, and able to swim the length or width of the pool.

After Margret was put on oxygen, her choices in exercise became more limited. I took Margret to Contra dancing (a little like line dancing, but not exactly, if that helps any) but she ended up sitting almost the whole time, too tired to dance much. We tried a yoga class, but that went WAY too fast, and again, Margret sat most of the class watching the other students. I inquired about individual lessons, and that worked much better for Margret. In a one on one teaching situation she excelled. Her muscle tone improved, her balance and coordination too. Some of the breathing excercises, when she had a cold or mild bronchitis, helped her make sure all the segments of her lungs were expanding as best they were able, and helped keep the cold from getting worse. At least in my opinion the yoga helped do that.

Yoga was a really good workout for her as she was recovering from pneumonia a couple years ago. The classes were paced to what she could do, so she was pushed to improve, but not too hard.

Margret practiced yoga with her teacher right up until she entered the hospital this last time.

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