Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

“Tomorrow. The word hangs in the air for a moment, both a promise and a threat.”   Thrity Umrigar


My goal for celebrating the eleven year mark of my stroke was to go for an eleven mile walk.



On my stroke anniversary/birthday, June 25th, I set out to walk these eleven miles, yet I knew instantly it would hurt my hip and leg if I walked so far after having attempted to jog the day before.

 I waited until I thought it wouldn’t hurt.


For the next few weeks, I thought it would be too hot. We were hitting over 100 degrees(F) every day.

 I waited until it cooled down.


Then I went on vacation where I fell walking one day and hit my chin on the cement and broke off a tooth.


I waited until I healed.


After the vacation ended, every time I went out for a walk I came back after only a few blocks. I could not get over the fear of falling again.


I waited until the fear subsided.


Late in July, I decided it was time to face my fear and accomplish the goal I had set. I went out to finish that eleven mile walk. Yet, I couldn’t do it. Every single time I walked a mile or more on our neighborhood sidewalks, the sound of my tooth breaking on the pavement pushed into my mind and shattered my will to accomplish this goal.


I waited until the sound did not paralyze my mind.


Then, early this month, I realized fear and dread were controlling me. I had to walk longer distances again to maintain my strength. I’d come too far in the past eleven years. The stroke and its repercussions were winning. My new limitations were challenging my mind. I have always been too competitive to allow this.


I faced my dreaded fear of falling –and everything that came with it- and decided it was better to fall than to never push my limits again. It was important see where my goals could carry me.


I could no longer wait.



I walked and walked and walked. I walked beyond where I believed I could go. My eleven year/eleven mile milestone was completed.


Eleven Year following my stroke = Eleven miles walked

Eleven Year following my stroke = Eleven miles walked


I won. My goal for tomorrow was no longer postponed. I won!


“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Proverb


Comments on: "Not Waiting — Overcoming Excuses" (9)

  1. You are indomitable, Tara.
    I am often the Queen of Procrastination, so I thought all of your doubts and postponements were normal and natural. And they are!
    But it is also true that at some point, if the goal is important enough, you just say to yourself, Well, the hell with it, I’ll just do it.
    And you do.
    Whatever the mood, whatever the motivation, the congratulations are always there for you, and merited!!!!

    • Aww, thank you Judith! I love that I am able to walk so far now. I love, even more, the fact that I can celebrate it with caring people such as yourself. Thank you for always cheering me on.


  2. Aunt Karen said:

    Congratulations Tara – I am sooooo very proud of you! I knew you could do it!! Luv ya!

  3. Wow! I am impressed 🙂 Even with my Walkaide, I couldn’t walk that far. I did buy a recumbent bike in May. Got to ride again, which was great (no worries about balance). But then it became so unbearably hot here in AZ. Looking forward to cooler weather so I can start up again.

    • I have given a lot of thought to a recumbent bike. We live in such a busy area, I don’t think it would be safe to ride so low to the ground. (Two bicyclists were struck just this past month.)

      I know just what you are saying about unbearably hot. We are in Southern California. I was just outside and enjoyed how cool it is out there. Then, when I came inside, I saw it was 94. That is sad to feel that is “cool”! 🙂

      I am going to be going out looking for a new leg/ankle/foot brace soon. I am sure they have progressed a long way in the past eleven years. I want one so my ankle does not roll and my foot does not slap down with every step I take. I am grateful with how well I am doing, but I fear the long-term problems that will come with how I allow my body to cheat in order to compensate and complete long walks.

      Thanks Tiniree for stopping by. It is wonderful to have you here!


      • Tara – I was left with (among other things) right foot drop. Thru my PT, I was able to try out, and eventually buy a Walkaide. Without it on, my gait is a combo of Quasi-moto meets a seal (drag-drag-flap).

        I also worry about the long term hurt my gait could be causing my muscles in my leg, as well as the rest of my body, since it has to make up for the weak right leg.

      • BTW, I grew up in HB. Where in Southern Cal are you?

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