I grew up wanting things fast. In an efficient city-state like Singapore, everything comes to you with a click of a button. Words like “persistence” and “consistency” seemed like text book stuff that I could never really relate to.
But, seeing my grandma gain strength in her legs reminds me why consistency needs to be celebrated.
In the book Originals: How Non conformists change the world, studies showed that geniuses like Thomas Edison and Einstein had stellar work not because they were once of geniuses but because they had a huge body of work, this resulted in there being a higher probability of success.
So, it’s about trying and trying again until something works out.
Consistency builds muscle
This is a story of my grandma’s strength journey where she gained strength in her legs. My grandma is 81 this year.
The past year, there had been a couple of instances where my grandma fell and had trouble getting up. I shared about how we learned to help her get up by watching youtube tutorials previously. We thank God that she wasn’t hurt in those falls.
But, those falls sent a warning that we needed to do much more. She currently uses a walking frame to move around the house. And, much of her strength is in her upper body. She uses her arms to support her with the frame as she moves around. But, her gait isn’t steady.
So, my mum did alot of research and found chair exercises that seniors can do to improve strength and stability in her legs. A friend in our Facebook group suggested that we raise this when my grandma goes for her regular check-up. We went to a phsyiotherapist and they also directed us to those exercises.
When she first started, she struggled to push herself off the chair. But, now she can stand up from the chair, without the support of her arms. And, she can do this eight times in a row!
This wasn’t achieved in a day. It was through consistent practice over many months. It really shows me that we can do anything we put our minds to.
She progressed from pushing herself off the chair once to pushing herself off the chair multiple times. We encouraged her to do the exercises almost everyday (though it doesnt always happen).
My mum then thought her to get out of the chair without the support of her arms. And, then she progressed to doing that multiple times.
Important to give yourself a break
My grandma requires quite a lot of nagging before she exercises. She’s quite resistant to this. So, I usually insist that she exercises even though she says no.
But, I’ve learnt that it’s important to read her expressions when she’s incredibly reluctant or tired and just give her a break.
After all, we don’t want her to feel tortured in her golden years.
This is something that I try to do with Play Huahee so that I don’t feel emotionally drained too. It’s incredibly disappointing when you don’t see success even after giving a 100%. And, you would naturally fall into a downward spiral.
But, I’ve learnt that this journey of mine is a marathon. Consistency means running for the long haul and not sprinting. You need multiple breaks. And, you need to give yourself a break.
Maybe, I’m speaking to myself as I write this.
Pick yourself up if you fall. And, we try again the next day.
You should never run alone
I say “we try again the next day” because it’s incredibly difficult to embark on a journey of consistency alone. You need the encouragement of those around you.
If my grandma didnt have our encouragement (and nagging), it would probably be a very different story.