I Will No Longer Apologize for Walking Slowly Due to Pain

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“Sorry I’m slow…”

“I’ll move so you can go past me…”

“Sorry I’m in your way…”

“Yeah, I’m not so fast, sorry…”

Due to my complex regional pain syndrome in my foot and leg, I use crutches to walk. I’m pretty lucky actually (though I have to remind myself of that) because after two and a half years I am weight-bearing with my crutches pretty well. CRPS is a very painful condition, and because it is so rare, most people haven’t heard of it. There’s no cast or boot to explain the crutches. And since I’m “walking” I feel I have to apologize for my slowness.

I feel like I always have to watch for other people because I’m always in the way. I constantly step out and stop and wait for people to go past. Or even worse… I try to hurry.

“Sorry I’m slow…”

“Yeah, I’m not so fast, sorry….”

But recently I attended a Functional Rehabilitation Program. And one of the first things they told me was, “Take it easy, don’t rush… It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” In other words, it was more important for me to focus my energy on walking correctly on my crutches than it was to worry about being slow. People can wait, it’s OK.

So now, instead of apologizing all the time, I will just take a breath. Focus on my walking, stand tall, keep my spine in a neutral position, engage my core and concentrate on taking comfortable steps. I will feel more relaxed with my walking. I won’t hurt as much. My walking will be safer. I will feel less anxiety.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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