But something happens amid this seamless progression, something new and noticeable – a small change for the better, a show of progress. My arm goes farther back as it moves the resistance band. My wrist turns down a little more when holding the pill jar full of coins. My arm slides down on the bench more quickly. My leg crosses more easily over my right one, and climbs up the book without much effort.
And a sudden big, noticeable change happens, too: I’m walking to the kitchen and back without falling; I’m standing without support and don’t lose my balance; and my voice sounds clearer and louder than it used to.
These big changes didn’t happen unexpectedly; they were small and unnoticeable, and kept growing step by step until they were no longer small, like the first ones. They were just noticeable. And they make me think that if I detailed attention to each part of my body and noticed small signs of progress and, because of that, I continued to exercise that part, I’d suddenly find that I made big, noticeable changes, like these last ones. So, every time I’m angry and frustrated and want to call it off, I tell myself that disregarding my reluctance to get up, and doing the exercise regime until I’m bone tired and have to go back to bed, and repeating the same thing day after day until I’m sick of it, they’re all worthwhile; because after some time, I will suddenly find that I can speak loudly and clearly, and move my arm and wrist and fingers and walk with a cane easily. And the present will be part of the past.