I did it! I took an exercise class yesterday. It has been a LONG time since I've been able to do that. A year, in fact. On the last official day of Spring Break I took the plunge and gave it a try.
A friend of mine invited me to Ballet Stretch and Tone. It is exactly what it sounds like. Using the ballet barre we stretched, did some more stretches, warmed up our legs with some absolutely killer positions and exercises, then moved to the floor for some more stretching and abdominal work. It felt great to be able to participate with a group. Because it was mostly stretching I was able to keep up pretty well. I left shaking like a leaf from using parts of my body I had forgotten existed, but I am sure the grin on my face went from ear to ear.
This morning I woke up VERY sore. Let me tell you.... there is a HUGE difference between sore and pain! I was so worried the soreness was going to frustrate me and be too much of a reminder of the last year. Not at all... in fact, the soreness made me feel alive. I can't describe the feeling. Just knowing I was able to work out, really work out to the point my body was sore, was amazing!
Throughout the exercise class, since it was done in bare feet, I kept watching for signs of swelling in order to know I should take a break. I experienced none, and so far today I haven't seen any, either. My body apparently agreed with stretching and toning!
Next week I'll be heading back to that same gym for a similar class but this time for the arms. I have NO idea what that's going to be like, but I'm looking forward to new experiences again. The classes are a little on the expensive side ($15 each), but at this point I'm willing to pay for it when I can go. To be participating in activities I love is worth a lot more than that!