Winston begins to spend less time sleeping. He desired to lie quiet and feel the strength gathering in his body.
He began exercising, could walk three kilometres, measured by pacing the cell, and his bowed shoulders were growing straighter.
He attempted more elaborate exercises, and was astonished and humiliated to find what things he could not do.
He could not move out of a walk, he could not hold his stool out at arm’s length, he could not stand on one leg without falling over. He squatted down on his heels, and found that with agonizing pains in thigh and calf he could just lift himself to a standing position.
He lay flat on his belly and tried to lift his weight by his hands. It was hopeless, he could not raise himself a centimetre. But after a few more days — a few more mealtimes — even that feat was accomplished.
A time came when he could do it six times running. He began to grow actually proud of his body, and to cherish an intermittent belief that his face also was growing back to normal.
Only when he chanced to put his hand on his bald scalp did he remember the seamed, ruined face that had looked back at him out of the mirror.