I slept like a baby last night. No alarms were needed to wake me because my first appointment of the day wasn't until 9:45am. I like to be well rested before Marcus the Master Manipulator gets his hands on my psoas; it makes the pain more bearable somehow.
I am constantly reminded of the fact that rehab is hard. It is unlike my normal workouts. I usually push myself to the very edge and then I stop. PT involves finding that edge and breathing through it to the other side. The fact that crossing the boundary involves deep, piercing, sharp, oxygen stealing sensations seems to be of concern only to me, lying and moaning on the table. Marcus just keeps pulling or pushing or stretching or holding, a quirky little smile in the right corner of his mouth as he reminds me to breathe.
If I could reach him, I'd push him away. But my body is glued to the table, trying to relax as my psoas is massaged and pressed and prodded and released and then Marcus stands back, crosses his arms over his chest and says "Walk".
And I do.
I glide across the gym, no pain, no limp, no effort. Marcus is right when he says that the legs and the arms are merely incidental to walking. It's the spine, twisting and turning, using that psoas to propel your torso forward. I try not to spend too much time wondering if I'd be doing any better had I known all this back in February, when the drugs started to wear off and I pretended to do my exercises. There just didn't seem to be much purpose in them. If I'd only known.
I'd say "Next time" but.......
There was a depressing discussion of leg length (still shorter) and lift height (at a certain point they no longer fit inside the shoe) but the new me just felt the tug of sadness and moved on. Wherever the old, snarky me is lurking, I hope she stays there for a while longer. Before getting shot, this kind of thing would have started my juices flowing in an all too familiar, all too useless, all too angry outburst directed at whoever happened to be standing in front of me at the time. The doctor promised my husband that this wouldn't happen. A month ago you told me yourself that it was lengthening. Pilates only sees a small difference; why are you adding another pad to the lift?
Today, I sighed as I wondered why doctors have such difficulty telling hard truths to patients, and why orthopedic surgeons seem to be the most egregious offenders. And then I moved on. I really did. Being angry won't make my leg grow. Hating that this happened to me won't improve the quality of my day. I marveled at these platitudes as they floated through my brain; who am I these days?
I took that attitude off the table and around the gym and I left with one new exercise which I should have written down because I can't remember what it was right now but that's okay because I followed his second instruction to the letter. He said "Take a walk. Go for 20 minutes. Forget about swinging your arms. Just walk." And I did.
I drove home and kissed TBG's post-spin-class-exhausted-self and then I grabbed my cell phone and water bottle and headed out the door. There's almost .2 mile of flat pavement in front of my house. Go much further north and the road heads down hill precipitously. It was a hard ascent before I was injured; I wasn't pressing my luck this morning. They are rebuilding the main road at the south end of our little street; no way was I taking my damaged self over construction debris.
So, back and forth I went, chatting to Little Cuter as we discussed The Burrow and BlogHer '11 and the fact that I was walking never really came up in conversation. She went back to work and I kept on walking.... I am stopped, dead in my typing tracks, denizens, as I look at that last sentence. I kept on walking.... not just a few steps inside, or leaning on a grocery cart at WallyWorld, but really and truly walking, one foot in front of the other, arms hanging loosely at my sides, swinging freely as I walk.
My film class next Wednesdayis focusing on dance in the movies. Thinking about Fred and Ginger, about Vera Ellen and Gene Kelly, about moving fluidly across the floor... all that made me a little sad this semester. But now, now that I've shown myself that I can, in fact, take a walk, well.... bring it on. Skinny white boys in hoodies can't stop me... and neither can self-propulsion.