Friday, June 1, 2012

My Self
I was making good progress.  I was strengthening my muscles and increasing my range of motion.  I could sit in cobbler pose ... with my back pressed against the wall .... with my knees wobbling way above the ground... no where near as close to flat on the floor as I used to be .... but, over several minutes, moving closer and closer to symmetry and Mother Earth.

My injured leg could hang off the edge of the massage table and the raised mat in PT without causing every fiber of my being to protest.  I covered greater distances and heard less crunching in my repaired hip joint.  My feet reached both poles on the cadillac in Pilates even though I was in a long sit (legs straight out and wide enough to place my soles flat against the uprights).  All of that had been unattainable to me a month ago. 

My treatment team and I were pleased.  I should have been aware of the consequences.

As long as I was doing so well, why didn't I take my poles for a longer walk every day?  Why not use the treadmill, side-stepping and pushing the track out and away with every movement?  Why not get in the pool?

I did them all, denizens.  Every one of them.  I trekked to the end of the street - the flat way - and then bypassed my usual stopping places - my house and JannyLou's next door - as I continued down the hill to the cul-de-sac.  I turned around, feeling thankful that the gate to the new houses was closed; had it been open I'd have felt beholden to add that uphill street to my travels.  Still, I climbed up that hill and made it all the way to the closet where I peeled off my clothes prior to jumping into the pool.

Then, I swam.  Not a lot, but enough to get the kinks out.  Water's buoyancy is the injured athlete's friend..... or so I thought.
The next morning, bright and early, I headed to the gym.  I forgot my yoga mat so I skipped class and went straight to my stretches and strengthening tasks. 

The gravitron was easier to enter and exit than it ever had been before... since I was shot, anyway.  Moving my bent knee to the footstep below was always a frightening prospect.  The kneeling pad is counter-weighted and has a tendency to rise up when my intention is for it to stay put.  Somehow, in the gym that day, my body was doing all that I asked of it. 

I did three sets of wide grip pull-ups to celebrate.  I felt it all the way down my back and into my glutes, as well as up my arms and shoulders.  I was back in the gym.  I felt great.

I came home, typed a post, ate lunch and settled in for a good long read.  TBG was doing laps in the pool, though, and it looked too luscious to resist.  I grabbed a towel.  

There is no rest for the weary in this family, it seems.  I joined him on the floating mat, our arms atop, our legs dangling.  Usually, he propels us by walking on the bottom of the pool while I let my legs flap.  My mouth does my work - I talk a lot.  Somehow, that day he convinced me to provide the momentum.  His legs would rest, mine would kick.

And kick they did. Before long, he had me doing laps with the kickboard, arms straight in front of me, face in the water.

Goggles are crucial to protect my contact lens.  One floated out last summer; I've not made that mistake twice. 

Back and forth I went, shoulders in my shoulder pockets as Ellen-the-pilates-mistress reminds me at every session.  It wasn't too difficult to keep my abdominals strong and my hips even; I've been focusing on those two items for the last month or so.  I was kicking from my glutes, allowing my body to sway with the motion, fighting the rigidity I feel so often on solid ground.

The water was my friend.  I was hanging out.  TBG left me to my own devices, reminding me that it's not a real workout until I'm exhausted.  I kicked for another 20 minutes.  I was exhausted but refreshed, tired but exuberant.  I'd inhaled fresh air while I was working out; that's a specific type of tired... a good kind of tired... an accomplished and proud kind of tired.

Then I woke up the next morning. 

I rolled over and aimed my feet to the floor.  It was an intention, not an action.  Nothing moved.  Lots of things hurt.  I groaned. 

The rest of the day was no easier.  My right glute, my injured side, my missing quad muscle, my tendons and ligaments living on the outer edge of my thigh... they were giving me a crazy concert of sensations.... few of them pleasant.

But it was my left side, my uninjured side, my good side, that was really talking.  Apparently, not using it for 18 months had left it unaware of its responsibilities.  I'd taken it out for a stroll and it was telling me, in no uncertain terms, that it was peeved. Mightily peeved, to be exact.

It all came to a head that evening.  The phone rang.  TBG and I were on the couch, ice on all parts of our lower extremities (his story is similar and fodder for another post).   Caller ID on the tv screen told us that it was Big Cuter.  We said hello.  Unfortunately, we said it to the tv and not to him.  The phone was on the kitchen counter and neither of us had the wherewithall to get there within the four rings allotted before the answering man took over.

Before we called him back, I reset the phone to allow for 7 rings.

I know I'm going to be doing this to myself again.

Comparing my self today to my self two years ago is self-defeating.  It's a changing construct, this self.  Sometimes the ride is easier than others.


  1. My thoughts go out to you this morning. I am so sorry you are feeling it all (physically and elsewhere), but so admire your determination and attitude.

  2. Thanks, Charla.... attitude will triumph!

  3. Not answering the phone - made me giggle. Hope tomorrow is less painful.

  4. We were giggling too, Colleen. If we dont' laugh, we cry, and where does that leave us?

  5. Geesh, I've been meaning to change the phone forever, and to get in shape. Your determination inspires me, whether it will get me to act is something else entirely, though. :-)

  6. You are at the first step - you are thinking about it!

    Yay for you!!!


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