Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Getting Better

I haven't commented on my physical well-being in a while.  Today, a good day, seems like the time to bring you up to date.

I decided not to climb the Sears Tower this November.  It's not that I couldn't do it, it's that I don't want to train for it.  The thought of spending an hour a day for the next twelve weeks in a stairwell became ever less appealing.  I can tramp up the only steps I regularly encounter (to the Pilates studio on the 2nd floor) without holding on (most days) to the railing.  I can plant each foot firmly on the tread, lifting my knee high enough to land on the next one without canting to the left.  Most days, I don't need both feet on one step before proceeding onward and upward. 

Going down is a whole 'nother story.  Then, again, I don't know a lot of people my age who spryly bounce down stairs.  Hiking down was always harder for me than hiking up; this feels like a return to normal. 

Well, almost.
After shavasana (corpse pose), my second favorite yoga asana is balasa (child's pose).

It's used after a strenuous pose, to rest, balance, and reset your self for the next series.

It's a long lovely stretch from the tips of your fingers to the base of your spine, with your tailbone moving gently away from your shoulders which are gently moving away from our neck. Your arms are reaching long, opening up your armpits while keeping your shoulders down your back.

For the last 8 years, my hips hovered somewhere near the ceiling as I tried to lengthen my back and fold my thighs to my chest.  I couldn't get there.  The most relaxing pose was one of the most stressful poses, thanks to being perforated.  The whole folding thing was aspirational rather than actual.

Lately, I've been noticing small improvements, and then, last week, I found myself in full extension, belly resting on my thighs (before I engaged and lifted it just a touch).  It was a moment, denizens.

I can do high kneeling (lower legs flat on the ground, body upright from the knees to the head) now, without worrying about canting or tipping to one side. The muscle and nerve damage in my right thigh seems to be repairing itself.  I know that I can build on existing muscle tissue (that's the point of weight lifting, after all) but I don't know if I can create new muscle tissue.  I know that the nerves regenerate at 1mm/month.... and it's been a lot of months since bullets made a disastrophe (thanks, FlapJilly for the perfect word) of my gait.

I can get myself into mermaid, bending my right thigh in ways that were unimaginable and painful a year ago.

My butt is not flat on the mat, but it will get there. Of that, I am certain.  For now, I'm working on lifting up and out of my hip flexors.  The fact that I can consider the finer points of the movement is amazing.  Until recently, I couldn't even approximate the position.

And so, this morning, when The Pilates Diva had me go through the motions, I didn't ask for an adjustment to the routine.  There was no pain.  There was no fear.  There was some trembling, but that just shows that I'm working hard.

Working hard is the answer.  The Pilates Diva was run over by a truck soon after I was shot.  We both know what rehab is like - the unending, repetitive, pain-in-search-of-recovery feeling that this will go on forever.... until there's a breakthrough and your smile lights up the studio.

Today was a very smiley day.


  1. So happy to read this! Congratulations on a successful child pose.

    1. Aaaaahhhhhhh.... :-)
      thank you!! It's fun to share the joys!

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