I’m going to have to make a rule: You may only go for a walk or run AFTER you do your strengthening exercises.
When I was going to PT two or three times per week, my progress was insured. When I went, I did my exercises, all two hours of them. But now that I’m down to one PT a week, I’m supposed to continue with my strengthening at home. Oh, I have the equipment, just not the motivation. Who wants to do band exercises in 4 directions and 2 rotations on each leg when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside?
The problem is: when I get a bit slack and hit the roads for some fun, my knees and hips complain afterwards. They can’t run smoothly when they’re not strong. And they’re not strong enough yet. I haven’t put in the work required.
So, today, new rule: boring exercises first, then I may run, if there’s time.
And let’s not forget the stretches. Strong or not, I won’t be running long without those!
I finally was allowed to run just a bit at physical therapy on Tuesday. Five months since my surgery. 5 and a 1/2 since my injury. Yeah, only a minute here and there, alternated with walking. Only at about 11 minute mile pace. But hey, I’m running, right?
It takes quite a while to warm up, and even when I’m warm, the whole brain to muscle connection is a bit rusty. I feel like the tin man, needing oil in all my joints. I’m hyper-aware of all the small aches and places of lost sensation. “A neuropathy, perhaps?” Mery supposes. My poor hip, twisted into all sorts of odd configurations while it was in that brace is now weak at every conceivable angle. And it’s trying its best to compensate for the hamstring – which is there and operating, but not quite up to snuff compared with the right one. (What does “up to snuff mean? anyone?)
A couple of weeks ago I had a set back. I was on the floor a-straddle a carpet runner that Scot and I were attaching adhesive backing to. I reached forward to pull the adhesive and heard/felt something give in the hip. Not a tearing or ripping. Just an ‘ugh-that-wasn’t-good’ kind of feeling. I was a bit more careful after that. But inevitably that means I’ll ache and be sore the next day. And I won’t be able to do what I was doing in PT. (hopping, jumping, lunges) Because now, the support system for the hamstring is licking its wounds.
I lament not knowing when I first got in the brace how I could sit to prevent some of this hip atrophy. But back then I was just worrying about surviving. There really was no strategy to it. Hindsight is always 20-20, eh?
All in all, I’m not well yet. But I am nearing the time when I have to stop taking it easy on myself and just get this show on the road. The key is pushing myself to do a little bit of what my muscle is reluctant to do without hurting it. Pushing without pulling, one might say. Controlled overload. The physical version of aversion therapy. (Expose yourself bit by bit to what you fear until you lose your fear.) Then, tolerate the soreness, trust the process and gradually move forward.
They told me this would take 9 months. I guess all of human creation takes 9 months of gestation. I’m working on embracing it as a time to evaluate, organize, research and plan. To take a good look at what’s next for me. This is the off-season, a time before spring training starts, before there is pressure to compete. Just to grow the idea and become its mother. We know who the Father is.
Giving thanks for healing, for PT guidance and companionship, for Facebook friends’ encouragement, for my family’s patience and, ironically, for time. So often it’s the foe. What am I in a hurry to get to? If I rush, I won’t be able to claim it when I get there. If I don’t prepare now, I won’t be able to embrace the opportunity that surely awaits there.
Wishing it was easier. Wishing I was more diligent. Wishing there was more obvious progress. But I think there is something good on the other side. My turn now is to do what’s before me (thanks Diane J. for those words) and not worry about what’s around the bend. It’s a time of preparation.
Ironically and God-incidentally, as I close, I came across this from Billy Graham. You can click here to read the whole article.
Here are some excerpts:
First, time is a trust. What are we doing with it? Are we frittering it away, letting it slip through our fingers, squandering it in wanton waste? Or are we treasuring it, using it to maximum advantage, filling every minute with 60 seconds’ worth of service to God? The Apostle Paul counsels us to “redeem the time” (Cf. Ephesians 5:16). Time cannot be relived; it can only be redeemed. Let us treat time as a trust.
Second, time is a test. Time in itself is neither good nor bad except as we make it so. But it becomes a crucial test, sifting us through and through, minute by minute. As life goes on, there are billions of events happening in every moment of historic time. To those billions of events we contribute our quotas. What is the next contribution that you will make? In the next instant you can tell a lie or commit other sins, or you can choose to use that time to serve God and to lay up treasures for eternity.
Third, time is an appointment. Thus time is an appointment with Christ, and the Bible says, “Now is the accepted time” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NKJV). God has given us a moment in which we can come to know His Son Jesus Christ. We can come out of time and enter eternity with Him. From now on, everything we do can be done with eternity in view.