On physical therapy
Exercise bands, small weights, humbling times
My first session of physical therapy happened about a month ago. It was the assessment where we reviewed my goals and current abilities. We talked about my desire to simply want one day a week with the trust that I would do the work in the between times was met. Who knew asking for what you wanted would work? (Ok, a lot of people but it’s new to me.) I was sent home on stretches and isometrics that first week, and quickly progressed.
When people find out I was a power lifter and ask about how much I lifted, they are always surprised — unless they, too, were (or know other) power lifters. I am always a bit taken aback when a PT is surprised by the numbers since they work with all types. But, I guess if you are looking to where I am today, maybe imagining that is a bit tougher. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it’s sad and hard for me to understand sometimes myself.
When pics like this one pop up in my memories, I’m proud but also miss it. A lot. It’s been four years since I have been able to do heavy squats like this or dead lifts and about three years for bench presses. It was seven years ago last week that I did my first even power lifting session. I still remember the feel of the excitement that day.
The third week of physical therapy, the therapist handed me a 5-pound dumbbell to use to do squats. I took the weight with enthusiasm; to be holding anything with weight and moving again was an amazing feeling. At the end of my 20 reps, feeling a bit like I may have moved a mountain, I wiped the sweat from around my mask and noted just how humbling it was to be feeling a 5-pound front squat with such fierceness.
My fourth session was at the end of March. I got to use an elliptical where 5 minutes was my max and my dumb bell was 8-pounds. It was a rough session with everything coming difficult. I blamed my enduring headache and lack of sleep. The next morning I had expected leg soreness, nothing too terrible until the next day I bumped just above my knee on my desk. It didn't really hurt, but slowly the soreness escalated. It took a few days to realize I had managed to strain my quad tendon in PT. Of course I did.
Everything is a journey. I am working on practicing patience with myself. I knew the last session I wasn’t myself — that I was too tired, that I was forcing and pushing myself — that I was fighting my body. It’s a common theme. One I keep working to learn.