Let’s Get Physical, Physical


It’s our last weekend for “Don’t Talk to the Actors,” folks! If you’re in the area and in the mood for some PG-13ish entertainment in a quaint historical setting, hit us up at 8 tonight…or 8 tomorrow night…or 2 on Sunday. Please and thanks! You won’t regret it, and neither will I!!

Yeah, no. I can’t do this.
It pains me to look.

Okay, on with the main event. (Thought y’all could use a non-theater post for one day. Happy Friday to YOU!)

I’ve mentioned a few times lately the fact that I’m going to physical therapy. Long story short, it seems that I had some extra wear-and-tear on my knees while pregnant (um, baby was big) and I did a lot more than I probably should have. When you have pregnancy pains, you tend to assume they’re just that — pregnancy pains — rather than an actual “thing.” I also didn’t adjust properly to walking/moving “normally” post-pregnancy.

So, I’ve got a couple of Baker’s cysts, which are just minute tears ([not min-it teers, but my-noot tares] in this case, on the back of both of my knees — nothing you can SEE, but you could feel them if you crawled into my achy body) that fill with the fluid that’s supposed to help my knee caps do their thang. There are a couple of other issues, but that’s generally the idea of the thing. I’ve been sore, and at times it’s been super difficult to move or squat, let alone shelve books at work.

The ultimate goal is to build up my thighs to support my knees better, as well as build up the strength again in my knees. Just call me “Thunder Thighs!!!” Not sure if those tears will ever heal on their own, but it’d be nice.

I’m going to a local place, Fitness Forum, which has been good for the most part. However, my biggest challenges are the facts that —

a) I just had a different doctor last week (filling in for my usual physical therapist) who gave me a completely different regiment of exercises,

b) I’m awkward as heck in “gym” situations, so I always feel like I’m doing it wrong (or just when I think I’m doing it right, the p/t tells me I’m not…embarrassing), and

c) I’ve had a very hard time finding the TIME to do my home exercises — the biggest challenge.

I’m trying to stay positive, but I’ve never been a super active person. Maybe that’s one reason my legs are so “surprisingly” tight for a “girl my age.” (Love that. Not.)

In high school, I played tennis and enjoyed it greatly (and attempted short stints with basketball and volleyball — not so great). Oh, and as a senior, I tried bowling, but that was a way to connect with my dad’s hobby and I wasn’t even close to good. I disliked gym; I was a music-English-history girl. Heck, I would’ve stayed with volleyball if my JV coach hadn’t been borderline abusive (verbally and physically pushing me to the point of throwing up every day; not the whole team) about not belonging there — she had gone to school with my siblings, who were band geeks like myself.

See? A bit of emotional soreness over athletics. Blah.

But, this is something else. This is to allow me to do my work again the way it needs to be done. This is to allow me to crawl around with my son and change his diaper and play with him without groaning in pain every time. This is to give me my energy and feeling of normalcy back.

It’ll be worth it, I know. I just have to jump some mental hurdles first — my own issues. Here’s how I hope to handle them:

a) Check in with my regular physical therapist to ensure that I’m doing the proper exercises…’cuz, yeah, they’re 100% different than what I was doing. (I have since done this, and while I have a million exercises, I’m adapting them to my needs. ie Not doing them all everyday.)

b) Get the heck over it. There are a TON of high school athletes around me doing exercises (and knowing full well how to do them) and a BUTTLOAD of older folks (dressed in Dockers and belts…? Here I was worried about my ratty sweatpants on the first day. I HAVE amended this situation that I blend in well enough, thanks to new sweats and new sneakers.), so I’m a rare creature. As with most things in life, I’ll just do my best and listen to what they tell me to do and deal with it. After all, it’s not forever. Just like gym class.

c) Um, yeah. This part sucks. I’m supposed to do them 2 times a day (they had mentioned 2-3, but we all know that ain’t happenin’). It seems that every time I go, the amount of exercises double — either in duration or just by changing what I’m doing — so it’s been confusing to LEARN the exercises as well as dig out the time to do them. (An assistant there that I LOVE has recently told me that once a day, especially with the busy life I’ve got goin’ on, is just fine. I love her.) SO, my attempt at a strategy here is to do them in the bedroom, when possible.

Wait, what? Yes, in the bedroom. If I get up early (5:30, people!!!! NO!), turn on the news, and do them while I don’t have any distractions (ahem, baby crawling on my stomach thinking it’s hysterical to sit on Mommy’s belly while she’s doing bridges, and, ahem, husband who doesn’t realize how much focus a grown woman needs to count to 20), I think I’m more apt to do them. Er, at least most of them. There are a couple of the exercises I’ve cut out on my own (probably breaking a cardinal rule, but…) because they’re painful. Like, direct knee contact that seems to be causing more issues than doing good type of stuff. (Don’t worry; I talk to my PT about it and we figure stuff out.)

Oh, and the same thing goes for the evenings (when I’m not into doing the 5:30 thing). When it’s time to chill out for the night, it seems that having one “zone” to do these exercises is half the battle. Plus, Dave zones out with his graphic novels (he is the Dorky Daddy, after all) and we can throw on The Big Bang Theory (or whatever, I’m not choosy…man, we are dorky) and I get the job done.

*sigh* I’ll get through it. And, y’know what? When I do, I hope to be pain-free enough to sign back up for some weekly yoga. Plus, when spring *finally* arrives (we have snow in the forecast…as long as that’s sitting on the 7-day outlook, it ain’t spring), we’ll be able to do family walking after work on a few days thanks to the hubby’s “new and improved” schedule.

See? Always a silver lining. 😉

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