I met with my physical therapist for the first time to take me
through some exercises to strengthen the ligaments that have been so offended with me
in my hips and lower back.
She showed me the hamstring stretch, in which I pull my thigh in close to the body
and try to straighten my leg towards the sky, it looked more like a bent letter L than a straight line.
As I looked to her for approval, I merely saw a look of sympathy on her face.
"It will get better," she comforted me. "I promise."
"In how long?"
"These things take a while...think 6-8 weeks."
That is the same thing the doctor said....4 weeks ago.
When my physical therapist asked me to lay on my back
keeping it in neutral position not arched or flat,
tighten my stomach muscles by pulling in my belly button towards my spine,
and hold my leg out in the air in front of me, she had to say three times,
"Okay, now suck your stomach in....suck your stomach in....such your stomach in...."
She must not know that after 3 very large children,
my stomach muscles decided to take a break. Forever.
I get a stomach workout just trying to keep my belly from hanging out over the top of my jeans.
Then she had the nerve to say, "You actually have to breathe while you are exercising."
I felt like saying, "Let's just choose one of the above."
Keep your spine neutral.
Suck in your stomach.
Hold out your leg.
I am not a multi-tasker.
After the session, she had me roll face down and let me hug the table,
settling a giant bag of crushed ice on my back and hips.
Then she was my best friend again.
When I came home, I took the papers that she gave me and re-tried the exercises.
My youngest, Addison, came in and perched on the edge of the bed to watch me.
As I concentrated on pulling my belly button towards my spine he said,
"Mom, can I be your personal trainer?"
"I don't think I need a personal trainer. I just have to do these exercises to help my back."
He ignored me. "I'm going to be your trainer.You can do this, Mom! You can do it."
"Addie...." I tried to hold my back in the correct position.
"One more time. Just one more time."
He was hanging over the foot board of the bed his face coming close to mine.
"Buddy, you are distracting me...."
"You are doing great!" He spoke forcefully at my face.
As I struggled once more to suck in my stomach, stretch out
my leg AND breathe,
Addison smiled at me and yelled, "You got this, Mom! You got this."
I had to smile back at him. Maybe I do need a personal trainer.
This one is pretty motivating.
Only 8 more weeks to go.