Yesterday I had my second physical therapy appointment. This was the first “real” session that involved doing some exercises. Over the course of the hour we did the following:
- Five minute warmup on the bike
- Exercises focusing on strengthening my core
- Bodyweight squats
The warmup on the bike was great. I have always enjoyed biking around NYC and Central Park but have never been able to go that fast and would often struggle on hills. I look forward to biking around this spring and taking my riding to the next level.
This next part of PT was the most difficult and frustrating part of the day. My physical therapist (Kristin) noticed my core muscles are very weak and this is affecting my gait. So we started with a core activation exercise followed by side planks. These 2 exercises were not so bad. The next exercise had me flat on my stomach – I had to focus on tightening my core muscles, activating my glutes, and then lifting one of my legs up while holding my abs and glutes tight. Coordinating the activation of 3 muscle groups was very hard and a bit frustrating. I have never been able to isolate the use of any of these muscle groups before. It’s at this point that it dawned on me how challenging this will be. I know that I will succeed in the end, however, my impatient nature is struggling with how hard it is right now. I keep reminding myself of what a friend of mine told me earlier this week:
“It’s not like a movie where things happen overnight. It’s all a slow progression.”
It will take some time rewrite over 30 years of “programming” with respect to how I operate my body and I need to internalize this concept.
Finally, we did some bodyweight squats to close out the PT session. I have been doing squats for years as a part of my workout routine. Never, not once, in years of doing squats, even with heavy weights, have I ever felt my glutes activate the way they did yesterday.
Strengthening exercises are the easy part of rehab in my opinion. It’s a formula – you do the necessary exercises with a high level of discipline and regularity and you will see results. The really tough part is going to be breaking my muscle memory and learning to do things the right way.
This week I noticed that I can know keep my feet flat on the floor when I bend my knees. Something that I could only do intermittently and with assistance before SDR. As inconsequential as this may seem to some of you. It’s all these small little changes that I use to fuel my fire my fire and keep pushing forward.