As of this week I am back at Junior’s Gym here in Granada, Nicaragua on my own, without a trainer. This is a good challenge for me.
Bertina, Chris and even Junior’s Gym trainer Guadalupe (more on Lupe later) with whom I should be training this week are all there! But they are tucked into my favorite section of the gym where I have no business being because my physical therapist has given me a limited list of about three exercises that I am authorized to do none of which includes weights.
Without a trainer, I am…sipping smoothies in the back of the gym, chatting up the other members I never get to talk to, typing a love letter into my phone, and chilling in an ugly green plastic chair with my feet up. Well, not all of that is true! I’ll leave you to you imagine which parts are or aren’t. But if you peer closer into my lead photo, you might notice that I am thankfully in motion again doing physical therapy to bring circulation to my legs to lower the inflammation surrounding my sciatic nerve.
Junior’s Gym has invested in seven stationary bicycles that are all upright, which would place me in the kind of forward position that would counter every circulatory benefit that I would reap from being on the bike by straining my lower back.
Using the chair is the perfect modification to getting the therapy bike that I need. A sitting position that is low and reclined relieves the pressure of my own weight while I move stuff around and get it flowing. So yeah, I do get to chill a little bit, but it’s all for a good cause.
You know, so that I can walk again without the elderly security guard at my local supermarket coming over and shaking his head that the chica tan linda (me, the pretty one!) is making him sad because he sees me falsiando (ooooh, limping!). It’s true that I am still hobbling about though I have to say my young physical therapist has more than proven her metal by pulling out all kinds of rabbits from her magic therapy hat. I spend about six hours now on her table each week doing things that often turn my knuckles white, but guess what? It’s working. I am getting more fluidity into my gait and it doesn’t hurt to walk. (It just doesn’t look quite natural.) Yet.
I am dedicated to getting into her office for white knuckle treatment on schedule but the rest is up to me. Every day without excuse I have to do my part. I head to Junior’s and get on the bike and then stretch where I can and where it feels like I shouldn’t. Yes, it hurts in the way that is my body’s method of intuitively telling me to stop that movement NOW. But I am trusting my doctor when she says don’t stop. Keep pushing past the pain and stretch that hamstring long and flexed.
Dr. Xochilt tells me to get my glutes up to the wall with no space in between with my legs straight up pulling my toes back. Yeah, it hurts like a mother. But she’s right. It stops the cramping.
She did not, on the other hand, recommend that I do triangle stretches, triceps dips, planks or squats. I know, I know, I know! But the temptation to break out of the list is huge!
I’ll be good next time I promise.
Though I am not allowed into the weight section, and pull-ups are blacklisted, I still snuck in a three minute plank that I pushed hard for to remind myself that I am still in the game.
Don’t forget that the ego needs exercise, too (or is it therapy?)
Anyway, I am back a Junior’s and itching to move past the physical bottom I randomly and suddenly found myself skirting these the past few weeks. It was confusing and complicated to figure out what had happened and how to get the solutions that I needed to get my body moving again.
There is a comfort to having a plan in place and the unusual simplicity in the knowledge that wherever I go from here…
the only way appears to be up.