It has now been 64 days since I injured the vast majority of my lower body. As I have mentioned I have been seeing a physiotherapist twice a week for the past month and am slowly improving. The verdict is that I tore my right hip flexor and strained both IT bands and both knees. With all of this ground to cover she told me I better not injure my arms. Similar to my last injury-related update, I can ride the recumbent bike, I am permitted to do yoga once a week and swim once a week (provided I do not do breaststroke or elementary backstroke). The swimming is a recent development, so I have yet to hop in the pool, but am hoping to give it a whirl sometime this week.
My exercises are getting slightly more interesting – a few lunges, a few calf raises and my personal favourite – the balance board. I have discovered the joy in outsmarting the balance board and found a way to do something productive and somewhat “active” while watching TV. I recently went to Toronto to visit my brother, and was extremely apprehensive about being the loser who had to take a break while everyone else enjoyed walking around the zoo. Luckily, I surprised myself with my impressive stamina. I have now exceeded my 1k walking capabilities and can now walk 3k-5k depending on the day and how my legs are feeling. This was quite a triumph for me and I was very relieved not to have to drag anyone down while on vacation.
Last week I went back to yoga for the first time, and I have to say, it was the first yoga class where I really understood the idea of not competing – with others, or, yourself. I must have been pretty full of myself to think that I could get right back into it at the level I was at before. Wrong. So, so, so wrong. I have never done a yoga class where I perceived my “performance” to be so poor. Any posture that involved my legs pretty much hurt like hell. Warriors? Not quite, more like Gumby, if he was frozen. Happy baby? Definitely not, more like turtle on its shell. Runners’ pose? Ha! What a cruel joke! And, as always, the moment that I always dread – pigeon pose.
The whole class felt like it was designed to inflict pain upon me and give me a reality check as to how far I have fallen. However, as the class progressed and I could not help but ignore my different abilities, I had to just accept that my range of motion is not great. I can now empathize with someone new to exercise or who possibly has arthritis. Once I accepted that these were my current abilities, I stopped judging myself for my perceived shortcomings. This was not an issue of trying harder; it was an issue of not being physically capable of doing more. Upon acknowledging these facts I was able to look at what was most important – I showed up. I showed up and I completed the class despite my heightened level of frustration. When Yoga Wednesday rolls around this week I will definitely check my attitude and my ego at the door. Yoga instructors are right – there really is no place for competition in your practice, doing your best with what you have is all that you can ask of yourself. In the words of Miss Scarlett O’Hara: “after all, tomorrow is another day”.