…Physical therapy rehabilitation that is.
And I said NO NO NO.
A while back I posted about having hurt my foot; it was determined to be a stress fracture in my calcaneus (heel bone). Every 2 weeks since the end of August I have hobbled on over to my friendly neighborhood orthopedist who declares me “headed in the right direction” and sends me home still confined to my boot-cast.
September has been an incredibly long month.
I am not one to let things go, and I certainly wasn’t about to sit around and become my couch while waiting out this heel injury, even though I had been given medical license to do just that. My doctor had laid out an extensive plan that included “wait-and-see” for 6 to 8 weeks followed up by physical therapy for another 6 to 8 weeks, as all that “wait-and-see”-ing around actually sets one up for more injuries as you are weakening the area by keeping it tucked snugly into a cast all the time.
He said I could think about running again next year.
Yeah, not gonna work for me.
Ok, ok, I did spend a week (or two…) like this:
Nothing beats Rest Ice Compression Elevation with a hefty dose of self-torture. And crying. And marshmallows.
I even had some friends sign my cast since I figured we’d be spending a whole bunch of time together and I could use the love:
But then I looked in the mirror and said, “What are you doing, girl? This is why you started running in the first place- so that you would be different! So that you would act and re-act differently! Don’t go backward! Go forward!”
So I headed over to my friendly neighborhood library and got my autodidact on.
#SelfTaught #TheresABookForThat #LibrariesAreImportant #SaveTheLibraries
I picked up a copy of Joseph Pilates’s original works, Return to Life Through Contrology (1945) and Your Health (1934). Even 70+ years ago, Mr. Pilates knew what was up. I find it’s always best to go back to the basic basics when researching because too much current information and newer publications are cheap reincarnations of someone’s earlier, more substantial work. (See <every self-help guru ever> ripping off Napoleon Hill 1937 and Dale Carnegie 1934)
What we now call “Pilates” or the “Pilates method” is what the man himself called “Contrology.” The short version is that Mr. Pilates had been a very sickly child (#ChronicLife) and studied various forms of gymnastics and martial arts to work his way back to health. He created a series of exercises (y’all must know about The Hundred) that he felt were essential to building strength. They focus mainly on the core muscles (back and abdominals). Essentially, it is the original body rehabilitation method, as most exercises can be done by anyone at any level of fitness with little-to-no impact on joints.
Ok, so I do not need my heel to do Pilates. Check.
I can strengthen all my muscles with Pilates while I’m literally sitting out of the running game. Check.
There are a multitude of free Pilates videos available on Youtube, so I can create my own rehabilitative program at home, by myself, for free. Check.
After much deliberation, I decided to follow Blogilates, because Cassey Ho not only stays true to real Pilates method and technique, she is also super adorable and makes her videos really fun. She’s a life coach and a fitness instructor rolled into one, which I don’t mind because let’s be honest: No running = A whole lot of 😦 I could use the perking up.
One month of following the Blogilates calendars (which tell you exactly what to do and when #Easy) and Joseph Pilates’s timeless advice (no sugar, lots of veggies, and something called “dry brushing” in which you scrub your dry skin with a dry loofah to improve circulation), and I am boot-free my friends! It’s kind of a miracle. #WorkedForItThough
I can also do this now, so you know #Bonus:
I have been reminded very sternly not to get too excited. I have to transition first to regular sneakers, worn all the time. Good thing skimpy sandal season is over! Boots are also good supports. (If I can get over my recently developed aversion to them!) I can take walks.
I don’t have to go to rehab!
My doctor was uber impressed that my leg and foot muscles were not weirdly limp or deconditioned. In fact, he seemed almost confused at my improvement.
That’s what happens when you take care of business. #MikeDrop
Bonus: I only have to wait 1 more month before I can safely start to (slowly, slowly!) start jogging again!
Life lesson: Doctors are smart, but you can be smarter, at least about your own body. If your doctor gives you advice or a treatment plan that you aren’t crazy about, research it! Figure out if there are alternatives. Read, read, read! The internet is great, but sometimes the best answers can be found in long-forgotten books from 80 years ago.
Have you ever done Pilates, Chronic reader? If so, how did it go? I am slightly addicted now and am even looking for a (cheap) gym that offers classes on the reformer- which looks like a Pilates torture chamber of doom, but is actually supposed to help you get even stronger.
PS: I’m on Instagram now! Follow me and let me know if you are doing the #dysautonomiaphotochallenge so I can find you!