Friday, November 30, 2007


As a yoga teacher, one of my constant joys is watching students develop and grow - a triumphant first headstand, the click of comprehension about alignment, even the simple glow of contentment that regular yoga practice inevitably brings.

Measuring my own progress has also proved invaluable on days when I still feel gimpy, spasmy and the like. At gym class yesterday I was remembering how my wobbly initial attempt at transition from crutch to cane had to be postponed a month until I grew stronger. Now I stride through the door like someone who's there with a shoulder injury.

After several rounds of hopping and jumping (and discovering that I can now jump up and down on the spot, which hurt the first time I tried it a few weeks ago) I mentioned to Gym Teacher that my legs were, as far as I could tell, still different sizes. Out came the tape measure as she made little pen marks on my legs and wrote down circumferences. "Your right thigh is an inch smaller than your left," she confirmed, and discussion of various weight machines at the gym followed, which is a source of great pleasure to me, as I've really had it with the 5 lb ankle weights. And then of course, the inevitable:

"What if we measured your buttocks, from your coccyx to your greater trochanter, ha ha ha!" she laughed. "Ha ha ha," I agreed, which set her off even more. In the six months I have known this woman, I have never seen her let out more than a mild titter. The butt joke had her literally doubled over. I guess when it comes to anatomy humor, you take it where you can get it when it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Giving Thanks

In honor of the season, I'm so grateful that I live in a world where I can access the kind of surgery that makes it possible for me to walk around Central Park all afternoon on Thanksgiving, taking pictures with friends, admiring the changing leaves and only spasming a little towards the end. (Couldn't resist. At least I didn't say the other part.) Thanksgiving last year, this would not have been possible.

And not that I'm complaining, just a situational update, that running is still not in the cards. I was crossing the street today a little after the light had changed and did that little hopalong pretend run where mostly you just move your arms but it sort of looks like you're putting some effort into moving faster, which made me wonder what would happen if I did break into a little jog, so I tried it, and then after a few steps realized that was a bad idea and quickly went back to just waving my arms. Takeoff is fine, but joint still doesn't like the impact of landing. That's ok. I'm fine with not running for now. Everything else is working pretty well, and that's enough.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I toyed with the idea of keeping this next nugget to myself. "Self," I said, "There's no need to subject people to this. Haven't you made them read enough? Didn't you show them an awful lot of upper thigh in those scar pictures? And the special toilet? Come, now. Have a little compassion."

And yet I find myself compelled to tell you, Gentle Reader, that as of late, I have ass spasms.

Walk too much, leg gets tired, butt seizes up. If you see me around town stopping short, hands on hips, admiring the ground through clenched jaw, that's what's happening. Gym Teacher threw some Latin name at me and said it's called the pain in the ass muscle.

Her solution: my latest PT advancement, which is walking backwards on the treadmill. I even have a note from her stating that I have been trained to walk backwards on the treadmill and that it is an essential part of my physical therapy, in case someone at the gym gets shirty. Evidently gyms don't like it when you do stuff on their equipment that you're not supposed to. I've yet to unveil my trained backwards walking spasming ass at the gym, but if you're lucky, it will be a non-postworthy event and you'll never see the words ass and spasm together again.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Walk It Off

The latest in my physical therapy advances: I've been upgraded from the stairclimber to the treadmill at the gym.

However, since my running skills are, shall we say, less than terrific, my job on the treadmill is to walk as fast as I can, right at that edge where you almost need to break into a run, but rather than lengthening the stride, I have to take faster steps. Supposedly this will build the hip flexor response for when I am ready to run again. All I know is, I'm the goofball going walkwalkwalkwalkwalk while other people run beside me. It feels slightly out of control like I might trip and land on my chin. Just when I was regaining a little dignity...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You Should Be Dancing

Hip's been such a trooper, I wanted to surprise her with a fun night out, so without telling her in advance where we were going, I took her salsa dancing.

Plucky little hip totally stood up to the one hour lesson, followed by the dance club infested with slick-haired men, Latin and other, all waiting to pounce on unsuspecting newbies and wrap themselves around us. Mine was named Dante. He liked to put his hand on my waist, among other places. There was so little room on the dance floor that I pretty much just hopped in place, counting 1 2 3, 5 6 7 in my head. (That's my insider nod to all you salsafies out there).

The best was the place afterwards, which was like an underground salsa version of the scene in Dirty Dancing where Jennifer Grey goes to the staff dance party and tries to dirty dance with Patrick Swayze (and I can quote you that scene - indeed, the entire film - word-for-word. The screenwriter used to be my boss). Everyone was just there to dance, and dance incredibly well. I definitely couldn't do what they were doing, and I definitely wanted to. The great thing was I couldn't do it because I didn't know what I was doing, not because of any physical impairments.

And I was definitely limping this morning, and my feet had some serious blisters, but it rocked. I'm totally going again.