Monday, August 01, 2011

A Triumphant Return

I did not wade ashore for the newsreels, there was no parade to announce my entrance, and young girls did not toss rose petals into the air before me, but today I made my first visit to the gym since my accident over 3 months ago.

It felt good.

I discussed it with my physical therapist last week. He said it was OK, but warned me that even on upper body exercises I would not be able to do near as much as what I think I should be able to do or want to do. He made sure I understood that I should try for repetitions and not weight, and that's what I did.

The moment of truth came on the leg press. My left leg has atrophied so much that not only is it visibly smaller than my right leg, but it's almost useless as an appendage--my right leg has been doing all the work. So I adjusted the machine, set it for 10 pounds, sat down, lifted my left leg into position, and pushed. The plate went forward! After a few reps I added 5 pounds and tried it out, and kept adding 5 pounds and trying it out until I reached a weight that didn't seem excessive and allowed me to do several reps--30 pounds.

I kept the workout short; I think I was out on the floor for only 45 minutes or so, and in addition to the leg press got in light workouts on the major upper-body muscle groups. I'm home now, enjoying that weakness that comes from a good workout.

I look forward to going back, perhaps even tomorrow.

Here's a look at my bleach-white chicken legs. The left leg is much smaller, even though the knee is still swollen over 14 weeks later:


And if, in that picture, you happened to notice the garbage can that I've had forever and a day, well, here's a better view of it:
It's somehow appropriate....

6 comments:

MikeAT said...

Congrats man...I bet your feeling more normal every day

Darren said...

Normal? Let's not go crazy now!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear, Darren. When recovering from my injury, had good advice: Ignore strength, focus on regaining mobility. Strength comes back by itself; mobility you have to work on.

MikeAT said...

OK...get "Abby....Abby Normal"

Darren said...

If you start talking about Frau Blucher....

W Popp said...

Darren, sounds like you are physically ready for another school year!