the return of quads

24Mar12

I’ve hit a whole new level of recovery. I don’t know if it’s the PT or just being a few more weeks out of surgery, but I’m feeling so much more normal. I have a long way to go – my range of motion is still pretty limited, and I have pain in certain positions, but for the most part I feel great! I jumped from limping along on the treadmill at 2.5 mph to briskly striding at 3.5 mph. And I skipped from level 3 on the bike all the way to level 8.

A typical session at the gym includes 15 – 20 minutes on the bike and 10-20 minutes on the treadmill. On Thursday, for the first time, I went for a walk around the block just because I could! I no longer fear hills and uneven ground. Which is a good thing, since spring is in full swing, which means chasing after kids on bikes, and hiking across bumpy fields for t-ball games. There’s no way at all I could have done this four weeks ago.

At PT, I start with some warmups, and then get some gentle joint mobilizations. This is where I lie down and the PT moves my leg to help increase range of motion. It’s my favorite part, because I just get to lie around, and also because it’s so effective – in a matter of minutes, I go from feeling stiff and gimpy, to feeling almost normal. After that, the exercises. We’re concentrating on regaining the strength in my hip muscles. I do exercises called “clam” and “monster walk” among others. Lots of single-leg squats on the bad side. Balance board squats. Which means that not only can I see my quads again (hello, old friends!!!), but my booty is going to be spectacular. At home, I do 30-45 minutes of exercises daily, in addition to any time I had at the gym. I’m diligent about doing my exercises, and push myself until my glutes and quads are burning.

I know that my progress won’t always be this dramatic. But I’m holding on to it for now, and not worrying about the inevitable plateaus and setbacks.

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