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Monday, May 10, 2010

No longer such a little workout

Today I met with Clara at 8:30. To be sure that we had enough topics to work on, I mentioned that I go out of town often and could use some way to continue doing some of the workouts without special equipment. She said she could show me some alternatives using rubber bands, which I already own. We talked about how it's going with the rest of my work and what I hope to achieve. I mentioned that I tried the Tour class and that the bike was uncomfortable but that I might want to use an upright bike for a while and try again when I feel more ready. Clara said she isn't a big biker herself and she thought the bikes used in the spin classes are designed to maximize the benefits for your body, which makes sense, and that yes, they tend to be uncomfortable but people adjust to them, get used to them, after three times or so. She said there were two bikes of that type among the bike and treadmill section and we could try using one of them for my regular workouts for a while.

So we began. I tried a Spinning bike, which comes with a screen that can be used to play a spin program or plug in a movie or music or whatever is on one's mp3 player. That part seems pretty cool. I had some trouble fitting my feet into the stirrups, which doesn't bode well for my doing this too often. The bike was okay, not wonderful, and I might just try it from time to time.

She then showed me several exercises using the rubber bands. Some take no extra equipment, some require that the bands be attached to something like a door knob, and one requires that a band be folded and slipped over a door and then the door closed. So all could be done at home or in a motel room. Then she showed me an exercise using a stability ball, for strengthening my legs, and another one using a table or short wall for the same purpose.  We then moved to a treadmill and she showed me how to use it. Start slowly, walk my normal pace, concentrate first on my feet, heel-toe, straight ahead, then focus on my knees, keeping them from pronating, then on my hips. Just spend a few minutes a day "practicing walking", really. For some reason this excited me, this opportunity to improve my stride very gradually and carefully.

Another one that excited me was the use of a "stick". Lie down on a weight bench or bed and use a broomstick or similar object to help stretch my left arm. I would use my right arm to move my left, thereby helping it achieve a position it cannot get to on its own. Because I am so constantly aware of the limitations of my left arm these days this really makes me feel hopeful.

After our time together I did my regular routine, minus the new parts, then headed to the locker room to change into a new swim suit for an Aqua class. It was Kerry's class and so I enjoyed it. I stayed mostly in the shallower part this time, moving to the deep occasionally when it felt okay. Pamela was in the class and afterwards she said I was standing straighter, doing better this time.

Perhaps because of my lack of sleep last night I was pretty beat when I got home to eat lunch. I took a little nap and now I am about to head out to do some errands. My left arm is hurting again.

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