This was my first introduction to The Village People (yes, I’m a clueless Breeder).
I love McBurney because then as now, you don’t have to be buff and perfect to go there. Then as now, there are still a lot of LGBTQs (the place is deserted on Pride Day). And there is still a group of Korean Vets who congregate there. Here’s a standard work out for these guys: one of them walks on the treadmill; his friend stands beside him arguing. Then they switch.
Who couldn’t get behind a workout like this? Still I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to.
Thursday night, I have an event to go to but the top of my right foot is killing me. I have no idea why, and determine to ask Danielle about it. Meanwhile, I know I’m going to be standing for hours, so I decide to bring a crutch. It’s the right decision in the moment, but no sooner do I start with the crutch than all the muscles I’ve been killing myself to wake up, fall back into a coma (lazy buggers). The next day, not only is my foot still killing me (but in a slightly different place of course), I’m limping as badly as I was when I first tried walking. What the hell?
I get myself to PT, take one look at Danielle and throw my crutch in the corner: full blown tantrum. Danielle tries to calm me down, but I refuse to be consoled. I’ve done everything right. I do these damn exercises 3 times a day. What gives??
Danielle says everything she has always said. She’s seen this before. I’ll definitely walk (and cycle) again. It’s gonna be a long haul. Recovery is full of set-backs. But then I hear her say I need to build back muscle mass.
Wait a minute – what?
Without trying to sound too dramatic, it’s kind of a Helen Keller moment. She’s been saying this the whole time. It’s just the first time I was ready to hear it. Muscle mass is a whole other concept. If that’s what we’re talking about, of course it’s going to take awhile. And God bless Danielle, she never mentions age.
Cause here’s the thing about age. Your doctors get younger. And they get cocky about it (like it’s a character defect of yours that’s never gonna happen to them). And the first thing they’re likely to say begins with, “At your age…”
My mother once went to a new young doctor when her own doctor retired. He decided to give her a full check up, so he sent her for a chest x-ray. When she returned, he said everything looked good except for a little dark patch on each lung. “Ya dern fool,” my mother said, “Those're my tits.” And so they were.
But here’s the other thing about age: muscle mass is a bear to rebuild – or even keep – after a certain age. I know this from older cyclists. They always make it to the top of the hill, but they’re not the first ones up, and it’s not for lack of conditioning or experience. So I know whatever I’m facing, it’s gonna be harder than it would have been say 20 years ago.
But Danielle never mentions age. Today, she takes off the “Ratched” hat, and becomes a masseuse, going over my sore foot tendon with an ultra sound wand and explaining why it’s inflamed (no matter what shape your other muscles are in, the foot muscles are always working. These muscles, and their tendons, are tired!). She gives me a compression sock - depressing but helpful - and sends me home.
I curse every moment of series bingeing I did, sitting on my butt in LA while my muscles atrophied – but what were my options?
Meanwhile, at least I have information on muscle mass, and I can go to the McBurney Y to work on it.
I’m going to have to be a lot more patient than I planned.