My Post-Rehab Recovery Starting Line-Up has a new name: Team Tanimal.
There are no benchers or subs on Team Tanimal. If you’re here plan on working hard. We’re playing for keeps and I will extract every ounce of your expertise. I have ways and means.
“Tanimal” was a nickname from my first job. I only heard it once (to my face) but I thought it was hilarious. I showed up one day to visit the Maryland Brokers (I used to work in corporate real estate) and as I walked in I heard, Here comes the Tanimal. I used to click around the office in heels and pearls, wearing very Washingtonian twin sets etc. But they could see beyond the cover and knew I would not be leaving until I got what I needed.
These days I’m not always sure what I need – so I gather knowledgeable people around me. To that end, I successfully recruited Coach R to join Team Tanimal last week. Coach R is the one who wanted more info on the atrophy thing he saw going on with my left side. But when he asked me to do a squat I was convinced that Team Tanimal could use him.
This is how my squatting skills have developed:
June 2011: RIO (3rd Hospital)
Me: snicker snicker
A(2): What’s so funny? (in the usual longsuffering voice)
Me: Umm….I don’t think I could do those in normal life.
October 2013: The Gym – entry evaluation
Trainer D: Can you do a squat?
Me: Pshaw! (scornfully) Can I do a squat?
Trainer D: It was a theoretical question! (I was already halfway off the table – I interpreted the question as an order. That’s how it usually works.)
February 2014: The Running Gym
Coach R: Do a squat.
Me: I need to hold something – (looking around) – do you have a kettlebell? (Realizing Coach R wouldn’t give me anything – now he hands me a weighted ball) Will you demonstrate first?
Coach R: No. I want to see how you do it.
Ummm…hello? I have a brain injury. Tough crowd. PS. He was not satisfied with my plié. But for once it’s not Trainer D’s fault – I did a plié in protest when Coach R declined to demonstrate. Heh heh. The last time I saw him he upped the ante by producing a tension belt, holding one of my arms, and informing me that we were going to do standing single-leg squats. I burst into spontaneous laughter. And then I looked at his face and realized he was serious.
But really, Coach R is super nice, so in the following week I pondered whether I should rent time on the Alter G (the anti-gravity treadmill) or sign up for Post-Rehab sessions with him. I decided that given the concerns voiced by my PT and CMD, my parents’ interest, and my habit of getting too excited about new pursuits when left to my own devices I’d do well to recruit Coach R in an official capacity.
So, unlike Trainer D, I gave Coach R a choice – and he said Yes, he’ll help me. YAY!! A couple of things he said on my first day – the “interview” – really intrigued me: 1) You could run on the Alter-G first and then when your muscles are fatigued it will be a better challenge to do the exercises after. 2) If you are able to attend to the deficits (e.g. in my hips – he had identified them within 10 minutes) you will see dramatic changes in your gait.
Prior to this I’ve been working on protecting my energy. But now I’m facing more scenarios that will require significant up-front energy investments, and a robust chi as time goes on. So building stamina in this context first is good.
Furthermore, it’s only lately that people (that means Trainer D) have proposed the idea of targeting certain muscle (groups) to help me reach specific goals. I haven’t been ready to focus on isolated strengthening before this. It’s been more about – use your eyes…walk…walk better…stay vertical…don’t lean to the side… But now I’m praying I’m finally ready to attain a higher level of fitness beyond not falling down.
BTW when I say “run” I mean a very gentle jog on the anti-gravity treadmill. It’s impossible to fall out, I can choose the body weight % I wish to use, and I only trot for 3-5 minutes at a time. ORFR is an experiment to help manage my stress levels as they’ve increased lately. That’s another reason I’m praying my body is ready for this – exercising really helps me feel better but I’m also half-waiting for something to happen. My legs could already be showing signs of this new level of usage (it’s only been 3 weeks) – but that’s why I’ve got Team Tanimal – part of their function is to tell me if I need to go get checked out again. (Please pray that I don’t.) I feel like I’ve been building momentum since beginning acupuncture etc. last year, but I know from experience that regression happens and it’s disappointing but it’s a part of RecoveryLand. My progress has been largely driven by people simply asking or just expecting me to do things – e.g. sit in a chair upright or do a plank. So I have been busily recruiting people to do the asking and who can also teach me how to do things if I need to (re)learn.
Oh yeah – now that you’ve met Coach R fyi his name might change. I call him “Coach” to differentiate him clearly from Trainer D, although Coach R’s certification is as an Athletic Trainer. I’m going with “Coach” for clarity, but I’ll take his feedback. However, the names Dr. Frankenstein, Gargamel, and Mr. Miyagi, are all taken. So I hope his heart was not set on any of those. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit!