Man, I love this Physical Therapy clinic. If you live in the southern Baltimore suburbs, I can’t recommend Violand & McNerny highly enough. I use their Columbia office and they are fantastic!
They busted my butt for me today. And I’m still enjoying the endorphin rush . My trainer, Francis, really mixes up the workout. Today, we started like we usually do with me standing on a balance board while a digital readout measures the amount of sway as I try to keep a dot in the middle of a target. Then we did it with my feet closer together, and my sway increased. Then we do this thing where you have a ball on the screen surrounded by seven (or so) balls in a circle around the ball in the middle. My job? When a ball lights up, shift my weight so the cursor on the screen touches the lit up ball. Then back to the ball in the center, then to the next lit up ball, then back to the ball in the center. The cursor leaves a tracer so the therapist can see what all was involved in my getting from the center to the ball to the center to the ball etc.
Then, it was the “Dyna Disc.” It’s like half of an oval ball. You stand on it. You hold on to something so your skull remains unbroken. You shift your weight forward and back. Then side to side. Then round and round clockwise. Then counter clockwise.
Then he brought out this other board… it’s a flat disc with a ball screwed onto the bottom. I’ll see if I can’t find a picture of it online somewhere. You place one foot on the footprint, the other foot to the rear for stability. Then, using just your feet, ankles and legs, you rotate the board. First clockwise, then counter clockwise. Then he flips the board over, screws the ball into the center of the other side, and you do the same thing with the opposite foot.
Then, he had me walk backwards. Yeah, I know. Big whoop, right? I mean, I used to RUN backwards when I was a defensive lineman and the play called for me to drop into pass coverage. Piece of cake, right? Right?
YOU KNOW NOTHING!
I took one halting, tiny step at a time. I froze and had to unstick myself. I wobbled and nearly fell. My right hand, usually tremor-free, broke into tremor as I concentrated. I eventually made it the length of the exercise room. And it was freakin’ HARD!!!
Then, over to the recumbent bike . I did 10-minutes on that with the pedals and cross country ski handles and really got my heart rate up.
Then it was 10-minutes on the treadmill. Starting at 2mph. Believe it or not, walking at 2mph is easier than 1mph. If I’m hanging on to the rails at either speed, I can take long, striding steps… stretching out the back of my thighs, working out my butt muscles. If I let go at 2 mph, the steps get shorter… I can still KINDA walk heel-to-toe, but it’s with great effort. At 1mph, if I let go of the rails, I can not stretch out my stride at all. It’s the Monster Mash ! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp.
When I was done, my shirt was soaked through, my head was all sweaty, and I felt really, REALLY exercised.
I have two more of these before my trip to Nashville. Then Gail and I are gonna start my own program of mall walking.