Saturday, June 24, 2006

June 22, 2006 - Graduation from Physical Therapy

Today, rather unexpectedly, I graduate from physical therapy. I’ve just arrived for one of my usual sessions – which have grown rather routine – when I ask at the reception desk about getting a few more therapy dates on the calendar. Let’s wait and see what Marcia says, the scheduling person tells me (Marcia’s one of the senior physical therapists, who seems to do a lot of the patient evaluations).

As it turns out, Marcia takes me downstairs, to the fitness center where I’ve been a not-so-conscientious member in the past. It’s time, she tells me with a smile, that I transition from the highly-supervised program upstairs to the more self-directed activities on the first floor. She leads me over to a few of the exercise machines, some of which I’ve worked on before, and others of which are new to me. Even on the ones I’m familiar with, she sets the number of metal weights a good bit lower than what I’ve been used to in the past. “Slow and steady” seems to be the physical-therapy motto. She records all the instructions on a paper chart, and shows me the file drawer where it will be kept. I’m supposed to take it out and refer to it, as I repeat the exercise routine in the future.

We walk back upstairs afterwards, and after we reach the top, Marcia tells me she notices a big difference in me. When I first started, she recalls, there was no way I could have walked up that flight of stairs without getting completely out of breath. Now, I climb them rather easily. The progress has been so gradual, I haven’t really noticed. But I suppose that’s the best kind of progress, for someone in my situation – slow and steady.

Marcia hands me a wallet card for two weeks of free, “step-up” access to the fitness center. After that, medical insurance will no longer pay for my admission to the place. I’ll probably pony up the membership fee myself – although I’m considering going to another local fitness place, instead, that offers much more elaborate facilities, including a swimming pool.

Maybe it’s worth paying a little more – maybe even a lot more – for a place I’ll be more eager to go to. As always, when it comes to exercise, the hardest thing for me is getting started. Yet I’m even more aware, now – this side of my cancer treatments – of how important exercise is to my health.


Anonymous said...

congrat's on graduating on pt. Good job and keep up the good work and may God bless you as always.

Shirley Wilton said...

Yes, yes, young man. Where I'm now living, full of retired and aging people, exercise is promoted, encouraged, made to seem social fun. It kind of is, and I hope you're feeling so much better you'll keep it up, even though, at your age, the time it takes is the hardest choice because you're so busy!
This is from your Mother!

Mary Beth said...

You hit it right on the head,Carl, when you say the hardest part is just getting there. I have been a regular member at Life Health for a long time, and I actually like it, but there are days when I drag myself there. It takes along time to establish the habit and on the hard days it helps me to remember that I ALWAYS feel better, mentally and physically after the visit than I did before. And on days when I just don't have it in me to do a "big" workout, I often go there anyway and do a "small" one... something is better than nothing. Congradulations on your graduation, but remember you're not really graduating, you are commencing into something new and better. Best wishes and God bless. MB

Anonymous said...

....amen. the hardest part of my workout is getting out of bed in the morning to do it.....and if I don't do it first think it's nearly impossible for me to get motivated to do it later.