So yesterday was my first day of PT. I've been in PT enough to basically know what to expect. When I got there yesterday I bounced happily in the door, confident that my 9 months of lifting 5-6x a week have put me in a good strong place, and I could take whatever craziness was handed to me.
Of course you see where this is going.
There are many muscles in my body that are quite strong. Quads, calves, tongue, biceps, all tough as nails. However, all it takes is for one physical therapist to say "push against my arm" and I crumble like a sack of sandwich wrappers. First, I walked him through my IT band disaster, and then my right shoulder disaster. He looked at my shoes and watched me walk. Then he did the "push" tests where I discover that I'm so weak I shouldn't be able to walk and open the door. The verdict: my hip flexors and psoas are tight, which is royally effing up everything south of my belly button. He said that my hips don't move when I walk. Say what now? The shoulder verdict is more interesting - he said that when I fell, I "bashed my shoulder" up into my body, but that wasn't the main problem. The main problem is that when I healed from surgery, my shoulder started letting my right trap (up near the neck) do all the work, so I have 20 different kinds of weak shoulder connector things. Oddly enough, both injuries are on the right side of my body, which made him comment - multiple times throughout the visit - that I must've had a stroke. Right.
After the evaluation came my favorite part of physical therapy - the grueling painful massage. Kirstin was right. I don't think I've ever felt pain like this before. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, especially in my legs, yet several times I came really close to asking for a break. He worked on my hip flexors and the fascia in my hips, which essentially feels like someone is ripping your skin apart. Then he worked on my IT band, which, after years of this problem, is a pretty tough little motherfucker. He worked on it long past the point of enjoyable pain, long past the point of tolerable pain, and well into the point where I want to cry and vomit. Excellent. Today, it is so sensitive that the act of pulling up my shorts - which caused the fabric to lightly brush the side of my knee - hurt so much that I had to go sit down.
Next came a few minutes on the elliptical, then a handful of exercises, all of which are currently in my lifting rotation in some variation or another. His parting shot? No running for 2 weeks.
I left with my tail between my legs.