Tuesday, 22 September 2015

No Compliments

I have been wanting to write this post for a while now, like since my second week here at Parkwood. Physiotherapy - the place where change happens. A few of my closest friends and most of my family have been here to witness my physiotherapy, and now anyone who has read the Blyth Citizen has seen the setting, but there is a lot happening there that I have not written about. And being that I want this blog not only to record my recovery but also to share it, it is now time to tell you what is going on in that PT gym.

Kristin and Barry are my PT and PTA. I have said it before, they are wonderful. Wonderful because they know their stuff, they work my body and they challenge my mind. Those of you who train with me (as a coach, boot camper or as a fellow TriHard) know that I like to push and be pushed. I can challenge myself when I feel up to it, but most of the time I feed off of the energy of others. That is what has made PT challenging. I have no one to compare my speed/strength/endurance to. It's just me. Sure there are others there, but everyone is different, older, younger, with a different injury level or health complication. There is no comparison. So for me, it's hard. Yes, I am making improvements, but they are so infinitesimally small I barely notice them.

So that is where no complements comes into play. In some circumstance I suppose I have been fishing for them, but at the same time I am not. Because often I don't think that I deserve them. Surely rolling from my back to my side is not that big a deal? Any able bodied person would not think for a second that it was. And what makes it all the worse is not being allowed to use any of the "tools" around you. I am not allowed to use the edge of the bed or the "headboards" that are one inch metal mesh that are perfect for getting your fingers into (think fifty shades of grey). Kristin says in any other circumstance I can use what is around me to help me, but not in PT. I can only use my body.  But when you have one core muscle and your legs do not follow instructions...it becomes a big deal. So does lifting your legs up onto a bed, legs that weigh 300 lbs each. Try taking off your shoes without moving any of your lower body parts. Go ahead, try it!

In PT complements are not handed out willy-nilly, no sir. You have to earn them, otherwise they become meaningless. That "good job" that we all give out for something that required no effort at all has become meaningless. So I have to work hard to get a compliment. Kristin is a bit quicker to give one out in comparison to Barry, but when I get a high-five from Barry I know that I have earned it. One day I got two! He also told me that he has never worked shoes with someone in their second week of rehab. Nice. So after being in the pool last week I have earned a new name. One-ten. As in 110%. In the pool I was rolling front-to-front making sure to come back to full floating position. Barry challenged me do it in both directions, one after the other returning to floating position each time. So, of course, I did.

I don't feel like I am always giving 110% but I try. And now that I only have five and a half weeks left, I have to try harder. So watch out Barry, one-ten will be back in the gym tomorrow, and in the pool on Wednesday. Giving all that she can so she can be back with her athletes, boot-camp friends and TriHards. And that can not come soon enough.

P.S. Two of my favourite people in the world sent me this song on the same day. I want to share it with you. Fight Song

Last week the kids came to help me with my PT. Here they are throwing a ball to me and I am supposed to be catching it without using my hands to keep myself upright. Total core work. Hard stuff.


  1. Super cool to have the kids be part of your therapy...fun!

  2. You should be so proud of that nickname! 110! You need a shirt with that emblazoned on the front! That's a pretty awesome compliment. Glad they're making you work for them, though. Don't you hate empty praise? Again, so glad you have such awesome people helping you, training you. You rock, Julie! Love the pics of the kids helping too.

  3. Your post was really moving. After reading I played the song and read it again. Sounds like you are very deserving of that 110% nickname. Great to see you have the support of your kids and that they can take part in your healing process. I wish you all the best in your recovery process, I can't imagine what you're going through.

    Emmett Fletcher @ CK Physiotherapy