Taking it up a notch

Amy really made me kick it up a notch on Monday at physical therapy. And today I physically feel pretty amazing.

This has been a weird few days emotionally, but physically, I haven’t felt this good muscle burn since I was training for the half-marathon. I have a new series of exercises to do at home and my abs feel engaged and in charge right now.

That’s the point of all of this, Amy explained to me. She’s great at explaining the why of what we’re doing. Basically, she said, my abdominal muscles have been turned off for almost a year and we have to get them to turn back on.

  • When I was pregnant and my abs got that gap in the middle, they were turned off.
  • When I couldn’t move in a normal fashion before surgery they still were turned off.
  • Any waking up they had done as I hobbled and shuffled about for seven months was undone when I had surgery, when they were shut off again by my inability to use my legs for nearly 10 weeks.
  • Now, finally that I’m up and walking normally, my abdominal muslces are working. But those muscles that used to hold my middle together aren’t yet “awake” enough to work involuntarily as they used to.

In addition to the six new exercises she gave me to do each day at home, Amy challenged me to do some abdominal isometrics every hour, on the hour. If no matter what I’m doing I remember to tighten my abs and hold it, then relax and repeat, and I do that every hour then pretty soon my abs will be awake enough to remember that they need to keep working all the time.

That’s pretty exciting for me. The best thing about physical therapy has been that it has given me some control over my situation. I have exercises to do and when I do them I feel better and stronger. I am in charge of that. I decide whether I will have that feeling or not. And that is wonderful. After going so long with so little control, that is absolutely wonderful.

I am not sharing my exercises here because they are intended for my specific case at this time. Please consult with a professional before attempting to exercise if you have pelvic instability of any kind.
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