I've had the blessing of several really talented physios over the past five years, and one of the gifts of working with Anja for over four years of that time is that she learned how to target specific weaknesses and help me to improve them. Now that I've got a new physio, Mike is having to figure out some of the capabilities and see how muscles work so that he can offer suggestions and work with me based on his expertise. We talked through what I've been doing with Anja, but she's got the "sniper" ability to zero in on stuff because of the long time we've spent working together. Occasionally, she'd try something completely new to see if there was improvement, and we'd discover some new development to target, but it's incredibly focused work.
This past Tuesday Mike told me he was going to try the "shotgun" approach for the start of our work where he just tries tons and tons of things and finds what sticks to target for the remainder of our time. One of the things that seems to have worked super well so far is the modified squats I started last week. I've integrated that into my routine again this week along with a couple other exercises because I saw some pretty incredible results after just a week of doing them. During our session together this week, Mike had me practice standing and sitting just holding onto his arms which he slowly lowered to force me to use more and more of my own strength. Eventually, I managed to stand just using one of his arms for support and more for balance rather than pulling myself up with my arms. I also practiced sitting down in a controlled movement rather than just dropping to the bench. By the end of the hour, I'd accomplished my best standing and sitting attempts post accident, so the exercises for the glutes are paying off with tangible results. My butt is still sore, but I'm resigned to that being the new norm for a period of time knowing that the results to come will be worthwhile. If I push through this phase of muscle growth, I'll see more strength and stamina on the other end.
Because of my new exercises routine at home that leaves me pretty sore, I didn't increase the length of my walks this week - meaning I still haven't reached the cafe down the street yet. Don't worry, I'm not giving up. This week, my physical goal is to successfully complete all my physio exercise routines as well as increase the distance in my walks. My mental health goal is to finish three books this week because this is the rest phase of my sabbatical, and reading is a source of rest for me as I engage my mind with interesting texts. I've got several book options to choose from, so I'll hopefully have some great material to pull from for next week's post as I celebrate the improvements in my body and mind. For those of you interested in my soul care, there's a lot of great work God is doing there too, so praise the Lord for his faithfulness in all circumstances.