Posts Tagged ‘Physical therapy’

Recovering from Injury! (Stage 6 — which may be optional — and Stage 7)

Here. Have a lollie.

WEATHER: Warm and sunny and delightful — 72 degrees and not humid.

MILES: 9.5


WHERE TO: Back into Mojo-land.

MOOD: Cautiously optimistic.


First, let me say that I HAVE MY MOJO BACK!  Did I do 23 miles yesterday?  Yes.  Did I receive several facefuls/eyefuls of gnats?  Yes.  Is my chest slightly abraded from carrying Gu packets in my sports bra?  Oh, you better believe it.  Is life back to normal?  <punches air>  Helllls yes!

Anyway.  On to the important stuff: getting over your injury.  You’ve cross-trained, you feel yourself getting stronger, etc., and yet — and yet.

And yet.

The injury isn’t better-better.  It’s just sort of half-assed improving.  And you, as the world’s greatest super happy fun time run run runnerperson ever, do not do anything that isn’t at the very least 90-percent-assed.  But you also don’t need no stinking doctor.  Also, you were sick that day in college where they taught you how to be an adult and how health insurance works, so words like “deductible” and “copay” and “HMO” and “doctor” are still a little mystifying to you.

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WEATHER: Sticky — high of 96.  Humidity of 400%.

MILES: 14.


WHERE TO: Lincoln Park, Nats Stadium, Hains Point, home.

MOOD: Pumped.



Chapter 6: Hell Hath No Fury

That morning, as soon as she got home from Rod’s apartment, Jessica tore her clothing off, dressed in her running clothes, and went for a 20-mile anger run.  It felt great, except for the part about having been suckered by Douchy McDoucherson.

Well, it felt great for the most part.  Except for the nagging pain in her knee starting at mile 16.  Shit.  Not this again.

Upon returning, she retrieved the foam roller from the bag from Rundezvous Sports and placed it in the center of the room, on the floor.  Gingerly, she lay sideways upon it and shifted her full weight onto her IT band, when-


The roller disintegrated beneath her into a pile of little foam pellets, sending Jessica crashing to the floor.  The downstairs neighbor rammed the ceiling with a broom handle, his standard move when Jessica did anything more strenuous than shift her weight on the couch.

Speaking of weight…

“I’m a big fat ginormous heifer!” she sobbed.

Her phone rang.  She sniffled and crawled over to the table where it lay.  It was her mom.

“Hi, Mom,” she choked out, hoping for comfort.

“You are still single!” said Mom.  “Also, I’m feeling very groovy today.  Did you know that you can fashion a dress out of a transparent shower curtain?  It’s awful sweaty, though.”

“Baaaaaaaaaaaa!” bawled Jessica, hurling her phone at the wall.  “Baaaaaa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…” she continued, fumbling through the Rundezvous bag for the receipt.  No-good overpriced bastards.  $15 for a piece of foam that was probably manufactored for 0.00003 cents in a warehouse somewhere in Taiwan by a preschooler.

Well, bullshit! thought Jessica.  BULLSHIT!  If she had to be a single heifer, she would at least be one with $15 more to spend.  Most likely on tequila, the way things were looking.

She gathered up the mutilated remainders of her foam roller, along with the receipt, hopped in her MG and sped to the running store, where she screeched furiously to a halt and strode purposefully inside…where–fabulous–that same checkout guy was waiting with alacrity, ready to serve her.

“You came back!” he said, cheerfully.

“Yes, I came back,” said Jessica.  “And before you can ask me if I want to join your running club, no I do NOT want to join your running club, because I am my OWN running club, and I am JUST FLIPPING FINE!”

“You seem like it,” said checkout guy, bemused.

“Yes, yes I DO, you wiseass.  And FURTHERMORE, I do not want your free race fliers for Turkey Trots in November or Jingle Bell 1-milers in December or Cupid 4-milers in February, nor do I want your free copy of whatever random-ass running publication put together by chimps with typewriters in an office in Muncie, Indiana or some shit like that that you are plugging this month.”  She was beginning to lose her breath.

“OK…so the problem is…”

Jessica’s eyes welled again as she gained momentum, en route to her breaking point.  “ALL I want” — and here she squinted at his nametag — “Ryan, is for you to deal with THIS…” and here she dumped the bag of foamy bits onto the counter, the receipt fluttering to the floor, “…because I DEMAND SATISFACTION, and I am NOT A SATISFIED CUSTOMER.  I am a very VOLATILE customer, if you must know, and I do not have the time to put up with your CROCK of-”

“This shipment must have been defective,” said Ryan.

“You know what’s defective?  Your FACE is defective!”

“Let me see the receipt,” said Ryan quietly.

Jessica stopped short, inhaled, and picked up the receipt, face-down on the floor.  There was writing on the back of it that she had not yet noticed.  It read:

“Roses are red

Nikes suck ass.

This is my way

of making a pass.

(at you.)”

And then, below that, it listed a phone number, a small heart, and the signature “Ryan.”

“I wrote it as I checked you out last time.  Had you really not noticed?” he asked gently.

Jessica realized that she was crying, tears rolling down her cheeks.  This man, this Ryan man, had poetry in his soul, and he had likewise seen the beauty in her soul from Day One.  Oh, what a fool she had been, yes, but she knew NOW that-


Rod strode through the front door — right THROUGH it, literally — having kicked the glass in.

“I have stalked my woman-prey and have found her, and now I have come here to retrieve this beautiful piece of woman-flesh!” roared Rod.

“Dude.  That door was unlocked, you know…” began Ryan, as Rod picked up the foam roller and began mercilessly beating Ryan’s face with the blunt end.

“Hey!  Ow!  Hey!” yelled Ryan.  Rod put Ryan into a headlock and wrestled him to the ground, now just sort of slapping Ryan with the roller on whatever flailing body part became convenient.

“Stop!” yelled Jessica.  “STOPPIT!”  She thought about doing something, but she was pretty noncommittal, mainly because watching two gorgeous dudes fight (in however weenie a fashion) was, come on, sort of hot.

Ryan squirmed away toward a display of elastic physical therapy bands.  Snagging one, he looped it around Rod’s right foot and pulled until his leg bent waaaay backwards, up toward his buttock.  Rod bellowed.

“Say ‘uncle’!” said Ryan.

“Never!” yelled Rod.  Ryan pulled harder, this time pulling Rod’s foot back to mid-back level.  Rod squealed.

“Say it!” yelled Ryan.

“Noooooo!” wailed Rod.

Ryan gave a final yank.  “MY GROIN!” screamed Rod.  Ryan saw this as a good enough sign to let go.  Rod stood, clutching his testicular area, and limped out of the store, not bothering to look back.

Ryan stood, brushing the bits of broken-glass-dust from his clothes.  “Man.  That sucked,” he said.

Jessica nodded.  “He’s blood-doping, too.”  She thought for a bit.  “I’ve heard of roid rage…but was that EPO rage?  Is there such a thing?”

“No,” Ryan responded.  “That guy was just a dick.”

Jessica turned to him, looking up into his beautiful, gaunt face and deep, soulful eyes. He touched her face tenderly, and the two then kissed the kiss of true love, feeling a rush of romance, poetry, and endorphins. It was almost as good as a runners’ high.  Almost.

Oh, HELLO, old friend.

Awwwww, shee-it, Doctor Pixie-Cut is feelin' granny's sweet assy goodness.  Keep it up, homegirl, dontcha quit.

Awwwww, shee-it, Doctor Pixie-Cut is feeling all up on Granny's sweet assy goodness. Keep it up, homegirl Pixie. Ooh, dontcha quit.

Physical therapy is sort of awesome, aside from the fact that going to it means that you’re…you know…still a gimp.  It’s one hour, twice a week, where one person is focusing all their attention on making you feel better, and occasionally massaging the shit out of your hip joints.  Which — once you get over her having her hands all up on your pelvis — is really kind of pleasant.  And all of my appointments are at 8, before work, which means that I get my daily dose of selfish before wandering off and selflessly performing research for the betterment of America.


This week in self-knowledge: as Madam Physical Therapist has found, I have one leg longer than the other.  No joke.  Who knew?  So this is apparently what I am up against — asymmetry and a lack of an ass.  Huh.

The recovery continues to go well.  We’ve been on a couple of (pain-free!) 10-plus milers, though I haven’t told the PT.

…who may or may not have told me that she doesn’t want me running yet.

…but still.  A small part of me has had this bad-ass thought — that maybe I can eke out 13 to 15 this weekend someday, and then next weekend try a 18-20-miler, and then when Boston rolls around I’ll be in shape, and that weekend I can just think, “How am I feeling?  Can I do this?” and if the answer is “Yes,” I will nonchalantly hop on a train up to Boston, call a friend so I can crash for the weekend and nonchalantly crank out 26.2 leisurely miles of ROCK and kickass and-

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” says Madam Physical Therapist.

Pipe down, lady.  I didn’t even tell you about this plan.

“You’re a dumbass.”

“And you can’t say no to my totally adorbz Jordanian accent.”

True enough.

She actually has me doing this thing now where she puts electrodes on my left quad and cranks up the voltage on this little box until my muscle jumps and tenses involuntarily.  It’s sort of a cool feeling, and I sit there on this table, getting my twitch on for ten minutes at a time.

So.  Electroshock therapy.  We all knew I had it coming.

Anyway, in other good news, I also went on a 10-to-11-miler last weekend in the cold, cold rain.  All was well until somewhere in the middle of the Mall, when a cold ball of awfulness settled in my gut.  I looked down and politely addressed my colon.

Oh, hi there.  Welcome back.

Have I told you all about the poop yet?  I feel as if I have.  If not, suffice it to say that if you’re not a runner, you think I’m just being gratuitiously gross, but trust me.  I’m not.  Soccer players get ACL tears, football players get permanent brain damage, rugby players get thumbs to the eye, and runners get the trots.

I just speak the truth.

So it’s 45 degrees and the rain is horizontal and awful, and I’m circling a 5-block area around the Eastern Market building — the only place I know of with public commodes that is also chaotic enough that no one will judge me as I go in and have a body-chilling, clutching-knees-to-face, questioning-if-there-is-goodness-left-in-the-universe experience.

Several times.

Ohhh, I remember this.  <shiver, sob>

And it was AWESOME.

Guys, I’m bizzack.  Well, mostly.

Calming Down…

Let the Annual Foodgasm Commence!

OK, team.  Auntie DJ is sorry she got all superpissed about…well, everything last week.  I’ve gone to my corner, come back a new woman, blah blah…

The crazy has been coming back to a certain degree.  Remember my tarot card post?  That was riiiight when this whole injury started nagging away.  A part of me has wondered if perhaps the tarot cards brought this on — that the unholy demon that has attached itself to my left patella and has been humping away at it for a month and a half was brought home from Barnes and Noble in that one fateful seafoam green box.  So when I came home from school in my usual exhausted heap the other night, that little part of me reached for the cards and held them dramatically above the kitchen garbage can, ready to send them the way of coffee grounds and Red Bull cans I’ve slammajammed at 3 AM during paper-writing-fests.

But hey.  Let’s all calm down for a second, because we know which “part of me” is talking here.  It’s the part of me that went to Bible camp and came away convinced that Ouija boards (manufactured by Satan himself) (oops…no, I was mistaken…Parker Brothers) would condemn me to a life of damnation and sadness and that perfectly nice gay people would one day be dragged into the fiery pit to assume their places alongside murderers, single mothers, genociders, and Buddhists.

So I did not throw away the cards.  I decided to take a deep Goddamn breath, close my eyes, count to ten, sing a few calming choruses of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” and take stock of life.

The truth is that I’ve learned a few extremely valuable lessons in this time off from running.  Yes, this is where the oboe starts playing and we all get didactic-ified.  So sit down, sack up, and deal with it, pussy.

1) If I stop running, I will not cease to exist.

…not that I thought I would actually wink out of existence upon not doing my morning fartleks (but then, who knows?  I had never tried it.).  But it sort of was my “thing.”  It was how people (people who don’t know me terribly well, mind you, but still) introduced me at parties.  And somehow — though I am a smart, fantastically interesting person — I let it become my definition.  Which is scary, because we’ve all met that guy who can ONLY TALK ABOUT WEIGHT-LIFTING, and eventually we just want to punch ourselves in the teeth just hearing him talk about Romanian dead-lifts and squat-thrusts and Muscle Man 9000 Creatine Powder.  I fear that I was becoming VO2-max-and-shin-splints girl.  Perhaps I was.  And then it disappeared for <shudder, hands to mouth> SIX WHOLE WEEKS.  And I only barely held on to my sanity.  Which leads me to:

2) I need to take a freaking chill pill.

Yeah.  Know who’s in friggin’ grad school?  Me.  Know who needs to graduate and find a job?  Me.  Know who let running, a running injury, and then freaking the shit out about a running injury get in the way of a crapload of schoolwork?  This kid.

3) If I stop running, I will not become morbidly obese.

Militant feminist though I may be, the patriarchy’s obsession with having a kickin’ bod is still residing comfortably in my head.  And to be perfectly, brutally honest, it took me two or three weeks of doing a crapload of elliptical and subsisting on dust and sparkling water to understand that I wouldn’t be muffin-top-ing all up in everyone’s face if I didn’t get to jog every morning.  Sad?  Perhaps.  But we’ve learned our lesson.  As I type this, in fact, I am currently chomping down a handful of nature’s most perfect food, Cadbury Mini-Eggs (Slogan: “Ruining your life deliciously — every spring since you were 5.”).

4) Yoga is really kind of fun.

And here I thought I’d hate it.  But it allows me to be strong, flexible, and oh yeah make lots of fun observations about the yoga culture.  For example:

5) Most men only go to yoga when dragged by their girlfriends.

OK.  I hate gender-based generalizations.  I really do.  And I wish I could say differently, but this appears true in 99 cases out of 100.  Trust me, ladies, next time you’re hoisting your thigh over your shoulder to the strains of Thievery Corporation, take a glance over at Kevin.  He hates every second of this.  He’s red and shaking not because of a good workout but because his scrotum is stretched so thin it’s transparent.  Know what?  Next week, when Heated Bikram 1-2 rolls around, let ol’ Kevin stay home and drink bourbon and scratch his hairy ass (How do I know it’s hairy?  He was doing 20 gazillion downward dogs in front of me in those silly shorts you made him wear, OK, Brenda?) and sniff your undies for a few hours.  You’ll both be happier.

6) Physical therapy works…eventually.

How do I know?  Because…

HOLY FUCKING GOD I RAN EIGHT MILES TODAY WITH MINIMAL PAIN AND I FELT LIKE A REAL PERSON AGAIN!  I mean, OK, yes, I could be a person without running, but I was also a person who was forgetting what Georgetown or the Mall looked like or what it feels like to blow past some 50-year-old buzz-cut tool who refuses to let a girl of all things pass him.

And then?  You guys?  I came home?  And walked down some stairs?  And felt almost NO CLICKING!  How did this happen?  WHO CARES, BITCHEZ?  TOUCH MY KNEE AND BELIEVE, YE WHO DOUBT ME!

Interestingly, a very good friend and fellow marathoner, who I will call The Mountie, has been nursing runner’s knee for I think even a little longer than me, and she also started magically getting better this week.  It’s, like, a CONNECTION, man.  Like we just KNOW in our bones that it’s HEALING TIME, right?  Far out, yo…

Anyway.  I salute you, Mountie.  We are kicking this.  Tasty-style.  I’d invite Mountie to do a victory dance with me, but she’d put me to shame.  So I’ll just sit here in the corner and sing a triumphant rendition of the Indiana Jones theme song while she busts a move.  Are you all watching?  Goddamn right you are.  This is what VICTORY looks and sounds like in the Republic of DJ — off-key and hilarious, yet strangely sexual.

Yes, I’m aroused, too.  It’s OK.  Embrace it.