After a year of my weak muscles fighting both me and doctors, I finally graduated from Physical Therapy like a big girl. It turns out that a C-section, then not eating for nine months, and general sleeplessness are not good for any your muscles, but add to that the fact that I am a small person who has to carry around two big boys and it was a disaster. PT would make it better, then Eliot would have a terrible day and I’d have to hold him for hours and I’d be right back where I started.
But finally they pulled themselves together, more or less, and also my insurance refused to pay for more appointments because they think they know me and my muscles better than I do, so my muscles and I found ourselves out on the street on our own.
Well, that never works out well for me.
I know all you all do things easily just because they are the right things to do, but I have a problem with being internally motivated. I tend to think things like, “Well, I probably don’t have to actually do anything today because I’ll do it tomorrow”. (Multiply times 1000.) And then I end up where I was six months ago, wondering how I have fallen so far. So unless I found something to replace PT fast, I was going to be experiencing the delightful joy of back spasms all over again.
The other factor in this whole situation is that cardio and I hate each other. It’s a mutual sort of thing. As in, it tries to kill my body and makes me feel like I’m going to die. People tell me that if you keep at it, it gets better, but I don’t believe them. Also, why would I push through that much pain just to ‘get used to it’? No thank you. I believe in doing things in my life that I like doing, and I am extremely sure that my heart does not have the capability to beat fast enough for cardio, nor do my lungs hold enough air.
So here I am with barely put together muscles (Literally. Ever heard of diastasis recti? It is most often seen in pregnancy when the abdominal muscles physically separate from each other and then have to be knit back together through exercises that are not natural to normal people’s brains.) Anyway, here I am, having to keep my muscles together and hating cardio and unable to floor exercises at home because I have children.
Have you ever tried to do stretches when there are small boys in the house? They get so excited that you’re lying on the floor that they take the immediate opportunity to jump on you, poke their little sticky fingers up your nose, and when you pick them up and sit them back and explain that you are exercising, they quietly listen with grave, understanding little faces, only to give you ten seconds before they promptly forget the entire conversation you just had and try to sit on your face.
So I was essentially left with weight lifting or yoga that fulfilled my no cardio requirements, and it needed to be at a place with childcare, and it needed to address the need to consistently keep my muscles connected.
So Monday, at the recommendation of a friend, I found myself at my local YMCA in a core yoga class with a rag-tag group of yogis. Old women who were far more flexible then I’ll ever manage to be, young moms who have the same look of relief after they left their kids in the childcare, and one old white haired gentleman who was not able to do any of the poses but who was able to turn almost all of the poses into a balancing act which was highly impressive, even if incorrect. (My balance is terrible. My PT people suggested it was because I have weak ankles, weak core, and weak concentration. Basically, I have nothing in my entire body that is needed for balance.)
They tell me that yoga is fantastic for meditation and thinking deep thoughts, but that must only mean after people are good at it, because I spend most of my time willing my body to not collapse down upon itself.
They tell me yoga is fantastic for flexibility, but that must be after you’ve worked at it for a long time, because when I had to stand on one leg and reach the other to the ceiling my (extremely tight) leg muscles thought I was trying to kill them. I ended up not even making it to 90 degrees and both my knees were so bent that if you saw that angle in an airplane’s flight path you would start screaming Lincoln’s constant refrain while playing these days: “Mayday, mayday! We’re going down!!”
They tell me it helps decrease stress, but that must not count the stress of never doing any of the moves right and feeling more and more anxious every time you think you’re supposed to turn to the right and the whole room turns to the left and ends up staring at you while you frantically whirl around in the opposite direction and readjust.
Let me summarize this whole rambling post for you: I have a weak core. I started doing yoga. I now have a weak core AND I’m terrible at yoga.