Begging and Rehabbing

Today I began the road to recovery. My wonky left knee and hip have been giving me fits all year so I rode Big Nellie to the physical therapist in Old Town, Alexandria. I’ve been there before for back and shoulder problems.

On the way I saw something I have never seen before. Just south of Old Town there is a large condominium building on the Potomac River. The access to the river cuts across the Mount Vernon Trail. It is at this intersection that I was hit by a driver too impatient to stop before making a right turn on red.

After complaining about it last year, the city changed the sign at the intersection to a No Turn on Red.  Based on my observations since returning from this year’s bike tour, I’d say that about half of the drivers leaving the complex comply with the new sign. (I saw one ignore it yesterday.)

Today, on the way to physical therapy, I rolled toward the intersection. A car was waiting at the light. Then I saw something I’ve never seen before. Anywhere. The driver got out of her car and walked over to the pedestrian beg button and pressed it. “I do this all the time,” she said with a big smile on her face.

Needless to say, I cracked up.

The physical therapy session went well. Logan is my therapist. For twenty minutes she had me talk about my hip and knee and took extensive notes. Then she examined me nine different ways to Sunday, taking various measurements as she went.

She found:

  • I have a leg length discrepancy.  My left leg is shorter than my right.
  • My back is slightly curved. (The result of hefting an extension ladder a few days ago, no doubt.)
  • My quadricep muscles are about as flexible as your average cinder block.
  • My hamstrings are too.
  • Most of the muscles in my upper left leg and left hip are significantly weaker than my upper right leg. (I suspected this going in but to see her isolate each muscle in her examination was quite eye opening to me.)
  • My upper body is also inflexible.

How the heck I managed to ride a bike across the country with my left leg this messed up is beyond me.

She recommended a set of exercises that a trainer walked me through. Sadly, one of them involves taking a foam roller to my upper legs. Foam rollers are the WORST! When I used it on the outside of my left leg, it was not fun.

During the bike tour, I rode across Kansas with Mark and Corey. Mark used a massage stick every night on his leg muscles. His legs were more better than mine.

The entire set of exercises probably takes 20 minutes to do. I’ll do them daily and start adding elements of my old stretching routine.

I am hoping for a reasonably fast recovery.  I’d cross my fingers but they aren’t all that flexible either.

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