Barbara dragged over a – what, a really short table? A really tall stool? I dunno, there are several of them in the big P.ACE room at Body Dynamics.

(I don’t know what P.ACE means; it says that on the door and people say “Is she in the pace room?” “No, she’s in fitter-ex.”)

(Yeah – I know. It’s Fit/RX, but it comes out sounding like what happens when your former boyfriend gets bulky. Fitter ex.)

The table is maybe as tall as two steps on my staircase. You might, possibly, sit there comfortably in exhaustion after Barbara makes you increase your interval time on the elliptical. Not that I’D know, of course…

My task was to stand in front of the table and put up one foot in a “Captain Morgan” stance. Arg, matey. Foot flat; heel well onto the table. Now true up the hips; I tend to let the up-leg’s hip fall downward. Got it? Standing tall and balanced?

Okay – now step up onto the table. Push the heel in, engage the up-leg’s big ol’ glute muscles, and just stand up there. Go.

When I’m Captain Morganing on my left leg, all is well. Sure, I need a LITTLE momentum to get the whole party up and onto that table, but not so much that Barbara gives me The Look.

(The Look is shorthand for Barbara saying “Do you think I don’t notice how much you’re cheating when you telegraph your shortcut that much and I have x-ray eyes? Because I noticed, and don’t do that again.”)

But when I put up the right leg – it’s like someone has cut some muscles or nerves or something. (Barbara says everything is there, but I’m oddly disorganized – a curious notion.) I give fruitless little hops on the down leg that barely change the angle of the up-knee at all and then grimace in a combo of shame and discomfort.

I think about 50% of my inability is mental; I’m SO sure my knee is going to hurt when I try to yank upward that I can’t bring myself to test the theory. But the other 50% is physical… because when I try, my knee really DOES hurt. (The muscles are weaker; I pull my knee inward to compensate, and that hurts. I now know WHY – I just can’t overcome the DOING.) (If Barbara wraps one of those therabands around my leg just above the knee and hauls my knee outward while I go up? Pain-free. But she says I have to strengthen the muscles and has refused to constantly stay at my right side, applying traction with a theraband as I go through my days. She’s such a prima donna.)

But today, I added something else – a shooting pain at the top of my thigh, in a part of the leg that is simply inappropriate to point to. Definitely the thigh/groin intersection. I’d felt it several times this week, usually when I exercised, sat down for too long, and then got up. Ouch.

Barbara will chivvy me through general discomfort or the complaint that “it’s HAAAARD, Barbara!” But if there’s any pain at all, she stops everything immediately until she’s figured out what’s going on and has solved it. We worked on the adductor magnus for at least twenty minutes, and while we definitely diagnosed the muscle in question, none of Barbara’s stretches and exercises did much to unlock the tight place…

…so because we were at Body Dynamics and that’s a place where you can hardly swing a dead cat without hitting an expert (an image that both grosses me out and delights me), she grabbed the first Big Brain through the door.

It happened to be Josh, who has so many initials after his name that he’s entitled to be called DOCTOR Josh but is too charming to demand such obeisance from lesser mortals. Josh and I have been on a smile-and-nod level of acquaintance (an “I see you and recognize you and have never said a word to you but we’re satellites around the same moon so hey” sort of arrangement), but this was the first time I’d ever actually introduced myself and shaken his hand.

Barb laid out my issue in wizard-talk (they use accurate, technical terms that mean nothing to me beyond “Man, that was a lot of syllables!” and “Was that English?”), and then Josh and I had a five-second discussion about whether my feet generally turned inward or outward.

(Outward. Like a duck.)

And BOOM, Josh had two exercises teed up for me to try that IMMEDIATELY affected the pain in that only-in-private location. I’m adding one to my Home Exercise Program. (The other involved tying a long jump rope around my ankle and then – I don’t remember. I cheated anyway on that one, so Barbara has to stand there and watch me to make sure I’m doing it right. NSFHEP.) (Not Suitable For Home Exercise Program, of course. Duh.)

So I’m going to work on that new stretch/exercise this week, and next week maybe I’ll get closer to standing on the taller (but not the tallest) table in the P.ACE room.

I continue to be dumbfounded by (a) the completely new aches and pains my body can come up with as I attempt to repair my alignment and (b) the uncanny wealth of arcane knowledge at Body Dynamics that would NEVER have occurred to me on my own to repair my body and strengthen things that are weaker. It’s like I’m a really cool ninth grade science fair project and Barbara and her fellow wizards are determined to win. That is SO COOL!

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