May 29, 2007
I took Friday off and started my holiday weekend by going to see the physical therapist one of my running friends at work recommended, the therapist I’ve been dithering about seeing for weeks now. I figured it was worth a try. Even if the therapist said, as I feared she might, “Ma’m, you’re too old and fat to be running; please stop now” I could always ignore her or get a second opinion. But she didn’t say anything like that or even imply it with her facial expressions. I was glad I’d decided to wear workout clothes to the appointment even though it was just an initial consultation, because after she interviewed me about my symptoms and my running history, she stretched my joints in various ways and had me do a series of balance and strength tests that would have been hard to do in jeans. She noted tightness in my right hip, weakness in my glutes, alignment issues with my right leg, and–even though I hadn’t shared my self-diagnosis of ITB syndrome–inflammation of my iliotibial band on the right side. I could see the alignment problems myself when she pointed them out as I did squats and tried to stand and balance on half of a foam roller (curved side toward the floor). At no point, though, did she use words like “hopeless” or “defective”, and I felt encouraged enough by what she said that I’ve signed up for a month-long program of personal training sessions, starting with a full biomechanical assessment next week.
After I left the physical therapy place, I decided I had enough time to stop at the zoo for a quick visit. It’s rare I get a chance to pop in on a weekday and have the place to myself, and the zoo was right on the way home. Feeling a bit sad that I didn’t have my camera with me, I pulled into the zoo drive and was surprised to see a big crowd at the gate, almost as bad as the time I accidentally stumbled into Bunnyville. But I was already there, and the parking deck wasn’t quite full yet, so I stayed. It wasn’t a special event this time, just a lot of school field trips. I walked a fairly quick lap around, weaving in between the groups of kids wearing nametags. I didn’t miss my camera too much, as I saw only one capybara and no snow monkeys (though the irises were in gorgeous bloom).
Friday afternoon’s adventure was driving to Chicagoland, which didn’t turn out to be as frustrating and painful as I’d feared. We detoured around the only construction backup we encountered in Michigan and only got caught in one slowdown in all of Indiana and Illinois. Amazing. And I remembered my I-Pass, so good on me.
Saturday morning we went to our niece’s high school graduation, which was not held at the high school but in an arena built near the site of the outdoor music theater we’d gone to concerts at when we were in high school ourselves. The student body was more diverse than it had been when we’d graduated, but the ceremony was pretty much the same as every other one I’ve been to or in. Then it was on to the graduation luncheon, back to the hotel to change (note: new shoes and wet tile do not a good combination make–I’ve got a tender ankle, a bruised hip, and a scraped up arm to prove that), off to my mom’s house to visit with her and my brother for a while, followed by an hour’s drive down the tollway to visit with Mr. Karen’s family before returning to the hotel to sleep.
Sunday we spent some time with our friend Eli before heading back home to Michigan; I didn’t want to tempt the travel gods by trying to drive at both ends of a holiday weekend. Yesterday I caught up on laundry and other stuff around the house. I could have used about two more weeks off to really make a dent in all the things that need doing at home, but at least we have clean clothes and fresh sheets and towels.
A few pictures from the weekend are here.