Sunday, June 24, 2012

July Effect Part 2 (go back and read Part 1)

Driving to work sucks
To be fair to the Residents concerning the "July Effect" Gentle Readers of This Blog, what the literature revealed was not so much the beginning doctors being incompetent--it was more a matter of learning how the hospital works and how the pecking order played out.  When they arrive, they're pretty much the low-man on the totem pole.  If they're lucky, they'll have good mentors.  They will also have to prove themselves to the nursing staff.  If you're a jerk to the nurses, they can eat you alive--and make your life a Living Hell.  If new Residents are smart, they figure this out pretty fast.

Inside "The Jim"
Before my accident--in which I still wake up every morning not able to believe it even happened--I was working out at the Jim Thorpe Fitness Center.  Its the old power plant for Haskell and everyone knows it as "The Jim."  

In Mid-December, I had just gotten back from hauling everything cross-county from Tucson back to Lawrence.  I did this move with a rental truck, packing up our house there in Tucson and then bringing it back and then un-packing in cold wet Kansas.  It was a long, tough couple of weeks, mes amis.  My body was shot and I was about to start a new job.  

I was a train wreck--fat, out of shape, stressed, and in the dumps.  My first few weeks at my new job I faked it as my back was shot and I was in a lot of pain.  I just went to work, come home and went to bed.  I decided to see what was up with the Jim and that's where I saw an advert for a certified personal trainer--Will.

The Jim Thorpe Fitness Center on the Haskell Campus
Will had been on the KU Rowing Team, and then later one of he coaches of the Team.  I met Will and we hit it off right away--and then got started.  The best thing about the Jim is that its Federally funded, which means its fee to everyone.  Its Haskell's best kept secret.  You don't have to be a Haskell Student, and you don't have to pay a membership fee, etc.  So I end up paying Will my Coach for his expertise and not both of our membership fees.  It makes it very affordable--thank goodness.

So we got started and I was working with Will along with going to Celebrity Spin, which was three days a week.  I got steadily got stronger and felt the best I've ever felt in years, mes amis!

Keeping my upper body strong
My fitness saved me from what could have been a pretty ugly situation.  Although I was injured, I kept my routine of two days a week lifting weights for the last few months, on crutches then limping over to the Jim. 

I did squats to strengthen my legs for Brevets
I don't know when I'll be able to resume squats--not for many months.  I discovered to my surprise that I could lift a lot of weight, and could do all the different types of squats with much more weight than I thought possible for a guy my age.  I had very powerful legs, a strong back, and I had gradually built up my upper body strength over the course of my workouts.  Squats are the best workouts ever--done correctly that is.  Having a professional there to help you is a good idea.   

Working out the kinks
I don't know when I'll be able to ride the bike again.  I'll start some sort of physical therapy soon and Dr. S. told me first thing is to gain range of motion--and then work on strength.  Will had me pedal backward on the recumbent bike to work out my hamstrings.  When I tried to pedal like riding it was a bit painful and I could tell the muscles are weak and sore.  Still it felt good to move them without fear of falling.  I'm not sure yet if I will be able to ride that mile to work yet, as its a gradual up-hill climb--maybe sooner than I think!

Cheers!  Bruce

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