Sunday, May 31, 2009

12 weeks, 5 days

My super cool uncle has been in town these past few days and it's been great.

He is an Alexander Technique teacher. The Alexander Technique is an alternative medicine educational discipline with therapeutic effects that studies bodily coordination, including psychological principles of awareness. It is applied for purposes of recovering freedom of movement, in the mastery of performing arts, and for general self-improvement affecting poise, impulse control and attention. (Definition comes from Wikipedia)

He examined our walking and noticed Mireille was walking heavily, as though she had cement blocks for feet. The whole body was being pulled down to the earth.

Can you blame us? If the feet are planted solidly, we are more stable and less likely to fall and reinjure are we not?

If we constantly squeeze and contract every muscle and joint, we're less likely to dislocate something are we not?

With a bit of help from mononcle (my uncle's French slang nickname), Mireille practiced walking and imagining the body being pulled up to the sky. Thus creating space within all of the joints and, most importantly, helping me bend more freely and naturally.

The body knows how to walk. Just like the body knows how to breathe and the heart knows how to beat. You don't need to force it.

Gosh, it's so obvious but not...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

12 weeks, 1 day

Yesterday evening, I spent about 3 hours at the National Arts Centre watching the legendary Leonard Cohen. It was a great show and nice to see a man in his seventies with so much spirit. I especially loved the way he skipped across the stage like a child in wide open field. I want to skip around at that age.

But I have one complaint.

I should have been spellbound by his poetic lyrics and storytelling. Instead, I was visually assaulted by his repeated choreographic moves involving a certain joint.

Practically every song began the same way: a fall to one knee... and/or both knees... getting back up... going back down again... Why are you doing that to yourself, Leonard?

Wait a minute - what are you doing to me? Do you have to draw so much attention to the knees?

Are you doing this on purpose??

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Exactly 12 weeks

I want to give a shout out to my talented friend (and cubicle neighbor at work) for the best blog header, ever! Check out his website and blog at There's some really great stuff.

I've been bending pretty good at work but it has slowed down the walk significantly. And it's back to looking zombie-ish. People have noticed (and commented, of course...) but I am going to have to stick it out. Would we prefer to walk quickly with a peg leg or slowly with a natural bend? The latter, for sure...

My goal is to become strong enough by the end of June to allow Mireille to jog on her birthday. We're doing a lot of lunges and squats, and increasing the elliptical workout.

Skip the cake. Just wanna run...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

11 weeks, 5 days

Ok, what's been happening... It's been forever.

I hit a major plateau after the last post and nothing was worth writing about. I didn't want to discourage anyone so I refrained from blogging. But luckily, I woke up Saturday morning and snapped out of it.

The sharp shooting pain had been bothering me a lot lately. I was starting to think I would never walk normally again until the pain disappeared... and if that would ever happen!

For the past two days, I've been walking quite well. It seems much easier to bend and put pressure on me. The pain is rarely and barely there. The real test will be tomorrow when it's back to work after the weekend. The (probably self-inflicted...) pressure to get better is terrible in a building of a thousand or so.

I've incorporated lunges into my workout and that seems to be helping. I am bending at 135 degrees (not sure how much better that is going to get...) and can walk downstairs only holding on to one railing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

9 weeks, 2 days

It's getting pretty boring.

Not much is new and exciting. Well, I guess the exciting part is that we can bike outside relatively far and on uneven surfaces. The hills are quite difficult to surmount and prove how much work there's left to do to rebuild the quad muscle.

Walking normal seems plain old impossible. We should be running by now...

Bending is at a standstill. Made it one extra degree -- up to 133 degrees.

Maybe we're overthinking this whole thing?

Just walk... just bend... we're fixed... we're fine...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

8 weeks, 4 days

Great. We're just falling apart.

I think we got overexcited about walking better and overdid it. Our right knee has been really bothering us, lately. At first, we were concerned it might be a meniscus tear -- or even ligament damage. Please, no...

Turns out it's tendonitis. Considering our fears, that was good news. It appears the patellar tendon is irritated from poor mechanics due to overcompensating on that leg. Hmmm.

The even better news (because the "good" tendonitis news wasn't hard to beat...) is that we are now biking outside. It was challenging at first but, with some practice, we're getting the hang of it.

Still not at full flexion, yet. Getting to 132 degrees no problem. Some ways to go in this department...