Pain Therapy


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I’m slow just like an elderly person crossing the street, like any home turtle in the fish tank and basically similar to a suicidal giving up on life. Except, I enter the physical therapy office with an open mind and clear objective — to make gains, to obtain lasting results, to prosper and to walk on two feet correctly (again). I have a lot of work ahead of me, but that’s okay because I like work — and because what is life without work? Or sweat? Or tears? Or blood? Or pain?

And speaking of pain: I’m pretty aware that if they called it Pain Therapy rather than Physical Therapy — the majority of people wouldn’t show up. Related: This has been the most painful PT session (the 6th one so far) yet. I inhale and exhale like a pregnant woman giving birth wildly, but, with control. I shut my eyes tighter than my thermal water bottle, pinch my eyebrows together as in “what the fuck?”, grind my teeth with grit, mush my lips together in grumble and sometimes (whenever possible) I hunch my shoulders like a white collar man over a desktop — all because of pain.

Somewhere buried in my bones and muscles fibers, I’m frightened and I’m nervous about every PT session as if I’m starting a new job. But the fear remains in a way where I’m completely detached from it at the same time. I have a reason to be a scaredy-cat for each session there are unpredictable exercises given and new progressions occurring and of course — new pain to match. Today they measured my plantarflexion/dorsi and such and such with a Rulangemeter and a Goniometer. Trust, when I say it hurts when they hold my foot and bring it up to the measurement of where it’s supposed to be.

There are parallel bars where I’m to try and learn to walk again with as much equal body weight as possible without completely noticing the occasional shout from the aid saying: Bend your knee, don’t lock out. Control the movement. Then there are leg/tibia exercises and knee/hip/glute exercises all standing and putting full weight on my right foot and ankle. It feels highly uncomfortable like I’m stepping on stones, but I’m not afraid because I have to do what I have to do, and in a weird way I like pain. Plus, let’s face it, pain is temporary.

Then there’s my favorite, the thing that scares half my training wits — the wooden balance board. This one, I perform numerous exercises on. I dislike every one of them. Still, the bright side is it gets my knees to bend and it stretches everything out around the sides, front and back of my ankle along with my deflated calve. The only issue is, the pain is dangerously wicked, but with my training mentality, I’ve achieved my personal records already.

Then there’s me having to go up/down a step. There’s the prostep-prostretch where I squeeze my foot into it and have to move my foot up and down for a deep fucking stretch! Of course, there are ankle weights and more exercises and equipment I get to play and hurt myself with. Then more ankle exercises with manual resistance by my physical therapist (who I have a fondness for ah! — plus he genuinely says sorry when he senses the pain is unbearable on my face) and ankle circles and ankle pumps before I get my relaxing massage, electrode stimulations, heat and ice.

After all the drama calms down in the PT session, I digest all that has happened and how far I’ve come. I wish I could linger on those digestions. But I move on and take in how much longer I have to go. I dwell and dwell. Still, I’m thankful for my persistence, determination, stubbornness and self-made ego. I also enjoy when the pain and inflammation dies down, even though I know I’m going home to do even more exercises and be in pain all over again.

But more than anything, when I lie in the dark alone with thoughts to myself in the physical treatment room with towels wrapped around my leg in ice and heat — happiness seems to hide in the background and no matter how many times I push the thought out, it resurfaces again. I always go back to square one with: I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I’m going through this. I can’t seem to shake off this shock.

-Pennington

Role Model Nonexistent



There has never been a role model needed or called for in my life.  Sometimes I feel it’s unfortunate.  However it has it’s up sides as it has it’s downs.

I don’t look up to anyone other than myself, when it comes to the Training Life,  not only because (due to my high standards, determination, passion, morals and rarity) I’m comfortable in my own skin.  But because I’ve found no matter if a person is of either gender, works harder, shows better dedication, takes the Fit Life more serious than me at any given moment, are a Personal Trainer, Mixed Martial Artist or grand celebrity/athlete they tend to let me down in one way or another. Whether they allowed success or their extreme personality colors to shine too late, dive into an enormous amount of drugs/steroids/alcohol or have lied consistently or have in many regards cheated the system all the while turning the other cheek and selling out, I choose not to acknowledge the idiots of ill-norm bred society.

I can’t count the many times I’ve been let down by people in general. I know this is Life. But it still fucking SUCKS! I used to look up to Chyna! There was no one like her in the world to me. She had all the muscle, mental toughness, a tenacious domination aura with a no holds bar intimidation factor.  She wrestled with men, won the Intercontinental Championship, was the only female to get in the Royal Rumble due to her strong will and fearless determination. I adored her  when she started out as a Bodyguard on WWE. I adored her before she slimmed down. I adored her before she got plastic surgery to look more feminine. I even supported her when she posed in Playboy twice (though I didn’t agree with the decision at first..maybe, ever?). I watched the 1st season of Celebrity Rehab for Chyna. I was and am still very loyal to Chyna, thought I don’t know her personally (yet ;)). And in the end, it seems as if, she was just as fragile as most people in the world. Nothing wrong with this, except I didn’t think she would fall so high from the burly ninth wonder tower from which she stood.

I was looking for role models in the Bodybuilding/Figure World at one point…

I first came on board to the Fitness Life once I started working for a gym. (Before that I was working out for a little while, learning trials and errors.) Mostly, in hopes, of meeting Bodybuilders and Figure Competitors. And, far and few in between, whenever I saw one I would ask for tips on training or nutrition from the people I thought had it all, striations, the grainy appearance on their muscles, being a lean-mean-fat-burning machine! I would admire the few male/female Figure/Bodybuilders I’ve seen in New York.

I would compliment them on their discipline and physique. Some would take it well. Maybe 1 out of 5 would remain in the stage of being humble, forever devoted to fans and such. Some appreciated the fact that I knew, love and desired to learn more about the sport. Some were stuck-up bitches (and pricks!) that firmly believed they owned each step they walked on Earth!! Others thought that since I was being open and honest about admiring the Bodybuilders/Figure physiques, that, somewhere deep inside I must be a Lesbian.

During this time I notice quite quickly that most of these folks weren’t trying, weren’t open and didn’t give a fuck to be a role model to me or any other young person that came along. I’d established this at exactly the time I would ask most Bodybuilders questions to which they wouldn’t give me the time or day to answer: about wrist-wrapping, what’s the easiest way to perform a chin-up on your own, what do I have to do to be muscular, was low reps/heavy weight the answer, what would it take to be striated, lean, be a fucking work of art, a fucking machine, what supplements should I take, is it true women have a greater hassle trying to lose weight and gain muscle? Pretty much, almost every single one of them shut me down!

Why?

For wasting their time!? For not paying for their time!? For not making an appointment for a fitness assessment!? For them not wanting to help period!?  You know greedy fucks!

This in itself led me more than ever to being my own role-model and my own trainer full-time. I would set out to acquire my own techniques to build muscles, read up on whatever I could get my hands on, test everything, work with different trainers and gain new ground and perspective, wellness and health. This taught me a valuable lesson: In the end I’ am all I have. I’ am all alone.

I’ll say this.. in the present and future, people will ask me for my help (people have already) and some people will even be where I once was… But the difference with me is, though I may not agree with (humanity at all times), with what he said/she said, what the bible says, what the magazine states, what society breeds and though I may not personally like the person I’m helping, I’ll assist them because I know its tough!!

I will lead them to find a way and tell them there are multiple ways to get to your goals.  And there are always going to be hurdles along the way testing your will to make you doubt yourself just to see if it’s what you desire so much. I’ll take them on if they’re serious (and by serious) I don’t mean they have to pay me in order for them to receive valuable and vital information THAT I busted my ass to research, than try on myself as the guinea pig! All I expect from those who ask me now (and in the future as I get better) is for them to take the journey of training and health serious.

For them to be humble and gracious.. for them to be thankful, and intuitive.. for them to realize how important it is to learn self-control, to give way to self-discipline, to rely on yourself through the positive and darkest times, to conquer their fears, to be an individual, to be ahead of the game with their heart and eye on the prize. To understand thoroughly, that the Training Life, working for your Ultimate Physique isn’t only special because you can flaunt your body when the time comes (if one chooses), but it’s special because it’s an extension of identifying yourself, the good and all the ugly..working out the kinks by spiritual means.. It’s all about the fill of potential one offers.. But it’s a Lifestyle, a hand in marriage, a full life long commitment.

A lifestyle of serious business..
Learning to love yourself, while being your own role-model.

Pennington