Still too sore to join the Wednesday group and go for a swim this morning. Have decided I will not swim at all this week to give my neck a rest and hopefully alleviate the pain. Still the show must go on and so I presented myself at the Virgin gym in town to see what Belinda had in store for me. I arrived half an hour early and warmed up on the bike. I was a bit tired and sweating profusely before the session even started. We did a whole lot of new things including:
1) Running on the spot with very high leg lift. This was pretty difficult at first but I got used to it. The broken leg didn’t want to have anything to do with this at first and my coordination was terrible. It actually got better the faster I ran.
2) Walking lunges. This was really hard – back and forth across the gym. Instead of a normal lunge where you go forward then stand up again then lunge on the other leg, this was a succession of lunges in a walking motion with one knee almost touching the floor. Very difficult at first. I think this was trying to load up my knee while at the same time making it move. This seems to be a holy Grail for Belinda – putting load on the broken knee while it is in motion.
3) Jump turns. This is a straight skiing exercise where the body stays facing forward while the feet are together and about 45° to one side. I then had to jump up and land with my feet together and facing 45° the other way. This was also really hard until I got used to it, but strangely enough, once I tried it a few times it wasn’t so bad. This is a pure replication of the manoeuvre on a very steep skiing slope where the terrain does not allow a normal carved turn. The turn is initiated by jumping slightly, getting the skis off the ground and pointing them in a different direction. It was weird trying to do it in the gym. I felt stupid, but I know what she was aiming at.
We also did repetitions of the back arch using the Freeform board. Even though I find this exercise difficult, I asked her could we do it this week as I find it a really excellent stretch for muscles that I hardly ever use. For some reason, I sense that this is an excellent exercise for office-bound workers who sit at a desk every day. As usual, we completed numerous sets of speed skating on the Freeform board. All of this is about trying to get me skiing again. Belinda is now presuming that I am responsible for all the strength work and she is concentrating on the balance, coordination, stretching and range of movement that I will need to ski again. I see Matt Lyons the surgeon next week for the sign off. Here’s hoping.