It’s been quite a few interesting days.

Truly stunning results coming from my rehab, pain is largely gone and the throbbing largely subsides until late evening.

Has meant a massive change in the better for pain killers, something I’ve been wanting for a long time.

Pool sessions have been great, I’m going to struggle to keep these sessions going while working full time.

Physio isn’t really keen for me to return to the Next Gen pool as it’s both shallow and cold.
South Australia Aquatic & Leisure Centre is looking to be a great option.

My Physio loves the place and I toured yesterday and it looks to be a good fit. Their program pool is a better depth of 1.4M up from 1.2M and it’s also a lot warmer at around 32 degrees C.

Going to head in for a casual visit tomorrow and drag my Dad along, if the visit works well, I’ll sign up and make regular visits.

It won’t be a total replacement for Next Gen I’ll run dual memberships.

Back at work on Monday and I’m going to negotiate clearance to use the gym there.

A small selection of equipment there but I’m mainly interested in dumbbells, I’m not ready to invest at home as yet.

It’s been a really interesting 24 hours, yesterday I smashed my pool session a little too well. The supervising Physio is having to develop my program as the current work out is now far too simple. This is a massive gain for me, when I first started the program it was hard going and would take me the full half hour to do.

Now it’s so easy I knock it over in about 15 minutes. We’ve added to it a bit and increased the reps but, I met with my Physio today and we have a revised program for me to work with.

Only downside of the Sa Aqua and Sports Centre is no pool equipment for use. So I’ve had to buy some noodles and a kick board.

The kick-board is terrible, not only does it show Clark Rubbers mascot is of questionable quality.

I expect for home pool usage it’s fine, but in a commercial/rehab environment I have my doubts. I’ll see how saaquatic goes before I go spending even more money.

The noodles I’ve bought are the same as I use at the CHG pool, they are Australian Made by Clark Rubber. I stood my ground with the sales staff as the Australian noddles are about $8.75 whereas the “cheap china ones” are about $4.75 the shelf price indicated $4.75. Obviously pool noodles are normally a summer purchase, so in winter stocks are down.

I won out so I’ve got my 3 noodles and kickboard.

During the week, news broke of the death of a long term family friend.

While the passing is sad for the family it’s a blessing as injury and in more recent years dementia robbed this person of life in recent years. Sadly the situation is compounded as the spouse of the deceased has recently been diagnosed with cancer and is about to start aggressive treatment.

I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, but was pleased to be able to attend the wake.

Was really great to reconnect with that group of long term friends, many on which I’ve not seen for years. Was also interesting seeing many of the personalities come out, time doesn’t change some things!

Solid Physio consults yesterday and today, not quite tears from her but I really had an impact on my Physio. It’s fair to say both yesterday and today she was totally surprised in my progress. We’re now at point where I’m the best I have been in months and I can’t begin to explain how the feels.

I feel like I waking from a nightmare but at the same time trying to pinch myself to see if what I’m experiencing is real.

This whole injury has caused a mild depression and I’m still recovering from that. So far I’ve had a run of great solid days, while I know this won’t last forever it’s helping boost my self confidence which is critical right now.

This afternoon was a very special but slightly private time for me, but one that I will share.

Quite a few months ago I met someone who even in a group exercise class environment had a major impact on me, the sort of person that stands out in the crowd and you think to yourself “I want to know more about this person”

This person is Emma, she was until recently working at Next Gen. Emma is one of those infections people that raises your spirits and nothing generally is too much trouble.

She’s a Gym Manager, Personal Trainer and Aqua Instructor.

Since she left Next Gen I’ve kept in loose touch with her. She a hard one to pin down, having started a new job which involved opening a new gym she was and is quite the busy woman.

I’ve wanted a individual PT session with Emma for a couple of months and particularly in the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to organize it. With the return to work on Monday my focus is going to change more to a work/rehab focus rather than a pure rehab focus, that time is upon us.

So a nice way to finish that off was with a hard boxing session with Emma. Emma is significantly shorter than me, in great shape and is a fantastic motivator.

I text Emma a couple of months ago and said something along the lines of “I miss you kicking my arse, that’s healthy right?” I won’t post the heartfelt lol response I got back.

So today I booked Emma in, the obligatory question “how long” normally I’d go an hour but right now my endurance and bank balance says 1/2 hour.

To give Emma an idea what I was after I said ” I want to push myself, but I think once we reach the half hour point you would have worn out your welcome ;)”

Now Emma is the third PT I have worked with in the past 3 months. In true form I pool different benefits from each trainer.

Emma knows me before injury and worked with me at the start of the injury process until I had boxing classes removed from my exercise clearance.

There is something about this woman, she “gets me” and knows how to motivate me by pushing my buttons but in a constructive way.

Today I trained the hardest probably ever, the feeling of wanting to puke was ever present and by the end of the last boxing interval I was almost breathless as I put everything I had in reserve and more into her pads.

I still don’t know where most of what I found during that workout came from, all I know that tomorrow I’m going to be paying for it. That doesn’t worry me as it’s good pain and while at the time it was a hell of a battle Emma worked with me to show me that I was capable of even more than I realized.

I created a playlist for the work out and it became obviously I forgot to include the track by Kelis “I hate you so much right now”  while not true post session, it seemed fitting.

When I commit to a PT session I give it my all, Emma pushed and pushed, but also knew when I had to back off. This is why I won’t push this hard without supervision as I need to be careful.

It’s been an amazing week and tomorrow I need to sort out laundry and get to the pool.

Exciting times friends!

The battle at hand, getting off crutches

So around late February my Physio says to me we’re at the point where I need crutches.

I wasn’t going too well getting around, and the way I was limping was causing other problems to my body.

Well we’re now at the point where I’m pushing hard to get rid of crutches and again the issue of tertiary load has reared its ugly and unwelcome head.

This is going to be one of those rare posts where I do express my concern about the path forward.

I’m scared of falling; I’ve come close a few times but have managed to avoid it. One of the most difficult situations I have found myself is when I get “stuck” and unable to move. I had a situation a few months ago at work when I got up without crutches and I froze and had to get someone to pass me my crutches.

I guess part of my apprehension now is I can accept being on crutches but a walking stick to me isn’t a step forward. I’ve fought long and hard to get better and to be told now that I can’t drop to one crutch or get off them entirely but I have to move to walking stick/s is going to be a big sales pitch to myself.

I’m angry at myself for ignoring the warning signs of pain my body was giving me and I’m sadden that I’ve been off work so long.

So I’m due to be at work in a week and I have to improve even more from where I am now. So unless I want to be stuck on crutches I have to move forward and if it’s to again swallow a bit of pride then I will and must take this course of action.

I keep writing about the frustration of the slowness of rehab, one of the things I have held back writing about is the anger in my ability to do the most simple things.

On Friday I started working with my Physio to get me off crutches. To begin with you have to have a gait analysis done. This is done to determine not only how I walk but how I load various parts of my body up but also access just how well I’m able to weight bare on the injured limb.

Well on the Friday I sucked at it. I did it on a wooden floor in socks and I felt so outside my comfort zone I didn’t cope.

I came away from the session annoyed and upset.

I returned the next morning and asked if I could repeat the process but bare foot. Hygiene normally dictates that socks are preferable but in my case we went bare foot. This worked much better.

I still needed spotting but I was able to mobilise much better and with the crutches I was able to change my partial weight bearing technique from “Step To” to “Step Through” in itself a major achievement.

So I’m now resigned to the fact that I’m going to have to obtain a couple of walking sticks. I’ve been lent a couple but none are a matching pair.

I’m going to have to see if I can borrow or worse case hire a set. I’m a fighter and if I have to walk with sticks so be it.

I’m sick of people having to make allowances for me; I just want my life, health and fitness back. So time to swallow a little more pride, do as I’m told and eventually reap the rewards!

Feeling the Hydro session

The work week has been shortened due to the Queen’s Birthday.

As a result I wanted to keep my 3 pool sessions this week but if means I don’t get a rest day there somewhere.

I probally overdid it a bit yesturday so today both my head and my Physio are telling me to take it easy. This I still translated a bit, but rather than go full pelt I did slow things down.

This approch was good as while I still did more the slowly does it approch actually worked.

I still have some real issues to over come in both strength and stalibty and today I managed some calf stretches which even under water were hard, on land they are just too painful to attempt.

I also managed to build on my upperbody workout which tonight I’m feeling it a bit.

Going to be interesting as I have a half hour PT session in the morning and that is a pure upperbody workout. I’m tipping an afternoon of rest tomorrow will be on the cards 🙂

Belive in yourself

So the past couple of weeks have been really interesting.

Until yesterday I have been getting around with a Aircast Foam Walker (Moon boot) and crutches. Today with advise the moon boot is gone and it’s just crutches for about a week.

One of the key things I’ve found with my journey so far is you need to believe in yourself. I know it sounds dogy, something you’d see on an infomercial, but if you can’t confide in yourself, honestly what hope have you got!

Now I’m not saying that you can do this by yourself, you need to have a good support network, this is the key. You Need to believe in yourself that you can do what your setting out to achieve and as part of that surround yourself with the right people. That’s where “Team Pilko” comes in. I didn’t know how to exercise or cook. Did I believe I could do it, yes I did! Could I do it myself? Well not really.

So embrace change, motivate yourself where you can and take advise, you’ll be the better for it!

The begining

You have to start somewhere so lets wind the clock back to the start of 2011

I’m lucky to enough to work somewhere where there is a commercial kitchen on site that prepares meals for a few hundred folk a day.

I approached the catering manager and asked if it were possible for the kitchen to provide lunch for me (obviously at a cost to me) we agreed and lunch started.

In the past for me any exercise “kick” has had to follow diet changes. If you live on junk food you aren’t getting the nutrients your body needs to function.

As a result your always tired, have no energy or motivation.

I used to eat way from home for 99% of ALL meals.

So lunch started being provided and instead of eating “the burger special” from the local lunch shop I now had fresh salads and meets with a piece of fruit. Typically a banana or apple.

I don’t remember the exact order in which this occurred but 2011 gave me a couple of decent health scares. Firstly I woke up one morning with severe chest pain, felt like I was sleeping under an elephants foot. I knew it wasn’t heart burn because I’ve had that before. This was chronic pain. I logged onto the heart foundation website to check to see if I was having  a heart attack.

I honestly wasn’t sure, being a bloke I figured it would pass, so despite feeling really poor I got dressed and headed for work. The pain was so bad I could hardly cope having the seat belt on my chest. I got to work and the pain killers kicked in and it cleared.

I decided that if that was a warning I head i loud and cleared. Visited my regular GP and got a referral to a cardiologist.

Quickly got a stress test done and despite being very unfit (I only half completed the test) I past.

Later in 2011 I had routine blood work done and my blog glucose was showing as impaired.  My GP had me do a glucose tolerance test and yep, I had a glucose level that diabetics strive for. So Doc’ tells me if I don’t soon do something I’m headed for type 2 diabetes if I don’t make changes inside of 12 months.

This was on top of my blood pressure which I’m told at the time I very high.

Time to do something.

I had consulted a dietician some years ago and her and her husband run a dietary and personal training business.

I had emailed her some months prior asking if I could consult with her again and she said it would be best for me to meet with one of her dieticians on staff.

I never followed up.

I made contact with this dietician and i started from there.

It was great, this guy seemed to want to listen to pilko’s story, his view was that he wanted to learn how we got here. Simply really, stop riding your push bike when you get your drivers license, fall into the wrong crowd who live off take away and have a home environment that hates to cook.

So we started to learn about what to not eat and what things to eat. Each fortnight I’d start off with a new list of things to try and we talked about “trolley control” that is, don’t keep temptations in the house, if you don’t put them in the trolley they don’t get into the pantry.

I was also taught to read food labels, important to work out what goes in your mouth.

I went grocery shopping and it took ages, I stopped bought things I’d never bought before or in a long time.I must of spent a good 15minutes at the dairy case looking for “healthier cheese” and a good 10 minutes in the breakfast cereal aisle making sure I bought “the right” cereal.

So I had my diet getting under control.

What the hell do to about exercise.

Two options personal training and group classes.

So I emailed this private PT gym and spoke with the managing director, we met had a chat worked out what I wanted. He paired me up with Sean. We met and started weekly workouts for an hour.

I also started group classes

I can’t remember how it developed but my exercise program was thus:-

Sunday 45 minutes Group Aqua Class + 90 minutes Pilates (group basic class)

Monday 45 minutes Group Aqua Class (later dropped for the 6:15am 55 minute boxing x-train class with Emma who I’ll talk about later)

Tuesday 1 hour Personal Training 1 one 1

Wednesday 45 minutes Group Aqua Class

Saturday morning 45 minutes Group Aqua Class

That was a lot, but it was working well, I started to drop kilos, exercise was great, loving the adrenaline made some new friends and made this a lifestyle change. It all fitted well into place.