Having recently acquired Silver Sneaker© benefits, I followed my yoga instructor Gentle Noreen to VASA gym. A “complimentary” physical assessment is offered as a benefit of membership. I scheduled it knowing that I would be offered personal training for a fee, of course. Good reviews from friends and my aggravating knee pain encouraged me to complete the assessment. Trainer Mattea’s expertise in physical training convinced me to sign up for weekly sessions.
Too many assessments begin with taking weights and measurements, numbers which only serve to discourage me. Mattea did not even mention numbers but discussed my goals with me: strengthening my legs for everyday activities and perhaps riding my bicycle. Astutely she queried the problem with the bike, and I had to admit that I could ride it but mounting and dismounting usually ended with me on the ground.
The assessment on Tuesday included several chair lifts (standing and almost sitting for “squats”). On Wednesday, I rode a stationary bike for a short while. By Thursday tightened muscles could have convinced me to do nothing but I forced myself to Yoga and then RIPPED on Friday. By Saturday, I was not only feeling okay, but I was experiencing less knee pain.
As I get older discomfort or pain is more often present than not. The key is determining if pain is pathological or a gateway to better health, and then to work beyond it. It can be discouraging when every session of yoga reveals newly retightened joints, but the ecstasy is in walking strong and gracefully out of the class after the session. It makes the agony worthwhile.