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To Aqua PT or Not To Aqua PT....

Today I walked into PT and Julieanne (fingers crossed people don't mind being mentioned in my blog, however I only intend to name those that have made an impact on me and my journey) first told me that she didn't realize that my hair was so long and told me that it looked great, and then followed up by asking me if I was losing weight and told me that it's really starting to show.

Its moments like these that validate that the choices I'm making and hard work and dedication I'm putting in are paying off. And as I was going through my self driven routine in the pool I started doing the board swims (I don't know the technical name of the exercises but this is one that I hate because it's literally a full body work out, so because I hate it, I make sure that I do at least 3 laps back and forth across the short side of the pool). As I was making my laps back and forth my mind started to wander to the first time I called to set up my first visit. Jessica (the receptionist) answered with the most pleasant tone possible and I almost instantly started crying. I was so scared I couldn't do it, that I would go and it would be just like land PT and I'd end up in pain so bad I wouldn't be able to walk again and the cycle would just start over. I explained to Jessica how scared I was, and surprisingly she told me she understood and even though she knew anything she said wouldn't take the fears away, she wanted me to at least come in and see if they could help me. I went.. and at the orientation the therapist had me do 3 squats and a bunch of maneuvers to test my range of motion. I did all of the requested tasks except I couldn't lay on the bed because I knew laying flat would clasp my back. And that night into the next day I hurt. Bad.

But I went back for the first session of pool therapy, skeptically, and was greeted by Jessica's always positive self. Vana (not actually sure how she spells it) was my first therapist that I worked with. She was so informative, talking about the different muscles in my body and my back and about the connection between the strength of my core and the work put on my back from my core not being strong. It was such a whirl wind of "what the fuck does my core and kegals have anything to do with the back stuff I've been going through?" that as soon as I got home I made notes of the things I remembered that Vana had taught me. Each session I learned something new, either a new stretch, exercise or a new skill and even though of course it helped that they would help stretch me out, get my alignment right or corrected the ways I was doing normal things like putting laundry away (believe it or not even the way bend and twist was putting so much extra pressure on my back and I had NO idea!) but to be honest the BIGGEST help through all of this ist the educational parts. I could have just gone to the sessions and then continued to do everything I was doing and sure I'm positive I'd have some kind of relief, instead... I hung on to every word any of the staff would say, I watched not only what I was being instructed to do, but also how they handled other patients situations. I listened. And I made changes. Small changes at first, like tightening my core or doing a kegal at every red light I come across.

In the beginning it didn't seem to be helping. I wasn't getting any better at the exercises and I hit so many brick walls of disappointment it was insane. But I kept coming back. Partly because I wanted to but more so because I knew that Jessica would be the first person I'd have to face the next time I came in and I'd have to explain. And then I'd have to tell one of the therapists that I bailed. And then I'd have to face myself. And when the days were so hard I swore I wouldn't be able to participate in the exercises.. I'd convince myself to just show up. Just get to the parking lot and if I REALLY couldn't, then at least I tried. But not once did I make it to the parking lot and not go in. Not once have I missed a session. Not once have I given up. And now... I'm doing my own thing. I'm taking all of the knowledge I was blessed with, all the tips and tricks I was given as a side to the physical therapy my insurance paid for. And today... just like every time I've showed up... I prided myself on the fact I just made it through the door....

If I had never been convinced to walk through the doors, never been embraced by such a caring staff, never been greeted with motivation, smiles and at some low points even hugs (or not hugs because Rona and restrictions and blah blah blah)... I wouldn't be able to do half the things I am now, including making so many memories with my amazing little girl. And for that I am forever grateful and when given the option to Aqua PT or not to Aqua PT... I will always make the choice to go.

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