Monday, 4 March 2013

Fat Woman and the knotty problem

Fat Woman is learning the importance of stretching. Fat Woman spent good money with Osteopath to be informed that her hamstrings were simply too tight and she should stretch much more. Fat Woman now gets assisted hamstring stretching from Personal Trainer at the end of every session. Fat Woman doesn't enjoy assisted stretching because she is on flat on the floor at Personal Trainer's mercy but thinks it is really very nice when it stops.

Fat Woman has been working with Osteopath and Personal Trainer to improve the condition of her knees. Fat Woman has suffered variously with patellar tendonitis, compressed cartilage and adhesions. The patellar tendonitis had been bothering Fat Woman for a couple of years before she met Personal Trainer. The compressed cartilage came during Personal Trainer's holiday. Fat Woman trained with Swimming Coach who got Fat Woman to do 300+ squats and squat-type movements. Fat Woman did ask him what he was thinking getting a 300lb+ woman to do that, but the answer was unsatisfactory. The adhesions happened regularly until Osteopath diagnosed a problem with the tracking of Fat Woman's left knee cap. Fat Woman was sent off with instructions to ask Personal Trainer to work on strengthening her VMO. Personal Trainer knew immediately what a VMO was without having to ask and changed the position of Fat Woman's feet for lifting. For the interested reader, VMO stands for Vastus Mediallis Obliquus, which is a muscle found on the inside of the thigh. Fat Woman has been made to do single leg presses and single leg lifts for what seems like forever, although she still can't do a single leg squat unsupported. The upshot of all this technical knowledge was that Fat Woman was instructed to get assisted quad stretching as well as assisted hamstring stretching. This would help prevent more adhesions.

Fat Woman feels that stretching is a complete waste of exercise time, but has had to accept that it is necessary. Fat Woman hasn't managed to be more than stoic about stretching because she finds it even more embarrassing than the time she had to grip a Swiss ball between her ankles and raise the ball up in the air. Fat Woman was lying on her back at the time, which meant when she dropped the ball she was unable to stop it from bouncing off her forehead. Personal Trainer didn't even pretend not to laugh by the third time.

Four minutes before the end of every training session Personal Trainer tells Fat Woman to get on the mat. First comes the indignity of Fat Woman lying on her back with her foot resting on Personal Trainer's shoulder. From this point Personal Trainer seems to be trying to use his bodyweight  to put Fat Woman's leg behind her ear. Apparently Fat Woman is more flexible than 90% of Personal Trainer's clients. Fat Woman thinks this is mostly a good thing, although she has heard Personal Trainer mutter than he hates flexible people because they make stretching such hard work. There is little talking at this time because if Fat Woman laughs she might snap a tendon. Fat Woman relies on holding up her hand in a stop motion for when she is feeling the stretch.

After her dignity has been wounded, Fat Woman has to flop over on to her front for quad stretching. Personal Trainer has to tell Fat Woman to relax every week. Fat Woman hasn't mastered being zen about lying face down in a public place whilst a Personal Trainer puts her knee under his thigh and ends up leaning on her squishiest parts in order to execute the very helpful but slightly odd stretch mandated by osteopath. Fat Woman has to do some pushing back as well, to help prevent adhesions. As Fat Woman is apparently very flexible it takes some effort to achieve the right result. Fat Woman doesn't like to think too much about what is going on behind her. Communications can be quite hard when Fat Woman is face down on the ground and Personal Trainer is staring straight ahead so Fat Woman has learned that when she wants to beg for mercy she has to slap the ground like a wrestler signalling they give up.

Early in the session Fat Woman had informed Personal Trainer that it was a mark of how much her life had changed that the thing she wanted most in the whole world right then was to sit on the foam roller. Fat Woman likes The Grid foam roller and sometimes borrows Sparky's when she is in the gym. Personal Trainer said there would be no foam rolling until after session and made Fat Woman do leg presses and straight-legged deadlifts. So when Personal Trainer asked if Fat Woman was aware that she had a big knot "there" i.e. over her piriformis Fat Woman said yes, it was why she had mentioned the foam roller earlier. Personal Trainer offered to unknot the muscle for her. Fat Woman thought this was a very generous offer as technically the session was over. Having had problems with her piriformis and sciatic nerve in the past Fat Woman doesn't like to neglect this area. Personal Trainer warned that it would be sore later, but Fat Woman remembers the pain of a sciatic spasm and reckoned it couldn't be that bad.

Fat Woman isn't entirely sure what went on when she wasn't looking but thinks possibly Personal Trainer used his elbow to massage out the knot. Personal Trainer recommended a tennis ball for home use but Fat Woman is thinking that if regular sports massages are the price she has to pay to avoid lying on the floor whilst Personal Trainer jabs her bottom with his elbows then she needs to review the budget and find some money.

Fat Woman hopes to God it was elbows.

Fat Woman no longer has a knot but she is having trouble sitting down.

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