Everyone needs a little pampering, even men. A little time at the spa is often just what the doctor ordered. In my case, it is exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s the only way I’d ever have gotten there.
OK, it’s not really a spa. It’s not even really very relaxing. I don’t come up out of the therapy pool, rising majestically on my little plastic chair, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. After 20 minutes chest deep in the warm water, the first thing I feel when I resurface is the pull of gravity. In a few minutes, when I am back in the little dressing/shower room, my body reminds me that I have been working out. My morning at the spa is more like a morning at the gym.
The routine I follow in the pool (and disabuse yourself of any notion that this is a swimming pool. At 20′ square X 4′ deep, you’d be literally risking your neck if you tried to swim laps. There are little graphic “No Diving,” warnings all long the edge.) is made up of the same exercises I do at home, gentle repetitions designed to improve range of motion, strengthen leg and arm muscles and build core strength. As I do in the pool, I work from a menu of choices, focusing on different parts of my body, with the aim of varying the routine from day-to-day. At home my goal is 10-15 minutes twice a day, a goal I seldom reach. One therapist told me to approach these workouts as if they were my job – to take them that seriously, with that level of committment. If this really was my job, I’d have been fired long ago.
The reason I go to the added hassle of getting into the pool three times a week – arranging a round trip ride, wheeling into the tiny changing room, changing, showering, wheeling to the pool room, getting lowered like a tea bag into the pool, and then doing it all in reverse after my workout – is that the effort, and benefit, is multiplied by the resistance of the water. The buoyancy also makes it possible to work out longer. Having Dori, the aqua-therapist, telling me what to do helps too.
It’s a good resource, one I am very glad to have access to. I appreciate the fact that the other guy in the pool is as misshapen and injured/crippled as I am – truly a no-judgement zone. My Medicare approved schedule of visits are used up, so if I am to continue working out in the water, I’ll have to self-motivate (not my strong suit) and get myself to the Y. I wish I could bring Dori with me to call out the drill. And maybe the Y will offer a mani/pedi afterwards, to complete the spa treatment.