Friday, 15 June 2012

You meet the nicest people - wearing lycra

25 years ago I got a bit of a kicking in the line of duty. The perpetrators were never caught despite the best efforts of a mate of mine who was the detective allocated to the case. We knew where they lived - in the largest concentration of social housing in Europe - but we didn't have enough info for one warrant let alone 25,000. The incident is just another story of a couple of shits who got away with assaulting a copper. The incidents that led up to it and my hilarious, semi-concussed actions in its aftermath are far more interesting than the twenty seconds that left me with an injury I would carry into retirement, but that yarn will have to wait.

That assault resulted in my pelvis being knocked a couple of degrees out of whack which wasn't discovered until ten years later, by which time my force had got itself into occupational health, but too late for me and my numerous bouts of neck and shoulder pain.
Pelvis injury = neck/shoulder problems? Yup, its all to do with the torsion of the spine, see?  This wasn't obvious to me at the time, because I was the sort of stone age bloke who, if he got a pain in the neck, assumed that he had a problem in the neck area. So anyway, the newly educated me had his pelvis re-seated by the doctor's resident physio and thereafter I had to adjust all sorts of things, including my gait which had taken on an almost imperceptable change to compensate for the change in my geometry. I was going to have to re-set my gyro's, break long term habits of poor posture and re-educate lazy muscles. Re-booting a PC! ( I was actually an inspector by then but the booting/computer pun doesn't work so well)

I noticed a difference almost immediately and the stiff necks and shoulders were banished for months until one day I lifted a bag of sugar off a low shelf and, ouch, the familiar stabbing pain in the lower back. This time I saw a sports physiotherapist that my daughter had used. The chap was ex Royal Navy and brilliant. He warmed me up, rolled me over and bent me into position 136 (don't ask) before fooling me into thinking he was going to push when in fact he shoved. There was a rumbly, crunchy sound from deep within my pelvic area like I'd just rolled over onto a paper bag full of walnuts and suddenly I was no longer in pain. I could have kissed him, but he settled for 25 quid and a handshake.

Before I skipped sprightly from his clinic he asked me if I'd heard of Pilates. "Yes, ladies in lycra" I replied. "Well it was originally bedridden soldiers" he said, "the ladies in lycra didn't catch on for decades - take my advice, do it". So I did and fifteen years later I still am. I still have the occasional visit to a chiropractor for a check-up and the odd bit of remedial work when I've forgotten the rules of posture and the physics of correct lifting technique but, I'm telling you, that little German guy knew his stuff. Co-incidentally, he used to be a self defence trainer at Scotland Yard before World War 1, but unfortunately his pupils at The Yard had to intern him during those hostilities. Thankfully they remained friends and he made another good decision in emigrating to America before the Nazi's initiated Round 2.

So there I was yesterday afternoon at my Thursday Pilates class. There is always a real eclectic mix wherever I've practiced. All shapes, sizes and ages, but with few exceptions all very keen to `stay with the programme`, both versions.  I've got used to being the token bloke in the classes I've attended over the years, rarely has there been more than three of us amongst the female majority. I have to say that at no time have the ladies ever made me feel that I was the only man in the class, something I doubt would be reciprocated were the situation to be reversed (especially if the woman was as young and attractive as me). Yesterday afternoon one of the ladies started chatting to me before the coach called us to order. I'd seen her before but not to speak to, as she is often absent for several weeks. I mentioned this to her and she told me that she was off again next week for a while. She's flying to Ethiopia where she trains local nurses. You meet the nicest, most unexpected people whilst  on your back, waving your legs about and wearing lycra.


Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

"I could have kissed him, but he settled for 25 quid and a handshake."
Very funny, HD!

I have to say though, I am trying very hard NOT to picture you in lycra. :)

Hogdayafternoon said...

I can help you there Dave. I don't do lycra, I'm strictly mens gymware (unless I'm going to a Rocky Horror Show)

powdergirl said...

We're twins! I rotated my pelvis years ago(which is not nearly so sexy as it sounds) and have all the resulting misaliignments right up to my neck. Pilates is just like physiotherapy, only much less expensive, my chiro and I still spend some quality time together too. He's magnificent!
And yeah, you do meet a pretty diverse group of people at class.
Coupla weeks ago I was chatting to a woman who suddenly announced that she's lived through the lost of two sons. I think I was in shock until we started doing some hip release, all of a sudden I felt something wet on my cheek and I realized that I was crying! Hips and tears,
Piilates can take you off guard.
Oh. And I do the lycra, but I do it carefully!

Hogdayafternoon said...

Hi PG: I think it must be a tall person thing - and I reiterate my explanation to Dave Pie n Mash, I don't actually wear lycra, its RonHill running leggings or Nike shorts and any clean T shirt (colours can clash, I don't care)

TonyF said...

Interesting stuff, And amusing too. Any good for bursitis?

powdergirl said...

I can't deny that I feel some relief at that. Men is lycra... nope, not a good look :-) even at Rocky Horror Show.

Quartermaster said...

Lycra. My favorite fabric. On shapely women. They don't have to be young. They can be my age just a long as they have nice, feminine curves.

Thems that know, know.

I've probably had my pelvis torqued a time or two playing our version of football. Paying the price I am too. Just last week I lost partail control of my right foot, with muscle weakness and creeping numbness up from the right foot. Very mild symptoms on the left side of a similar nature. My gait has certainly changed, and it is wearing me out. My first appointment with the Spinal/Neurosurgeon is tomorrow afternoon. At least I don't have to travel far for the diagnostic tests.

Hogdayafternoon said...

QM: Good luck! PS my birthday present from Mrs HD = 2 tickets to see The Rams v Patriots at Wembley Stadium this October!

TonyF said...

Hi HD!

Don't know if you have seen this:

I took the liberty of cutting and pasting from the Forces Reunited Newsletter:

After the lackluster coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, the BBC has now insulted the Veteran's of WW2 Bomber Command, their Families and the Fundraisers who raised over 6 Million Pounds, by not showing the unveiling of the long awaited Memorial.

Instead "Auntie" will be showing repeats or Tennis, great if your a Sports fan, but surely the loss of 55,573 killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew, and commemorating them and all who served in Bomber Command should be higher on the TV Listings, a further 8,403 were wounded in action and 9,838 became prisoners of war.

Perhaps not paying our TV Licence fees might just give them a Jolt, after all can they really jail a Non Fee payer when they can't even jail hardened criminals!

Or we can do something British, we can write to Auntie and let them know exactly how we feel.

You can email those in the know at the BBC and share your thoughts:

Mark Thompson, BBC director-general

Helen Boaden, head of BBC news

Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman, BBC Trust

Someone needs their arses kicking. Hard.

Hogdayafternoon said...

TonyF: perfect timing, as I'm currently reading Lancaster: The Second World War's Greatest Bomber by Leo McKinstry. I'll certainly circulate your message far and wide.

Quartermaster said...

Hog, I fully expect the Patriots to kick some serious Ram tail. May not even be very competitive. Still a bad day in the bleachers beats a good day at the office.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Thanks QM. I'm not up on NFL form at all so any info is greatly appreciated.