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.