Rubber Underwear

Well not exactly. Only have you ever been in that position where, to be indelicate, the bog roll is in the cupboard next door, and you just leave your underwear sort of around your shins and crab-walk over to open the new package and…? Well it was sort of like that, only instead of underpants I had a two inch wide rubber band of thin latex around my shins and was being coached to squat half way down and step sideways like a particularly halt and old Balinese dancer.

What happened was, I cornered one of the trainers at Gold’s who has a reputation for being deft at rehabilitative exercise and told her I wanted my left ass back. I have come a long way since I managed to reduce a dislocated hip in the autumn of 2012, but I am still not good for serious hill work and there are days, usually involving tropical depressions or severe winter “bomb” snowstorms, when I still get to relish the kind of pain that could make you bite through the rim of a glass tumbler. I’m sick of it.

Rehab Babe is fleshy but underneath it built like a brick shithouse, and talks my language: tubercles, myofibrils, neuromuscular endplates. “I’m inside this thing,” I said, “I’m all out of ideas, I need another pair of eyes.”

RB opined that my left butt and outer hamstring just rolled over and went to sleep during the ten months the thighbone was jacked half out of the hip socket, occasioning the pitch and yaw between unstable anchorage and spastic, boardlike cramping that can still invade my best days. It’s hard to miss; my left rear thigh looks like a civilian’s and my right like that of someone who will kick your ass to Sunday and then take a refreshing pull from a hip flask. She had plans. In fact she had been pitching ideas to me before I even asked to cash in one of my paid training sessions with her. She broke out these rubber strap things and a resistance tube with handgrips. Everything smelled faintly of latex, awakening memories of adolescent fumblings that made the entire undertaking seem even more kinky.

I approximated my palms, for balance, and did the Balinese thing. I stood on the handgrip tube and sidestepped right, left, right, left, ten paces each way, struck by the wiggling of my multiply sprained left ankle. I listened to my hip make ratchetting noises in a common Yoga pose and enjoyed the blessed dolce far niente of assuming a stretch position and letting the tissues relax into it.

We gabbed during the necessary pauses. It turned out she had competed, far more times than my single venture into physique exhibition, and had trained with Charles Glass, a parfit gentil knight of body culture whose training regimen I had wonked back in my days of perusing bodybuilding magazines. “The posing suits that you have to keep in Ziploc bags because the ties tangle up in everything! The skin dye that you can’t scrub out of the tub! Yes!” we chorused.

The rest of the afternoon I walked like a normal person, feeling my outer thigh and ass, as I have been begging of them, kick in already during an ordinary stride and do what they are supposed to do instead of letting a pack of other muscles with consanguineous attachments take over for them.

I paid forty bucks for something that could save the rest of my life. No, seriously. When I can’t plow up hills I am not me. When I am in pain I am a bitch. I don’t have the gift of generous suffering. Fuck. I’ve been hurting since Hector was a pup,  somewhere or other, but this was enough to stop me doing things and up with that I will not put.

That’s a Churchill line. He also said


give in.

I won’t. Even if it means dancing in rubber underwear.



2 thoughts on “Rubber Underwear

    • Something like Power Train (I’d have to get up and look), but it’s probably all the same sort of thing. The effect seems to be holding. I was a little afraid it would be a one-shot deal but despite troughs of stiffness — there tends to be a little rebound right after doing the series of exercises, unless I repeat one of the more comforting ones — I was actually able to go out in the yard and chuck things around without lurching like the monster in a bad horror movie. I’ve ben longing for that. Once you reconnect a muscle with the nerve it seems determined to hang on.

      Thanks for giving a rat’s ass. Pain like this makes a person feel sort of lonely and abandoned at times.

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