Friday, June 19, 2009


Recruit Down!


Doris D. Meneses

On the morning of June 1st and I attended the 6 a.m. Boot Camp class under the direction of Oshun and Nestor. I had Oshun for the first half and went through a lot of stretching and I really felt good as I switched into Nestor’s session. One of the last suicide drills that Nestor has us do for the day was three sets of running the steps and then doing a set of 20 mountain climbers.

For those who do not know, let me describe a tortuous mountain climber. You place your hands on the floor in front of you and stretch out your feet in the back. You then rapidly bring one leg up to your chest while the other is back and then switch over to the other leg. It is like running with your hands still on the floor. One of the recruits actually commented to me how great I was doing the mountain climbers today as I was doing the full climber and not taking the easy way out. I felt like I was in a zone. I could feel that I was really making progress on my last set…..and then it happened!

Pop! I went down like an anchor on the Queen Mary. Pain shot through my right calf like fifty charlie horses grabbing and hanging on for dear life. I felt like a rubber band snapped in my leg. Pain! Tears! Oh Lord no! Memories of my leg injury years ago entered into my head. My mind screamed, “This can’t be happening to me now! Everything came to a stop in the gym. Recruit down! Oh no! It’s me!

Nestor came running over and then Oshun. They asked was it a cramp and I cried and told them I felt a pop and it is not a cramp. They worked quickly, would not let me move and immediately sent someone for ice. The doctor said their fast action kept me from further injury. They made me stay on my stomach with the ice for quite some time until they decided they would get me up. Oshun explained carefully and fully what they intended to do and what they wanted me to do. I was going to roll into a sitting position which I did as she cradled my leg. I sat up and she explained that the next move was for me to put my good foot flat on the floor and they were going to lift me up into a standing position without my bad foot touching the floor. I immediately panic and tell them that I am too heavy and there is no way they are going to be able to lift me. Oshun gives me her famous look that tells me I need to be quiet and trust her, and I do. Her calming ways overwhelm me as Nestor and Oshun lift me to a standing position with ease.

Here I am standing at the far end of the gym and I have to get to the lobby of the YMCA which is a great distance. Oshun looks at Nestor and asks can they “Queen Me.” I have no idea what “Queen Me” means but I didn’t think it was going to be good. Crown me with a good whack on the head maybe, but Queen Me? Nestor says sure and I get really worried.

Oshun explains that they plan to stand on each side of me and I will put my arms around their necks. They will then pick my thighs up and carry me in a throne like position. My mind again screams, “Hello people. I am obese! Did you forget?” I then tell them that I will just hop out on one foot but then the pain tells me otherwise. Oshun and Nestor do not consider my suggestion and immediately pick me up and begin to carry me out. I am amazed at their strength and somehow I am soon out of the gym. I told Nestor I love a young man’s arms around me but not this way! Someone ran to get a camera and pictures are taken! Oh Lordy. They finally get me to the lobby and I am seated on a chair with ice.

It is decided that I should go to Homestead Hospital to be certain of what the injury is. I really do not want to but I agree to go. My boss, John Maas, who takes the class with me pulls up his car and takes me to the hospital as my husband was out of town. I will say that he will never make a good nurse’s aid as he pushed me in the wheelchair right into the wall! I think it was on purpose! He said he was too short and couldn’t see over my head! Yeah right!

My experience at Homestead Hospital’s Emergency Room was wonderful. From the moment I arrived until my discharge, I had nothing but fantastic treatment. My nurse, Ashley Richmond, the doctor, X-ray techs, physical therapy guys and everyone were wonderful. I even got to ride the moving bed in the X-ray room. I cannot thank them enough. I left the hospital on crutches with my leg immobilized in a brace.
Diagnosis is a calf strain and it is similar to an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, but occurs higher up in the back of the leg. A sign of a calf strain is similar to that of an Achilles tendon rupture - you may think you've just been hit in the leg and hear a "pop" and there is sudden pain at the back of the leg. Yep I felt it! No fat lady mountain climbers for a while!

The next day I visited my favorite Physical Therapist, Dickie Spiroff and his Physical Therapy Assistant, Gentry Pedraza at Homestead Physical Therapy and they provided exercises to help heal as well as gave me treatment for the same. Gentry did a leg massage and I felt she was literally picking up the muscle out of my leg and squeezing as she has hands of steel. Pain…but good pain!
Each day since the injury I have exercised my leg as I am intent on getting back to Boot Camp. Last night I swam a mile and can now walk with just a slight limp so I will be back to Boot Camp on Monday to at least concentrate on upper body. I cannot give up and let my obesity take over. My mind has yet to be trained that I can do this by myself. I am truly amazed by all the people who care about me. I am a recruit in the YMCA Boot Camp and many people say I deserve to be there! Maybe I do?

Please look for the next article in this series to follow shortly.

No comments: