Thursday, May 19, 2016

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy sucks.

This is not my first round of PT, I've done it a few times over the years, so I feel I can be fairly definitive when I say that it's pretty much the suckiest thing that ever sucked. 

It's uncomfortable, and it's hard. It's supposed to be. I've been using my body the wrong way, and now it's used to that and resisting. 

I know, because I've done PT before, that as I progress it will get easier and my neck is already starting to feel better, but PT is sucky right now and I prefer to live in the right now. 

PT reminds me of dressage. 

Dressage is hard, and it often sucks. You're developing a better way of moving in the horse and a better way of riding in yourself, but you're fighting the bad habits and cheats you both have learned. 

There are many times that I really want to throw a tantrum at PT, because it's hard and it hurts and I'm bored. But I know it's going to help in the long term, so I resist the urge to curb stomp my inordinately perky Physical Therapist. 

My horse does not have the option to write blog posts fantasizing about curb stomping the PT, so he acts out in the only way available to him: actual tantrums. 

I get what he's saying: "This is hard. This hurts. This is boring.", but now it's my turn to be the inordinately perky and curb-stompable Physical Therapist. He doesn't know that it's going to help in the long term, I have to show him. So, I ignore the temper tantrum and try again. 

And, yes, hurting is normal. I know many people reading this are getting ready to release their righteous indignation in the comments, but before you do that ask yourself, "Does it hurt when I try new exercises?". Of course it does, any new exercise program comes with a heaping dose of aching muscles, and you shouldn't expect anything less from your horse. The difference is that we rationalize the pain as a badge of honor on our way to greater athleticism and a healthier lifestyle, while our horse is just like, "Dude. WTF is up with this?".

Dressage is hard, it's supposed to be. There are times it will hurt, there are times it will be boring, there are times when your horse will throw a temper tantrum worthy of an Oscar nomination. You have to just keep plugging along and maintain that curb-stompably perky attitude. 

Or you could drink. That works, too. 

Best Training Scale Ever.


  1. I hear you on physical therapy. I'm in my second week for my back and wanted to quit after the first session -- but I can tell its working so I'm continuing. I don't have to like it though.

  2. Why is the drinking an "or". You must drink or I don't know how you horse. Or PT for that matter.

    Hang in there.

  3. I love the training pyramid but not sure that the top is not supposed to be the bottom :)

    1. Yeah, seriously! Hard liquor first... then galloping.

  4. I really like this post. What a great reminder that sometimes things are shitty. And to just keep going because it'll get better. Hoping the PT gets better soon.

  5. I relish sore muscles, my horse does not. So sad.

  6. I am sorry to hear that physical therapy is not that enjoyable for you, but hopefully it gets better soon and is worth it all. Great analogy, though, relating your physical therapy to the dressage. That really gives a great understanding of how physical therapy works.


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