SP Premium


Catch Up-Spreading The Spark

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Well,I figured that it's been a while so I should come on and catch up on things.In February I spent most of the month at the Functional Restoration Program at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.A program run by the spine center and physical and occupational therapy departments.It is a program which,as it says is designed to help people who are unable to function normally in everyday life due to injuries or ailments,and surgeries of the spine.A very rigorous exercise and conditioning program that also teaches patients to live a life and function with chronic pain.Something I know far too much about.We started on February 4th,a Monday at 8am.The first day was mostly filling out more electronic questionaires,and getting to know what we were going to be doing.This is an all day thing,8-3:30 Monday -Friday for 3 weeks.The first 2 days I commuted back and forth,it's about 40 minutes away.mind you,snow storms were a daily occurance,and leaving my home at 5:30 am each morning because of the snow was quickly taking a toll on me.So,after that I decided,and Jonathan agreed,that it would be best if I stayed at a Hostel that was located near the Medical Center.Besides,several of the people in my "class"were also staying there.People come from out of state to this program,and commuting would not be possible.So for the remainder of the time I stayed from Monday night until Friday morning in a room at the Hostel with Judy.Agreat lady whom I met in this program.We had alot of good times together and are still friends.Anyway,to get back to the program.This consisted of 6 hours a day of exercise.Beginning with 30 minutes of an arobic cardio session,created for us.High marching,and knees to elbows,heels to butt,that sort of thing.Following this was some stretching and floor exercises, consisting of leg raises,crunches,back extensions,and such.Things I still do almost every day.We would get a 15 minute break and back to work.And I do mean WORK!We had 6 machines in our gym.Lat pull,low row,leg press,back extension,chest press and knee extension.I don't know what weight we started at,I'm sure it was not much,but to us it was huge.Then we would do free weight work,dead lifts,hammer presses and stationary bike,treadmill and a thing called the Roman chair.We refer to this as the torture chair!You lay on it and raise your back to a 45 degree angle and hold it there to time it.In the end,I had the longest time on this out of everyone.I was quite proud of that.Next was the crate training.Seeing as part of our conditioning was to work with us so that we would be able to lift some weight again,we would put weight in milkcrates and there were shelves set up for us.We had to lift the crates to a shelf,a certain way,and then up to a higher shelf,also a certain way.We got so that we were lifting 25-30 lbs in these crates and had to do this 10 times twice!This we did twice daily,once in the morning and again in the afternoon.In the crate room we also had a peg board on the wall.We had to put weighted gloves on,2 pounds,and bend down to a box on the floor(or raised up if you couldn't reach the floor)that had pegs in it.We had to put a peg on the opposite side of the board with the opposite hand.Try doing this for 10 minutes,it's not easy,really.Also in that room we had the medicine balls.We started with an 8 pound ball.On the wall was drawn a circle.At the top of the circle was a 1 and the bottom a 2,ten o'clock was 3,5o;clock was 4 and these numbers went on and around to eight.We would have to tap each number with the ball.this we would have to do two times and also in the morning and afternoon.Designed to increase our upper body strength and loosen and strengthen our backs.We eventually worked up to a 10 pound ball.Then we would get to have an hour lunch break.After lunch,we would go for a walk.We covered every inch of that hospital that we could by the time we were graduated.And the stairs!For people like us who could barely walk,never mind climb stairs,this was really tough!But we did it.and we got stronger by the day.We would return to our gym and do a 30 minute stretching class and back to the crate room and strengthening in the gym,which consisted of pushing and pulling a sled across the floor with weights on it.They of course increased the weight every few days.we also carried weights around the gym,one hand to the other for 10 minutes at a time.All designed to help us be able to carry things again,as in everyday life.Things I had just begun to do again,but not like this.One of the reasons I joined Sparks was to help me get ready for this program,to be able to get as much as I possibly could from the program.And Lord,it worked!I was the cheerleader of the group,that's what they all called me,(and the strongest thanks to Sparks )I was there telling everyone how they could do this,they could succeed,they could be better.And it really helped everyone!That's what I got here at Sparks.The ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel,to have confidence and believe that "it"can be done.That we can do it together.The fact that we were a class together,helping one another was huge.It was Sparks that taught me to be that way,to feel that way,and I brought it there,to these people,and the Spark was once again spread.So,after 3 long weeks together,working so hard,we all graduated from this program.All better than when we began.I took what I'd learned at Sparks there with me.and I've taken what I learned there,here to Sparks.I still do all the exercises I did there,and practice the relaxation techniques they taught me to deal with those days when I don't feel quite right.With Sparks and that program,I'm on my way.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post

    Be the First to Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.