Getting Up Is Hard To Do

And in the title I'm not referring to getting out of bed, but that comes with it's own challenges after 40.  I'm referring to getting off the floor after a foot sweep ends up putting you down.  

Before 40 and possibly a few years after I don't recall ever thinking about the process of getting up, but as time trundled on I became aware of the fact that doing a sit up was getting harder and harder.  I've completed several rounds of physical therapy for back problems and have always come out pain free, but as a result of the evaluation I had to give up certain exercises and learn new ones.  I honestly thought I was doing great, but the back thing has a certain way of compensating incorrectly and very subtly.  

My L5 has some issues that have been corrected by exercise and stretching.  Before I addressed it I would get the most exquisitely painful back seizures.  I haven't had one of those in over three or four years.  However, the damage has crept up the spine and now an area higher appears immobilized.  I don't experience pain like with the L5, but I occasionally get a twinge that feels like someone put my finger in an electrical socket.  

Ironically, the subtle nature of the infirmity was helped along by my old school.  We were big on seiza (being seated on your knees with feet crossed in the back).  And to stand from seiza you don't use your hands to stand up.  So over the course of several years anytime I was on the ground (working in the yard or what have you) I'd stand from a seiza like position. 

Fast forward to the last couple of years.  Now that I'm in a school that puts me on my back more and more frequently and the getting up position is never from seiza.  I'm literally flat on my back and I'm not supposed to be rolling on my side and pushing myself up.  I have now been taught now to rock myself up, tuck my leg underneath me, go to a one knee kneeling position, and then up into a zenkutsu-dachi.  I can do this but it doesn't look very smooth.  Kind of like a turtle getting back up, but less elegantly.

So I went to my PT and he gave me some very basic exercises to regain flexibility in my lower back.  I can see the progress when I try to bring my leg up to put on socks and things like that, but to do a sit up remains an activity fraught with pain. I should mention that I do everything I can do keep a healthy gut.  I do daily ab work containing crunches, climbers and hanging knee ups.  So I know my stomach is strong but if I can't get past a certain point, like 1/4 of the way up all the muscles in the world can't move me beyond that point.

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This griping came as a result of class last night.  Mark and I are learning each other's side now and it got a bit smoother after we did it about 10 times.  I'm hellaciously sore from the activity, including my right knee whiched is bruised enough to be sensitive this morning just doing some exercises.  Weeee. 

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