Gym Jones is famous for transforming ordinary actors into ripped Spartans for the movie 300. The workouts at Gym Jones are brutal and focus on the entire body – they don’t target specific muscle groups. To quote Mark Twight, the founder of Gym Jones, “The body is one piece. Treat it that way.” I may never look like King Leonidas (pictured above), but I like the idea that the body is one piece, and that we should work hard to keep it strong and healthy.
The human body is a complex adaptive system. Our bodies find ways to work around physical limitations. When I first saw Dr. Vail, he said that my body was likely compensating for the limited range of motion in my left hip. He asked me if my right knee was sore. My right knee felt fine, but now, it sounds like a pepper grinder when I walk up stairs. I pulled my lower back twice before surgery. Due to the bone spurs in my hip, I walked with a serious limp. Before surgery, my body was definitely out of balance.
Yesterday, I started physical therapy. I like Don, my PT. He is trustworthy and knowledgeable about my condition. He explained that his goal is to undo the imbalances that my body has worked so hard to create. Surgery just added to my problems. The muscles in my left leg are weak and my brain is telling them to relax. Don’s exercises are simple. They include lying on my back and lifting my straight leg off the ground, and lying on my right side while moving my left knee up and down like a clamshell. These exercises sound simple, but for me, they are a special form of torture designed to make my left leg stronger.
Don has me focused on specific muscle groups around my hip. I need to do that for my left leg to be as strong and flexible as my right. After all, by definition, my body is no longer one piece. But my objective is harmony, and I intend to work hard, so my whole body is strong and healthy. Maybe when I’m done with Don’s torture, I’ll visit Gym Jones to see if Mark Twight can tell that I’ve got a new piece.