Chairshaped

On three rather early mornings a week, from Tuesday to Thursday, just before I leave the house to go to work, I sit on a chair in my hallway to put my socks on (my shoes are a little bit more difficult to manage, so I have help with those). As you will all know, this is a simple, run of the mill task that most people do every day and it’s just the same for me, except for the fact that I’ve recently started finding it harder and harder to bring my feet up to meet the sock or extend my legs. They’re starting to feel generally weaker as my hamstrings contract and tighten due to what I will admit has been a lack of exercise. Since my hamstring-lengthening operation nearly six years ago now, I probably haven’t been putting in the effort to achieve results, and the difficulties in extending my legs away from the chairs I’m sitting on seem to demonstrate that I’m in danger of becoming – as my physiotherapists have warned in the past – quite literally “chairshaped”.

This realisation has coincided with many hours spent alone in my house on my days off, not quite being able to bring myself to go out due to either a lack of available company or indecisiveness over what I could do if I did. In the absence of outdoor trips, then, perhaps I could think about resuming the simple steps suggested to me to help my legs. A little while ago, Mum and Dad came up with the idea of me just lying on the carpet, maybe watching TV or reading a book, for around half an hour or so each time with my legs stretched out and my feet resting on a chair or the edge of the sofa. It was something that was very hastily done at first, but trust me, it works! When I first did it, I aimed for the aforementioned half-hour. Then I did it again, for 45 or 50 minutes, and although I don’t think I’ve continued with it since, it was encouraging. I never knew that something so effective could be done with only a cushion and a comfy surface to put my feet on. I like cushions and comfy surfaces, as do we all, so why did I ever stop?

I’ve just got to try to remember to keep that procedure in mind when I’m home from work and am without much else to do. It might be straightforward and not as exciting as some of the things I could otherwise be doing, but surely it’s better to do something that will physically be more positive for me than twiddling my thumbs ever will?

Mason

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