Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When people love their job

This morning, I was at the rehab center's gym, faithfully grunting, wheezing, and trying not to whimper as I'd made up my mind that today I was going to get through every single exercise on the discharge instructions list, at full weight, full reps, full time.

Side note here: North Texas Rehab has a gym area and a pool, and they've opened both up to the public as regular gym memberships. I think this is awesome business sense, because it lets them recoup cost for all the expensive machinery and pool maintenance - and in the therapy sense, because it lets clients continue working on the same machines and routines when they graduate to self-directed. Wish more places did that!

While I was contemplating the levels of sheer stubborn bloodymindedness the dumbbell exercises were taking, one of the older physical therapists was gently coaching an elderly lady through exercises nearby. She finished before me, and tottered her way out the door with a "Well, young man, I'm certainly glowing today!"

The therapist turned back to me just as I was collapsed on top of a yoga ball inbetween planks, and said "You doing all right?"

I lifted my head until I could see him, and summoned up a smile. "Yeah. Just following all my discharge instructions," and I twitched a hand at the form, "So I don't end up back in physical therapy."

He looked heavenward, raising two fists and pumping them. "Yes!!!" Then he looked back at me with a grin that pretty much showed all his back teeth. "The ones you're doing are great exercises. You'll get a lot stronger in no time."

I nodded, slightly dazed, and blinked a few times as he left the gym area. Then I finished the next set, and remembered that physical therapists are not unlike airplane mechanics: they rarely get to see the things they put so much work into actually doing well and working great. Apparently, I have made his day by proving that at least one client follows instructions, and is putting in the sweat labor to continue getting better.


  1. I can tell you, people neither follow nor even read the instructions. You probably made his April.

  2. Aye to what the Rev. said. Friend of my mother (and myself, but she sees him near daily, I see him a couple times a year) is 90-odd years old and a year or two ago had a hip replacement. He did the therapy. He did the daily stuff in the morning, and again in the evening. Why yes, he can be a stubborn cuss about the important things. His doctor was bewildered, "You're recovering at at least twice the speed of most people half your age!"

  3. I agree - it is rare. Does actually reading and following instructions come from being a pilot/ your aviation industry background?

  4. It's nice to see your progress, when you actually ARE following the directions... :-)

  5. Jonathan - who knows? It might have come from the military raising (read ALL the fine print.) But it certainly didn't hurt when it came time to learn to follow the checklist, every single time.