[Younger and sensitive forum members should look away now....]
As many of you know, I've been battling with what to me has been agonising pain, but to most of the physios I've visited has been "just a scratch". No real running for a few weeks. Niggles in my left knee, hip, IT Band and (latterly) arse.
I have been through the assorted advice (and Sports Massage facilities) of my local sports physio.
Enter Andrew. He of the Nuffield Centre in Tunbridge Wells. A new physio in a new place, courtesy of health insurance.
Andrew is taking me through what can best be described as a Physio-Enhanced Niggle Improvement System.
Andrew is using his PENIS on me.
I arrive in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Well, High Brooms, which is the decidedly rougher bit of town. A gym and treatment centre next to a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley and a branch of Frankie and Benny's. Classy place.
Andrew's prognosis on Friday was "Probably 4-6 weeks before we're back on track, but let's do a gait analysis on Tuesday to see if there's anything we can do there. Come in your running clobber. In the meantime, do these exercises with religious fervour."
He also set out his measurement scale of pain vs complexity of underlying problems. In order for numpties like me to understand he uses a ruler as a metaphor. On Tuesday my PENIS was around 5 inches. Room there for considerable improvement.
The new accursed data privacy legislation means that they can't any longer film me on their iPads, so I'm under instructions to bring my phone with something called Hudl installed. Some video capture and movement analysis app. Beloved of golfers allegedly. Tho I'm not called Brian and don't habitually wear beige.
I turn up for my appointment suitably suited and booted. Where's my phone? Ah. Charging. At home. 40 minutes away. Own goal then. I explain my predicament, but undeterred I'm shepherded onto a treadmill. Complete with knobs. And Sky TV. We set the thing going. Nice and slowly. I jog for the first time in, well, weeks. I wait for the pain. The awful, searing pain. There is no pain. I just sweat a bit.
It's seems like Andrew's PENIS is going its job.
I jog for 10 minutes. I stop. Andrew has been walking around the treadmill, eagle-eyed, looking for horrific gait issues. There appear to be none. He suggests increasing my cadence. I know about cadence. I've written sodding posts about cadence. We go again. I remember "Patter, patter, patter." I sweat a bit more. I wait for more pain. No pain. Gosh.
We head downstairs to a treatment room. I get to do some one-legged calf raises. Andrew says that doing these is really for the benefit of the muscles in my feet. I'm inclined to believe him. He's not given me any exercise I've not heard of or haven't done before. But understanding from a human being why they're important and what they're doing feels like a big step forward. And better than any YouTube video. Or even, heaven forgive me, an actual book.
Andrew gets out his ruler visual aid. On the effectiveness scale I'm now a whopping 8 inches.
I am overwhelmed with PENIS envy. I want to get to 10 inches. I intend to grasp it in both hands. No matter how long it takes to extend that far.
Another session booked in for next week. Bring my phone. Working on feet and ankles next.
But best news?
I can run again!! I'm allowed to run again. Keep my cadence up around 160 BPM. That means accursed Podrunner. And no more than a couple of kilometres. No particular horrors with my gait that need correcting. Andrew just wants more of a forefoot strike for a week to see how it goes.
At this point, while I don't quite skip back to the car, I feel human again. And grateful to Andrew for his Unfortunate Acronym.
And guess who's going to run up and down a bit in the morning? But do his enlargement exercises with sweaty abandon before then?
Yeah. Me. Brandishing my 8 inches with pride. Thankfully it's a quiet road and no-one will see me. Possibly apart from one of the neighbours and he walks around stark naked most of the time anyway. East Sussex is kind of weird sometimes.....
Welcome back to my bafflingly peculiar world of polysyllables and innuendo. Missed me? Nah, thought not....