Friday, 14 September 2012

Is it a Zig Zag or a Zag Zig

With less than two months to go until my target date for playing football again, but a month till my next Clodagh appointment I took matters into my own hands, or feet, and moved on to the next level of recuperation.

There's a great wikepedia page all about recovering from an ACL operation and because wikepedia is where I do all my research I took it on trust.

I've mentioned these two exercises before but never tried them. The first is the Illinois Agility Test. You can see it here:

At the gym there is, for want of another word, a gym. A cavernous space which is rarely used apart from the occasional game of five a side, the weekly mosque takeover and, whisper it, some basketball. After yesterday's running session I approached reception about using it. I had already seen it was empty.

"Hi. Is it okay if I use the gym for a few minutes?"

"Have you booked it?"


"When do you want to use it?"

"Now. Just for a few minutes. It's empty." I turned and pointed to it, you can see it through the double doors from reception. "See empty." I turned round to see that the receptionist was not following my finger but was instead studying his bookings' book.

I waited as he ran is finger up and down a dated and timed column. He started humming. the humming went on a long time. I could have done what I needed in this time but I waited patiently. He carried on humming.

"Do you know you're humming?"

He looked up. "What?"

"While you are running your finger around the page, you seem to be humming in time with it."

He ignored me and went back to the book and his humming.  Eventually he looked up.

"It's free now. How long do you want to book it for?"

"I don't want to book it. I just want to use it, whilst it's empty."

"You can't do that. You have to book it, so it's in the book, so we know it's in use." He looked at me as though the logic of this was beyond doubt. I tried to keep calm.

"You'll know it's in use because if you look up you'll see me in there."

"Yes, but what if there's an accident? We need the booking for health and safety. Come on mate, don't my life difficult. Just make a booking."

"Ok." I played along. "I would very much like to book your splendid gym for ten minutes, starting at.. [I looked at my watch]..9.17, today, now."

"The minimum booking is thirty minutes."

I walked away, went to the toilet and pretended to do a wee. I flushed, of course. When I returned I noticed that he was playing on his phone. I snuck into the gym and proceeded to do the Illinois Agility Test.

I didn't have any cones so I imagined them. It went well. I was worried, initially, that on each turn my knee would give way, but it didn't. I repeated the test, pushing harder. It was good, I felt good. The world record is 10.84 seconds, I was nowhere near that but I felt pleased with life and so moved on to the Zig-Zag Agility test.

It is not dissimilar to the Illinois test but wikepedia has them both as requirements and who am I to argue. I did it, and again it felt good. I left the gym with a smile on my face. As I walked past the reception, he shouted after me..

"Do you still want to book the gym?"

I hummed a bit too loud and ignored him.

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