Exercise band

This is the story of how I met the devil.

It starts at the bottom.

I have always had bad feet. They’re too wide. Too flat.

I had foot surgery shortly after I got out of college, and that served me well for almost 30 years.

But then my foot problems started migrating upwards, first to my ankles, now to my hip.

Last month, I got tired of the pain, and I made a deal with the devil.

The devil doesn’t look like the devil. But then he never does. My devil is a quiet man. Composed, serious, caring, helpful. I call him by his initials: “PT.”

I paid good money to have the devil torture me. Even worse, I paid good money to have the devil teach me how to torture myself in the comfort of my own home.

Home sweat home.

The devil taught me five exercises to strengthen my weak hip muscles: the Prone Hip Extension, the Sidelying Hip Abduction, the Sidelying Hip Flexion, the Clamshell and the Supine Bridge.

(The devil speaks with forked tongue.)

Then the devil sent me home with instructions to do each exercise for three sets of 10 repetitions. (Which is the same as 30 times, right? Can’t I just do each exercise 30 times? But no, the devil makes me do math, too.)

As I left, I realized my hip already felt better.

This is how the devil lures you in.

At home, as I did my 53 Sidelying Supine Clamshells, my hip no longer felt better. My hip felt like flames were shooting out of it and searing down my leg and across my back.

But darn if my limp didn’t up and disappear after seven days.

Like a fool, I went back to the devil to thank him. I had lived up to my side of the bargain. I thought he would let me go.

Instead, the devil gave me three more exercises.

He then transferred me over to a lesser demon, who put me through my exercises like a racehorse being put through its paces. A very slow racehorse. With a limp.

The lesser demon instructed me to do Prone Hip Clamshells. “But first,” he said, reaching behind his back and bringing out a bright yellow fluttery thing like hope, “let’s add a little more resistance.”

That wasn’t hope.

It was an exercise band.

What I thought was, “You keep making my exercises harder and I’ll show you some resistance!”

What I said was, “Sure thing!”

I know better than to mess with the devil.

On the exercise table to my right was a young girl with a sports injury. She had been given a towel and a wooden board with which to torture herself. To my left was an older woman with a new bionic knee. The devil had given her a strap and a heavy weight to carry. Above us, the sound system was playing a song called “Girl on Fire.”

Of course the girl is on fire. She is in the devil’s lair, and flames are shooting out of her hip.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or ldavis@annistonstar.com.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.