Young PT was showing me a safer way to do Circus Bears – an exercise where I balance on my shins on top of a balance ball. He says he’s seen a man stand on a balance ball and catch a medicine ball without wobbling. He also knows my left leg is still weak and my balance is iffy.
I positioned the ball next to a soft elevated exercise mat. I climbed on and sat on my shins. Young PT stood guard. I tried to lift my butt off my calves. I wobbled. I was safe. I could have caught myself before I hit the floor. But Young PT worries about me. He reached out and caught me. Suddenly he was apologizing, looking worried / scared. I was puzzled. “Why are you apologizing?”
Embarrassed, he said, “I touched your breast.”
“I didn’t notice.”
He didn’t believe me. In PT, I’m so used to being handled that my breasts are just places on my rib cage. Grabbing me there is no more personal than grabbing my shoulder or my arm. And Young PT reminds me of rough-housing with my grandchildren. When we rough-house, there are no wrong places to touch. Kids can touch you anywhere -- it’s playtime. Circus Bears are playtime.
Still, he didn’t believe me. He was that embarrassed. Young PT has massaged me. He has dug his hands deep into my abdomen. I don’t fight him during this true invasion – because I trust that it will help me heal. My abs are strong enough to kick him out, and he knows it.
“I have allowed you to do far more gross things than that to me.” I smiled.
He smiled back.