So it was that a sulky student assistant wrapped my hip in something that created heat, a therapy instructor hovered nearby, the substitute therapist offered instruction and a tiny, smiling student named Ellen pushed and tugged and gently pressed my hip in a pattern to test flexibility and restriction. Sensations ranged between annoying and agonizing and my favorite teacher to student instruction was, “This shouldn’t hurt. Be sure to ask if it hurts.” Of course it hurt. Ellen was unsure of herself. If you’ve been through PT, you should know better than to tell your therapist something they’re doing hurts. They’re sadistic bastards and you’ll only encourage them. I made jokes and a break for the exercise bicycle at the earliest opportunity. Being on the bicycle feels like home. I crank up the resistance and watch the airplanes out of Newark and JFK fly south until the timer bleats urgently. This morning, that sad bleating meant Ellen sat next to the table I was on and critiqued my exercise technique. Any doubts I may have had about her when she cackled and squeaked, “Slower!” Over and over. Cackled. “Slower!” Ellen has real talent.