Months ago, I did something to my left hip.
I have no idea what. I didn’t fall. I don’t remember colliding with anything. I didn’t take up an overly athletic hobby I have no business doing (PARKOUR!) or even a mildly athletic habit. Still, something went wrong.
About two weeks ago, I was ordered to physical therapy because I shouldn’t be having any low-grade, perpetual pain.
If you’re ever writing a character who has to go through any kind of physical rehab/therapy after a major injury, let me tell you, that is a HUGE obstacle for a person. It takes time. And while progress (at least for me) has been happening, it’s slow. That umpteenth leg lift with only a 2lb ankle weight on is hard even though you know it’s helping. It’s still hard to lift that foot a few inches again when you know it will hurt and when your leg feels like jello already.
It’s a mental game, really. One more stretch. Or sometimes 10 more. Or now with resistance.
If your cop/FBI agent/swordsman/whoever is on the mend and trying to recoup their strength, they will be tired. And angry. And frustrated. They will likely breakdown and have a good cry in the middle of a session because everybody wants to be better faster than they can be (unless you’re writing Wolverine, in which case, this is irrelevant) and they will hit a point of feeling useless.
Sometimes when I’m doing my stretches at home, I have a coach, looking down from on high (or the end of the bed, technically) and squinting at my progress. (Not much, and bad form, no doubt).
Sometimes, she comes down and helpfully stands on my abdomen and head-butts my chin. Mostly, she’s realized that while I’m stuck there on the floor, trying to muster up enough grit to do a few more exercises, I can give her a few extra chin scratches.