Taking a Knee: 4 Weeks Down, 4 Weeks to Go

Good Monday morning!

Thursday, March 19th, marked one month since my surgery. As I wrote last week, time is FLYING and I am feeling really good.

So good, in fact, that I did a little “Arm Jamming” this weekend at XSport Merrifield.

Ok, maybe sliiiiiightly more than Arm Jamming, but I was very careful not to jump, turn or squat. It was the first time in nine weeks that I’ve done anything even close to cardio and it felt AMAZING.

Wonder Woman Friday

Wonder Woman. Love those hips!
Wonder Woman. Love those hips!

Let me back up a bit.

Last Wednesday, I had a craptastic PT session. Exercises I’d been doing for weeks were painful. Not super painful, but enough to say, What the heck? PT Greg had me do a modified stand -to- sit movement. Literally: stand in front of a chair, sit down and then stand back up. Nope. No go. And we weren’t shocked – even on a good day that would have been a stretch but it was enough of a reminder that I’m only 4 weeks out of surgery. Remember that “slow your roll” directive I got from Dr. SM last week?

But Friday? Friday was a different story. Friday, I walked in almost zombie-like. PT Lindsay didn’t say hello, didn’t pass go or collect her $200, she took one look at me and said, “Are you alright? You look like you’re gonna be sick. If if that’s the case, GET OUT.” She’s warm and fuzzy that way.

Also, note to self, resting bitch face has apparently morphed into resting yack face so…I should work on that. *force smile as I type*

I wasn’t sick, but I was tired. Very, very tired.

PT Greg saw it and like any good PT (physical therapist or personal trainer), knew if I was tired physically, he was going to have to engage me mentally to get me to work. And boy did he.

He threw a bunch of new exercises at me, including a little game where he tossed me a soccer ball and I would use my instep to control the toss and kick it back – one touch. I did this on both legs. I felt like an athlete for the first time in nine weeks. It was magical.

After that, I was on a roll. It was a little hit of adrenaline and I took off. Every other exercise was either new or PT Greg increased the difficulty level. I LOVED IT.

Towards the end, he pulled out a platform about 2-3 inches high called a Pro Board. He wanted me to stand on my weak leg (L) at the edge, hinge from the hip, bend my knee and touch my right heel to the ground in front of me. The picture below shows an advanced version. It’s essentially the precursor to the single leg squat.

Heel Tap Down
Heel Tap Down

Sounds easy, but let me tell you when you have zippy cartilage between your patella and your femur and your quad strength is lacking, this move is dicey at best. I just looked at him, “Really? I had been doing so well!” His response, “Yeah, I’m not that hopeful either, but let’s see.” Inspiring. (Honestly, it was the perfect response because it gave me permission to “fail.” The only way to “pass” is for it to be pain-free. Since I can’t control that, it was definitely better to go in thinking, “This is probably going to hurt and I’m probably not ready for it.”)

I did one.

No pain.

Huh?

I did another.

No pain.

I did three sets of ten.

No pain.

UNBELIEVABLE.

I was over the moon. PT Greg was over the moon.

I finished with ice, feeling like Wonder Woman.

Arm Jam

I planned to go to BodyJam on Saturday to evaluate our newest Jammer, Stephanie. She took over my Saturday morning class after my injury. It is her first regular weekly class instructing since her initial certification a year ago. A YEAR AGO. This girl has been working her butt off quarter after quarter and she didn’t even have her own class. She knew she had to earn it, and earn it, she has.

I dressed for movement figuring I’d just stand to the side, move my arms a bit and just stay close to my notebook to be less noticeable when I had to make notes. (There aren’t many things more terrifying than a knowing someone is evaluating you in class. The less noticeable it is, the better.)

Arm Jam turned into Non-Impact-But-Certainly-Not-Just-Arm-Jam Jam. Like I said earlier, I was very careful not to do anything I wasn’t specifically supposed to be avoiding. No squatting, no turning, no jumping (except that once when I got caught up in Turbulence, but I’m pretty good at right-leg only jumps so I think I was still pretty safe).

I admit, Non-Impact-But-Certainly-Not-Just-Arm-Jam Jam is probably way more than my PT’s or Dr. SM want me doing. I have PT Monday (March 23rd) and I will tell them about it, but again, I’m guessing that’s not what Dr. SM meant by slow your roll. Oops.

I felt fine Saturday and Sunday. Maybe a tich of swelling and I did make sure I iced both days. While I don’t think I’ll be Non-Impact-But-Certainly-Not-Just-Arm-Jam Jamming again soon (unless PT Lindsay gives me the go-ahead Monday morning!!!) mentally, it was just what I needed.

Four Weeks to Go

My appearance at Jam on Saturday opened up a floodgate of questions. Well, really just one question asked many, many times.

“When will you be back?”

I wish I could have answered, “Next week!” or “In April!”

But the truth is, I don’t know. And it’s not just that I don’t know when I’ll be back, I still don’t know IF I’ll be back at all.

If I can’t squat and I can’t jump and I can’t turn, that makes teaching BodyJam pretty tough. I could do it. I could fake my way through it. But it wouldn’t really be Jam and I’d know it.

So for now, my tentative answer to the question of when I’ll be back is this:

I still have four weeks – at the earliest – before I’m supposed to be ready to return to activity.

Dr. SM told me rehab would take 2-3 months. When I’m strong enough to safely try squatting, jumping and turning, I will try it. But there are no guarantees that I will be able to those things pain-free in a month, or in two months, or unfortunately, ever. I’m ever hopeful though 🙂

And so it goes. Physical therapy. Testing the waters. Self care.

And water workouts. Let’s go!

Even Wonder Woman did pool workouts.
Even Wonder Woman did pool workouts.

 

One thought on “Taking a Knee: 4 Weeks Down, 4 Weeks to Go”

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