When I was injured on January 17th, I had no idea the roller coaster I was about to ride. It wasn’t that the injury was a surprise. I had been nursing that knee for months and certainly for the few weeks leading up to launch, it was holding on with adrenaline and shear force of will. I knew it was only a matter of time. Over the next several weeks, there certainly were low moments, but what I didn’t expect was how many positives came out of all that down time.
I was in Boston at the beginning of the week for a funeral. It was a hard few days for many reasons and when we got home Tuesday night, after 15 hours logged in the car from Sunday to Tuesday, I was exhausted.
I showed up to PT on Wednesday with a stiff, painful knee and not a whole lot of motivation. PT Greg told me he expected me to feel this way after being the car that long and we took it easy. I was aggravated though. Progress was all I was interested in and taking it easy didn’t equal progress.
By Thursday though, I was feeling much better but also anxious about my appointment with Dr. SM on Friday.
Coming off a disappointing week of disjointed, directionless PT, I promised myself no more.
No more blindly following the “lead” of a PT who may or may not understand what it is I need to get back to doing. No more allowing myself to be ignored or accepting less attention because I “know what I’m doing.”
PT Greg was back from vacation and about to get an earful. And an eyeful.
I explained my experience the previous week. I told him I was not ok with essentially being left alone to do my exercises unsupervised and that I needed know what our plan was going forward. I brought my laptop and showed him Body Jam 72. “This is what I need to be able to do. What do you think? Can I can back there?”
Answer: “No problem.”
He couldn’t have been more dismissive of it. Like, “Oh please. Of course you’ll get back to that. Easy.”
Great. Perfect. Except, I’m going to need to do something other than balance work. So what’s the plan?
PT Greg had an answer for that, too. “This will be the six week mark from your surgery. We wouldn’t start attempting any movement involving impact until six to eight weeks out so this is the week. We’ll start easy and see what you can handle. Remember, pain is the main indicator. If it hurts, we need to stop. We’ll get there. You’re still healing.”
Well, I asked for it and I got it.
Monday, we tested the waters with the agility ladder. I did a few different patterns on it slowly. When I got to high knee running, I had to stop due to pain, but I felt good and I felt like I was finally doing something that might translate to Body Jam.
We also did single-leg calf raises off a stair. I’d been doing calf raises on the floor for weeks, usually three sets of 15-20 each leg. No problem. But doing them off the stair – holy hell. PT Greg asked for three sets of 15. At number ten of the first set, I was in trouble. It was crazy what a difference dropping my heel down another two inches made.
The result? I couldn’t walk without feeling like my calves were going to explode out the back of my legs. For three days. On Wednesday, we had to go back to balance work and stool scoots because my calves were done. DONE.
But Friday, Friday we were back on it and wow were we back on it.
I did ladder drills and more ladder drills and those high knee runs? I WISHED they hurt so I could get a break. I was sweaty and breathing hard and in LOVE with the workout. I was just so happy be working hard and making visible progress. The only thing I couldn’t do without pain was a two-footed jump over a yoga strap. The first one felt fine – because I cheated. I landed 99% on my right leg. PT Greg thought it looked great but I ‘fessed up. I’ve gotten pretty good at faking my way through movement using mainly my strong leg. So good, I don’t realize right away that I’m doing it. It’s ok though. Just the next obstacle to overcome. I’ll get there.
This is the plan and I love it.
It’s Body Jam Time. Get on the Floor Time
After showing PT Greg a little Body Jam, I asked the obvious. “Can I Jam? Like, Silver Sneakers style? No jumping, no turning?”
He said yes. He said take it easy, take breaks, let pain be my indication to stop, but yes.
So I did that very night. It was glorious. Dancing again felt so good. So good, in fact, I did it again on Thursday. During the day, our newest instructor, Stephanie, who was scheduled to teach that evening, messaged me. “Um, you’re teaching groove down tonight, ok? Thanks.” YES. Of course YES.
I danced for 50 minutes. It was a small class, but it was packed with friends. As Stephanie wrapped up the end of the second half of class, she walked over to the stereo, took off the mic and walked to the middle of the room. I mic’d up, and walked to the front – that was when everyone in the room got it. I was going to teach a track for the first time since January 17th.
It was just the cool down, but it felt goooooood. As soon as the music started, I felt so…at peace. I was back where I am most comfortable; where I am most confident. For four minutes, I got to forget the last ten weeks. I got to just do what I love to do.
Thanks, Stephanie. I needed that.
There’s a plan. I get to Jam a little. I’m a happy girl.
My friends know this. My husband finds this to be equal parts “super (insert expletive) annoying” and “good thing one of us is on top of things.”
If you’ve ever been invited to anything I am hosting, you know I give you a month’s notice (ahem…eyes open for a birthday invite….ahem) and while we’re pulling back the curtain, generally the invite has been ready for weeks before I send it, the menu has been planned and a to-do list created and divvied up.
I put myself in charge of all outreach programs at work because I was losing my mind having to throw events together with a week or less notice. Now we have the year planned out – dates for everything, responsibilities doled out and I can sleep at night.
So when I got to PT on Monday and realized very quickly that PT Greg, who was on vacation all week, had not left specific notes for PT Lindsay and the substitute PT I worked with on Wednesday, I was less than enthused.
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.
I know, I know. I’m late. Monday morning posts. That was the deal.
Well, I request special dispensation for the Monday following my annual St. Patrick’s Day Party.
Two weeks post-op and I feel like a brand new person.
Well, I feel like regular old me with a brand new knee. I’ll take it.
I have had some serious distractions with this injury for almost two months and now that life is returning to its regularly scheduled programming, those distractions are beginning to clear out and some old worries are returning. That being said, my biggest hurdle right now is to step up 6 inches without pain. Is that asking so much?