February 5, 2013
It’s a grey morning, something I realize more from the absence of light and dawn than anything else. At this time of year, 7 am is usually full of seeping color and potential. Today, the clouds behind the tree shadows are ominous. I don’t want to step outside to see what the temperature is.
I’ve put some steel-cut oats on the stove to burble and plop their way to doneness while I work on this post, which has been inspired in part by one of the women in my challenge group, and another inspiration from Michelle Damiani, who writes a gorgeous, luscious blog about her family’s one year of living in Italy.
On Sunday, I dislocated my kneecap. This is not a new occurrence for me; I’ve battled knee issues my whole life. In fact, I had an operation for this dislocation “problem” when I was 8, and doctors have told me (or I’ve heard, anyway) that what I have is a floating kneecap. Makes for a cool party trick, to dislocate your kneecap on command. Yes, it comes right back into place. It hasn’t happened in a long time, which I am thankful for.
As used to it as I am, it still hurts. And surprises me. And lately, when this happens my knee swells up and is pretty unhappy for a few days afterwards. Usually I power through, shrug my way out of it, and do my workouts anyway.
Yesterday I decided to not. I decided to rest the knee. Ice it. Elevate it. (I’ve left out compression, more because I can’t really figure out what that means in my life. Am I supposed to wrap it in an Ace bandage? Wear my knee brace everywhere?) I had a comical few minutes on the couch, trying to arrange my computer, pillows, ice bag, and the cat, who decided (of course) that the absolute best place to hang out was right on my computer keyboard. I might have been injured, but I still had work to do!
I posted my troubles on my challenge group, prompting a friend to tell me I could at least have done arms. And abs. (she’s right.) I’ll do that today, I swear! I get so into what I do, following the videos, that I forget about the major modifications like skipping the parts I can’t get done right now. It doesn’t mean that I can’t ever do them, or that I am bad for not doing them – but I am really, really hoping that my knee will return to normal size faster if I don’t push it with things like major squats and lunges, or kicks and more kicks.
Because this morning it wasn’t back to normal yet. Did I do all that elevation and icing yesterday for nothing? Should I wear my brace all day, especially since I need to be on my feet for a fair chunk of the day? Do I pitch it all and do my normal routine?
I am impatient, I realize, wanting things to happen RIGHT NOW. I have so many ideas about helping people and setting examples that I stay awake some nights, feverishly typing thoughts into my phone so I remember them. Maybe this knee thing is a sign to slow down, to focus on one thing at a time.
Or maybe it’s just a sore kneecap that I need to tend to and work around. Acknowledge that it hurts, let it heal, but don’t let it impede my life.
What else can I look at that way?