The jury is in! Aside from (or maybe in accordance with) a torn meniscus, physical therapy is going swimmingly well. Torn is a bit of a general term when the meniscus is already healed. Luckily, my body did what the body does and indeed it healed. That’s the good news. The gray news (I’m not using the word “bad” because it’s not really terrible) is I have a lot of work to do in order to correct the resulting lack of strength and balance due to said injury. My left knee/hamstring/hip/calf are all very tight while also very weak. My balance is off because I don’t have a lot of confidence and am afraid of hurting myself more. All this being said, I’m the most enthusiastic PT patient I ever met!
In approximately 5 weeks, I will have completed 15 therapy sessions and everyone seems to have high hopes I can return to running in a normal fashion. Praise the Maker! Perhaps this was my wake-up call. I’ve known for some time – ahem, years – you can’t expect the body to perform at peak condition if you’re not giving it an opportunity to ever be at peak. In my case, I devote all my time to running during a training cycle, then return to strength training during the “off season”. Never have I been able to (i.e. made time for) strength training, flexibility, and running. Together. So here we are.
Currently I’m ramping up my collection of therapeutic tools, like these nifty cloth bands that make my outer thigh burn like fire, and a weight bench for step-ups, supermans, and full body dumbbell exercises. Among other things. Put those gym management skills to use, Kel! I want to be strong AND healthy enough to run. Since my powerhouse of strength is seriously degraded right now, I fully understand this will take time. Most importantly, it will take discipline to continue what I’m learning in PT. I don’t know if you know this by now but I’m an extremely stubborn and dedicated person. Shocking, I bet. Surely I can devote my time to the exercises that will ensure I am able to run for years to come.
There’s probably many who are shouting “I told you so”. Trust me, I told me so, too. Sometimes we get into the groove of same old, same old…status quo…whatever the word du jour is. But until there’s several people with fancy titles and notepads asking you to stand on one foot – until that very moment – you (I) will continue to say everything is fine. Even when it isn’t. Even when a simple task like standing on one foot was once so incredibly easy yet somehow is now not. I remember running my first race after the traumatic DNF. I needed that run to regain confidence, to remind myself I’m capable of finishing, to prove my body and mind are okay. It was hard. The entire time I ran I was examining every symptom I experienced, wondering if I was hydrated enough, did I eat enough the past week, what if I pass out again, and the list goes on. How dramatic I sound right now I know not! All I know is this is real life to me.
On the bright side, the rehab facility is easily located and I’m thankful I have a position where I can attend therapy as much as needed to get me back in fighting shape. As long as I can outrun an enemy, hopefully it won’t matter if I can’t beat them up. But I’ll try!
I ask you –
Have you ever had a torn meniscus?
Do you have any favorite “PT-style” accessories?
Tell me something interesting about your week!