On the road to skinny

(Still laughing to myself about the word ‘skinny’. Hardly)
I think it’s a given that if you’re physically active, you’re going to face injury of some sort on occasion.
When I first started hitting the gym again, it was muscle soreness. Perfectly acceptable, even expected
Then there was the first time I really tried to do too much and my shoulder started to feel like if I didn’t relax a little, it would rip right off. Ok, lesson learned.
After a while I think all my joints started aching, like why are you doing so much moving around? I pushed through it & started taking a supplement to ease things along. Definitely starting to get the hang of it.
My next great adventure was when I got this idea that I should start running. As a kid, I don’t think I ever ran more than 20 or 30 yards or so voluntarily. So of course, I get some directions (http://www.c25k.com/) and get on the treadmill. I’ve been doing plenty of cardio, so I’m not gasping for breath after a couple of minutes. But after a couple of days I get shinsplints. Yippee. And because I got shinsplints, I got new running shoes that fix my over-pronation & it’s been much better since.
You can imagine I’m feeling pretty beat up all over.
So now we’re up to about three weeks ago: I’m finally feeling good all over & thinking that I’m making progress. I just got a book with some new exercises in it & I’m going to give them a try. They have this crazy split squat where you prop your back foot up on a bench or step & dip down. Somehow I decided this wasn’t going to be challenging enough for me, so I grab a couple of 15lb dumbbells and do them weighted. It felt AWESOME. It was really hard to balance and push and hang on to the hand weights, but I did it.
The next day, I wished I hadn’t. Obviously the muscles in my legs were sore, but my knees felt like they really could use a fresh set of tendons.
Ok, no squats for a while. I eased back on my running too & started using the elliptical more. I know they say an elliptical is easier on your knees, but in my opinion, it’s a lot harder on your back, neck & shoulders. Bleh. Anyway, I kept working around my legs so as to not ‘blow up’ my knees, a term you only have to hear once to live in fear of. Then came last weekend, and we were way too busy to go to the gym. I convinced myself that rest days would be just the thing my knees needed to finish healing up.
Except they didn’t. On Sunday, they were just aching, and after Brandon left for his business trip, the last thing I could imagine doing was going to the gym, hurting myself & having no one to call. (Well not, no one, but that’s how awesome I felt.) So I called up a specialist & made an appointment for Wednesday (aka, yesterday).
I was a mess. After all that work, all those aches & pains, and getting up early, and coming home exhausted and sweaty, and counting every tiny calorie when sometimes I just wanted beer, pizza & a cupcake… was it just too much for me to be a normal weight again? I was so afraid that the doctor was going to take x-rays or do an MRI and find my knees a complete mess, and forbid me from the treadmill for months on end.
My alarm goes off yesterday morning and I decide to just be relieved to know what’s going on in my knees. It’s not like I can’t walk and am confined to a wheelchair or hobbling on crutches. Which might be the outcome if I don’t go to the doctor.
They were pretty awesome all around at the office. I did notice that I was almost the youngest person there by an average of 30 years. One very young boy about 4 or 5 had a cast on, so I didn’t feel too bad. Finally I see the doctor, they have me change into these awesome grey unisex shorts. By awesome, I mean fugly, but at least I had just shaved and properly lotioned my legs that morning. Doc comes in, shakes my hand (I dig being an adult) and asks me what happened. Poking at all my tendons commences, nothing hurts when poked, and this is a good sign. He wants x-rays to look at my bones and cartilage, but thinks I just need some exercises to build up my knee strength.
I go off down the hall in said awesome grey shorts, pose for the technician, and then flee back to my exam room. I get to put my own clothes back on & the Doc reappears not looking particularly concerned. I have to assume this is a good sign too.
My cartilage rocks, so he says, but my patellas are not really where they’re supposed to be. They’re off-center towards my outer knee, which “happens with women”. Something about puberty and hips widening and muscle strength being biased towards the outer thigh. He gave me some exercises to strengthen my inner thigh and groin. Then he gave me the low down on what I can do at the gym. “I want you to keep doing your lifting 3 times a week…” deep breath in (don’t say stop running, don’t say stop running) “and I want you to up your cardio to 5 days a week.” Exhale. “And I’m prescribing you an anti-inflammatory, and I’ll see you in a month. How’s that sound?”
That sounds really freaking awesome!
Took the medicine last night and I can feel the difference already. I’m really stoked to go to the gym tonight and run, though. And lift. And get really gross and sweaty, and then come home exhausted.

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