I feel lucky that I rarely get injured. For all my jumping around, the old body seems to be holding up ok.
Sure, there was the incident when I tried Cross Fit and ended up in the Emergency Room because I couldn’t move my left arm properly. Turns out doing 4 x 15 reps of swinging ones feet up to a pull-up bar can cause a pinched nerve in your back which leaves ones arm all limp and non-functional. Particularly when you don’t know what you’re doing and you act like a crazed monkey swinging around.
But that was a freak thing due to a freak activity. Injuries from wear and tear of my regular running, biking, weight lifting, basement-jumping-around thankfully seem to have stayed at bay.
Until a few months ago.
In late November, my left knee began to bother me when descending stairs. I didn’t think much of it. But then, on a run a few days later, there was a twinge. Then another one. And then eventually there was shooting pain that drove me to a halt. I walked home, thinking crap.
A trip to the Physiotherapist the next day confirmed an injury. I’d love to tell you more about what the injury was, but my mind doesn’t work that way. My mind doesn’t retain all the science/physiology stuff so well. When the Physio explained it at the time, I nodded my head and it all made perfect sense. Something to do with my quad muscles being too tight and pulling things in the wrong direction. All I remember was the plan: ice on the knee, heat on the quad, no running or biking or squatting or lunging. Lots of stretching. For at last a week. Again, crap.
Turns out it was more like six weeks. I wanted to make sure I didn’t blow it. So I swam. I did lots of upper body workouts and glute isolation stuff. I walked. I tortured myself on the foam roller. I went for massages and physio. Eventually I got the green light to squat and lunge, and then to spin.
Then it was time to run.
Yesterday morning I pulled on my running gear in the darkness of my sleeping house – my typical Saturday morning routine. I laced my shoes, put on my i-Pod, and snuck out the front door. I crunched down our snowy driveway. I walked for a while down our icy street, breathing in the cold air. Then, when the sidewalk cleared, I broke into a slow run. A shuffle. For the first few minutes, I listened to my knee. Waiting. Waiting. I picked up a little speed. My body shifted and creaked. My lungs got to work. And eventually I just went. My legs took over. I settled into the rythym of the run.
Back on my doorstep an hour later - the grey light of morning creeping in - my body was alive and tingling. As usual, my heart and mind thanked me the early blast of life and vigour. Then I remembered my knee. And it felt fine.
Man, it’s great to be back.