For those of you who know me, my workouts were part of what defined me:six times a week, every week.
I took hardcore cycling classes, ran intervals, and did circuit training, rowing and weight lifting. If I was really sore, or my Saturday cycling teacher was on vacation, perhaps I’d throw a little Pilates into the mix.
Then, in early November, something snapped. Literally. My patella, or kneecap for those not familiar with anatomy, cracked in a perfect, horizontal line.
I barely moved for a few weeks, and then worked my way up to a hobble. After about 8 weeks, I was walking with a limp. I have been progressing well in my physical therapy, and with the week off from my crazy work routine, I decided the time had come. I removed the medical freeze from my membership and gingerly hit the gym.
I started on the ARC trainer, a variation on the elliptical machine, which has a resistance setting of 1-100 and an incline setting of 1-10. Normally, I would do this at 10 and 100. Today, I left the incline relatively flat, and started slowly at a resistance of 15, working my way up to 50 at a steady but moderate pace.
Next, I tried some upper body weights. I was able to do about 80% of my former weight, and did some seated rows, lat pull downs, bicep curls, triceps pull downs.
I worked on most of the leg exercises that we do in physical therapy, this time working both legs. Although the left leg did most of the heavy lifting during the healing time, now it’s wounded sister gets all the attention. It’s time to show them both a little love.
I did floor based abdominal exercises with a small medicine ball. No standing cable twists, and no decline bench, which can put strain on the legs.
I stretched and iced and I am good to go.
I feel energized, accomplished and really, really hungry!
I expect to feel some soreness tomorrow, but hopefully the good kind, where you challenge your muscles and they let you know that they did their best.
I know I will get stronger everyday. It is hard to restrict myself from doing too much, but I know if I injure myself again, I will be sidelined for another few months. Moderation is everything.
photo: Glasshouse Images