I’ve been dealing with this knee thing for a month now. In my entire 27 years, I’ve never given much thought to my knees, but now I think about them more than anything else. Or at least, I think about my right knee. The weak one, the one that’s messing with me. It makes clicking noises, every now and again, to remind me that it’s there. As if I could forget.
When I got to the orthopedic doctor’s office and sat down to fill out the paperwork, Miley’s “The Climb” was playing softly from the overhead speakers. I almost started to cry, but it also made me feel stronger, more stable. My doctor’s appointment revealed no major damage, but the doctor’s attitude towards my situation once that was discovered frustrated me. I felt like he couldn’t get me out of his office fast enough. I followed him out of the room, still asking questions. While I was relieved that nothing major was wrong, I was still concerned about the pain, what was causing it and how to get it to go away.
The first time I went running after the doctor gave me the ok (with the brace, always with the brace), I switched on my iPod shuffle and the first song to play was “The Climb”. I just don’t know if I can explain how much that song affects me, but if you’ve read these words over the past year, you have an idea. The fact that it showed up at these difficult, emotional times is amazing to me, leaves me feeling encouraged, determined.
The second time I went running I thought maybe I just needed to push past the pain. Keep running. Try harder. That was not the case. There’s no pushing past it; the pain holds strong. At this point, I can run about 3 minutes before the pain asks me, not so politely, to stop.
I don’t have to wear the knee brace on a normal day; maybe it’s a blessing in disguise, but it only hurts when I run. I wish I could tell you that my knee and I were getting along marvelously, wish I could say that my attitude has totally improved since my last post, but that wouldn’t be true. I go back and forth throughout the course of a day, between being positive and feeling down.
I started physical therapy, which came with it’s own (mostly financial and logistical) annoyances, but I’m doing my best to stay positive. I’ve decided not to sign up for the next race that Lola and I were planning on doing, since it’s this weekend and I know I’m not ready for it. I’m trying not to be too discouraged and frustrated by this, but it’s hard.
All I can do, it seems, is be patient. I have not been very good at that, to be honest. I guess I’m not good at being patient in general— I want control, I want to make things happen. I don’t want to have to sit back and wait, or stand in the physical therapist’s office 2-3 times per week for 30 minutes, making miniscule muscle movements that feel like nothing yet cause my knee to ache and cost $45 a session.
I miss running. On a bad day, just seeing someone running can overwhelm me. I’ll neither confirm nor deny that there was a day, a gorgeous blue-skyed day, when seeing too many runners in too short a time period made me start to cry quietly, a few tears almost hidden by oversized sunglasses. I miss running. I miss the feeling of a really good workout, of clearing my mind of everything. I miss races. I miss trying to be better. I miss the feeling of just running and being, nothing else. I miss writing, but what do I have to write about if I’m not running, not racing? But running, racing and writing… those are my things. My outlets. They are what I do when I want to do something for me. I miss my running self. However slow I was, however much I hated running at times, I ran freely and it made me happy.
I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to be negative. I don’t want to throw a pity party, and to be honest I hope you wouldn’t RSVP if I did.