This Damn Knee

I haven’t whined about my knee injury for some time, so it’s time.  Before I begin complaining, I will find the positive.  I am so very thankful that I can do everything but run.  I am still able to teach my Zumba classes, participate in Pilates and yoga, and remain pain-free most of the time.  I can go up and down my steps, walk without a limp, and rock the Spartacus Workout (I don’t really rock it, but it sounds good).  I can exercise, which is certainly something for which I am very grateful.

But I can’t run.  Running has become a part of who I am.  It is how I relieve stress; it is my time with friends; it is my time by myself to process my day.  Running makes me feel strong.  Running exhausts me and invigorates me.  It makes me proud and it makes me frustrated.  I miss it.  I have been in physical therapy for four weeks, and have made no progress.  I have had numerous Astym treatments, and though the treatments feel great, when I attempt to run, nothing has changed.  Gary, Addison, and I went to the track the other night.  I hadn’t tried to run in almost a week, so I wanted to see if I could go a little further.  I was determined to run a mile without stopping.  I did it, but the second half hurt.  By the end of the mile, I knew it was time to stop.  I walked a lap, and then tried to run again.  It hurt.  I can’t begin to tell you how angry it makes me.  In the depths of my soul, I just want to take off.  Because I have no pain in my knee when I arrive at the track, I feel as if I will be able to run.  Once I get beyond a lap or two, I can feel the discomfort; as I run a bit further, the discomfort becomes an ache, and further along, a pain.  Once the pain is more intense, I can feel myself limping along.  And I am so frustrated.  Considering that not so long ago, I considered a three-mile run a short run, knowing it’s now a lofty goal is irritating.  

My therapists also seem frustrated because nothing makes sense to them.  They don’t understand why I can do so many physical activities, but I can’t run to save my life.  They have been wonderful, but they can’t very well fix what no one can figure out.  I have even wondered if I am imagining the pain.  And then I try to run, and realize that nope, that is not my imagination.  Next week I will have an MRI – finally.  I hope it gives the doctor some answers.  If I need surgery, sign me up.  If I am never going to run again, lock me up.  Just tell me what’s wrong.  This pain began back around Christmas, so my patience has long since run low.  

My next race was to be the St. Louis Rock n Roll Half Marathon at the end of October.  When I had to drop out of the Derby Mini in April, I immediately set St. Louis as my goal.  I thought that since I had six months, it would be no problem.  Wrong.  I just don’t feel that I am going to be able to run over 13 miles by then.  I can already tell my endurance is waning.  To build it back up will take time.  I actually have moments when I want to say screw it.  I will just give up running and stick with other forms of exercise.  And then I drive down the streets and see my friends out running, and I want more than anything to be out there sweating beside them.  I miss running.  

So, my knee sucks.  But in the whole of life, I am still blessed.  I am healthy; I can exercise; my family is healthy; I have a fantastic new job awaiting me; and I have lots of family and friends who love me.  When I get frustrated because I cannot run, I need to remember those who can’t see, those who can’t hear, those battling disease, those who can’t walk, and all the others who have much larger struggles than not being able to run.  I am very blessed.  Are you?  


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