Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 5 of 365: Frustrations

I write about what I think about, and right now, all I'm thinking about is the fact that I'm not running.

I'm also not doing yoga, or tai chi, or any strenuous exercise. I'm sitting at a computer, sipping on coffee, and watching the rain fall. It's actually quite poetic -- the type of scenario writers dream of.

Last night I learned in my sleep that stretching out my right knee to the point that it hyperextends (which is something my knees have done since I was a kid) causes a sharp pain to run from my kneecap all the way up my leg. I got up in the morning, bent my knee a little, and found that I wasn't in pain when I stood, even when I stood with my knees locked (because I'm too curious for my own good. Something hurts? Let me poke and prod at it until I know exactly what and how). But if I shifted my weight over to my left leg and stretched/hyperextended my knee, the pain was there again.

I was warned by my husband, who is the son of a doctor (like a proper Irish person, I'm too stubborn to actually seek medical help unless the situation is dire. So I ask my husband for advice when it's within his grasp of the human anatomy, I ask my husband to ask his dad when it gets a little more serious, and only then will I consider actually calling up a doctor to make an appointment), that I need to stay off my knee for at least a week, preferably two. That means no running, "modified" tai chi (since I'm queen of the side note here, I'll digress and say that the image of tai chi that most people have is usually the modified tai chi that elderly people do in the park. Tai chi without the modifications is quite strenuous on your legs and knees), and gentle yoga.

A good chunk of people would jump on the chance to not have to work out. But as I've mentioned before, I run because I downright need it. I'm a happier, better person when I run long distance. Not to mention I have a few big things coming up that requires a non-injured knee and constant training: I am teaching two demo classes at the end of August as well as running the Ashland half-marathon at the end of October.

I know injury is a part of life for anyone who is physically active (just look at So You Think You Can Dance and the sheer number of people who have to drop out because of injury), but slowing down has never been my strong suit. I'm the queen of biting off more than she can chew -- if only because I like seeing just how far I can push my limits (on top of because I don't admit defeat easily). I'm the girl who planned a wedding while working full time, took classes at night, moved to a new state (where the move happened essentially a week before the wedding, with the first place officially closed up the day after), and modeled part-time (I know that was over two years ago but I'm still impressed with myself dammit). I'm the girl who "won" NaNoWriMo even when her computer was out of commision for a week (there's a lovely little post I have on my crafts blog about the panic attack I had when my computer kicked the bucket right when NaNoWriMo was picking up speed -- and I didn't have a back-up of my novel yet), even when she was helping her brother-in-law with his wedding (another side note: while the days leading up to his wedding were quite hectic, I got to spend every morning writing poolside in Florida. How can you beat that?)

But really, I have no choice. The same way I don't want to be the 50-year-old who can't play fetch with his dog, I don't want to be the athlete who is out of commision forever because he wouldn't take the time to heal. I don't want to be the 35-year-old whose heart gives out because she was straining it too much. It's frustrating, having to delay training when training is all you want to do, but, really, I have no choice. Right now I've angered my knee. Not torn (given that I can, gee, still walk). Possibly strained. Definitely angered. And, like someone who is angered but keeps getting prodded, my knee could potentially snap if I'm not careful.

So I might as well take advantage of my sedentary position and write. Stephen King wrote Dreamcatchers from his hospital bed. I have no excuse not to write my newest manuscript from my dining room table.

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