I have loved being back to my old routine. Pictures really do say a lot and looking back on my pictures from two years ago, I know I was working hard at my plan and sticking to it; consistency always wins. That is an absolute of life. Do something repeatedly (eat Doritos or broccoli), your results will show. And I was. Cardio and heavy lifting, clean eating and working through a lot of mental shit. Then I fell; and stayed there for a bit. The last year, I feel like I had one foot on the ground of ‘down’ and one on the rung of getting out. I stayed in limbo for a long time, but finally decided to do what I know I love. The Gym. And eating well.
Then, this bullshit happened:
It wasn’t a bullet to the knee; three weeks into my gym routine, at five days a week, running and hill training, my knee felt tight. I didn’t think much about it. It wasn’t until I was in a kneeling stance that I felt something was off. As the week progressed, my knee cap felt ‘loose’ and my hamstring on my left side was so tight, I was now dragging my leg and not walking. Something was up.
I avoided the gym because my head space was all in ‘defeated’ mode. I had finally got my head out of my ass and had established a routine. My personal life was in turmoil, true upheaval, so ALL I had was my routine and my kids to keep me focussed. Now what. I could literally feel my newly attained muscles start to wither away and chocolate became my therapy.
I went to the doctor’s and without much touching or probing he gave me a preliminary diagnosis of a Baker’s cyst. Now, this sounded gross – but he ordered an ultrasound and xray and a brace to help stabilize – more on the results in two weeks.
Where does that leave me and why am I writing this?
Well, I have come so far….
Aside from a little shoulder injury once, I have never had a set back – at least a physical one, that has prevented me from following through with my workout plan. Ever. I have had knee problems in the past (right side – arthritis after my son was born five years ago), but everything I was doing with my journey was aiding in the pain and I am, to date, pain free on that side. With this, I don’t know wtf will happen.
I am writing this because, like other before me and after me, setbacks do happen. It’s what we do with those set backs that matter.
I can’t control what will happen with this thing hanging out on the back of my knee like an unwelcome house guest. I can’t ask it to leave, or offer it a hotel or even throw it’s little fluid-filled suitcase out the door. All I can do is manage how I am going to get through its time with me.
Now, this isn’t a little twinge in my knee, nor is it a pain that I have been able to adequately manage. It is a constant OUCH and walking is now dragging and icing and resting are now commonplace in my days at home. I ice when I’m at work, I walk minimally throughout the day, and when training clients, I have to stay standing for longer periods of time, demonstrate exercises and sometimes need to cry uncontrollably in my car on the way home. It hurts. And I guess I want you to know we all have choices in these moments.
You know when you start a ‘diet’ and all of a sudden you are a ravenous devil-woman? Like, food is the ONLY thing you can focus on and it doesn’t matter how much lettuce, or tuna, or water you consume, you just need to fucking eat? Well, I feel that when I was finally in the mind space to get back to my beloved routine, there was this HUGE distraction and I need to either let it beat me or beat the shit out of it. Why do we get sick when we need health? Why do we lose our keys when we are rushed? Why do we get Baker’s cyst when all we want to do is run?
Well, I have been attending a wonderfully orchestrated pity party for the last five days. I have sat on my couch, watched three seasons of Wentworth and have shamelessly eaten (almost) all of my kids’ Easter chocolates. The invitation to this pity party has only been to one, and she has milked it to no end.
Today I decide I can’t attend any longer. I’m not dying. I don’t have a life-threatening disease. I have a minor set back that can be managed. And many of us on our journeys have set backs. It’s all about what we DECIDE is possible within the newly defined environment. I can work the shit out of my upper body; get excited about that and focus on the movements that will strengthen my knee to avoid further injury. And once the results are confirmed on my diagnosis, then we manage treatment.
That’s it. I can’t do anymore.
And… I truly believe these setbacks happen for a reason or reasons. For me, nutrition HAS to be my focus as I have been so half-assed with it the last year, my knee is telling me to focus on that shit. While I can’t go hard on my workouts, I can go hard in the kitchen (get your mind outta the gutter please – counter sex was included in a different blog post!). So, my focus will be everywhere but the back of my knee!
Have you been faced with a minor set back, just when you feel like you have things together?
What did you do?