2 Powerful Questions – What can I do? What will I do?

AquajoggingAs you know, I tore my medial meniscus back in July, but everything seemed to be going well for the last two months. The pain resolved and the clicking became infrequent. I was happy, and feeling pretty good about my recovery, right up until last Saturday when it all came back – pain, swelling, clicking and popping. Bummer.

I’m not really sure why it got worse. I had gradually increased my duration on the rowing machine to 20 minutes, and that didn’t appear to cause trouble. I’d even begun to use the stairs a little at work without any problems. One suspect is yard work. Every weekend calls for yard work at my house, and I transplanted several of my tiny amaryllis seedlings into the ground, which involved kneeling and squatting. Maybe that did it. I hope not, because it was such minimal “exercise.”

Naturally, (at least for me) my mind went negative. If it got worse “by itself,” I’ll never get better. I’m going to need surgery. I can’t row anymore. I can’t exercise. I’ll lose all my gains and become weak and deconditioned. Perhaps you do this as well. In a day or two I recovered from the “awfulizing” telling myself – Okay, just settle down. Maybe you will need surgery, maybe not. Wait and see. Arthroscopic surgery isn’t that bad, many of your friends have had it and done fine. Accept your limits.

I was still frustrated, because I enjoy exercising but “couldn’t.” Well actually, I could. I just couldn’t do the exercises that I wanted to do – running, rowing, squatting, etc. What about water aerobics or aqua jogging? I could probably do that, but my first thought was, Aqua jogging is for old ladies! [Yes – sexist, ageist and arrogant – I know.] After mentally wrestling with the situation a bit, I got over myself – I need to focus on what I can do. I can do aqua jogging. Now, what will I do?

You can probably guess the rest. I’ve been aqua jogging a couple of times and enjoyed it. It can be a good workout, and being in the pool at sunrise is nice too. So, until the pool gets too cold, it’s aqua jogging and upper body strength training for me. We’ll see how it goes. I really don’t want knee surgery, but maybe I’d be better off if I have it earlier rather than later. I’m going to make another appointment with the orthopedic surgeon and talk with her about it. More will be revealed.

Clearly, I’m not perfect at managing my thoughts, emotions and behavior. Maybe you’re not either. If you’re like me, recognize your own negativity, and by recognizing it, free yourself. Ask the two powerful questions:
     What can I do?
     What will I do?
Then, do it! Let me know if I can help.

Come on in, the water’s fine.

The new workout gear

The new workout gear

Comments

  1. Gene Truchelut says:

    As journalist Mary Schmich once famously wrote in her hypothetical commencement speech,”Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone”.
    More recently, a writer for the National Masters News published an article earlier this year titled,”The Six Stages of Injury Grief”, patterned after the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross stages of grief (yes, he added a stage). I think all habitually active people have been there at one time or another.
    Pete, I still think you should look into acquiring a good old American-made NordicTrack ski machine from the 90’s : my time-tested and favorite piece of knee rehab exercise equipment. You can probably pick one up on Craig’s List locally for less than $50. Sure, it’s indoors – but you can’t beat it for maintaining a high level of fitness without knee stress.
    Get well soon–Gene

    • Peter Weiss says:

      Gene,
      The NordicTrack is a good idea. I’ve never tried one. Always fun to try something new.
      Pete