Knee Brace Chronicles

I Miss My Teacher.
I Miss My Teacher.

They say that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.  I sometimes wish that it would just kill me … strike me down … kill me dead … I know, I’m sorry. Reverse. Rewind …  I know that my life IS good.  I lead a really good life.  I am blessed beyond belief with a great husband, four kiddos that are healthy and wonderful, I have a great career, and I am healthy sans my left knee. I have no right to complain when I know that so many would want to walk in my shoes, and live the life that I live. What’s talking right now is my complete exhaustion, frustration, and emotions. What’s talking LOUDEST is my ego. I just seriously miss my workouts because it is something that I constantly crave.  Trust me, I count my blessings everyday and thank God for EVERY little thing.

It is something that I constantly crave and I seriously am in withdrawals!
It is something that I constantly crave and I seriously am in withdrawals!

It’s been over a month, almost a month and a half since I injured myself and I still ask, “WHY?” Why? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What lesson is it that I am supposed to learn in all of this?  Why? I don’t understand. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand. Maybe I’m supposed to feel more empathy towards those who are seriously injured. Maybe I’ve been too callous in my thoughts of others, or maybe I got greedy in my desperation to keep up with the younger girls, and in my desperation to improve because my mind is constantly comparing myself to others and needs to STOP. Maybe I’m supposed to really rest.  Maybe … I hate to admit this, but maybe I’m really just afraid.  I don’t know. All I know is that I am NOT myself. I don’t even recognize myself. I barely even want to crawl out of bed to do anything because I’ve been so depressed.  I don’t openly admit that to anyone, but yea, there it is … I’m severely depressed.  All I really want to do is lay there and do absolutely nothing. I’m really good at hiding my feelings. For one, I don’t openly share much about me. I don’t really believe that people are genuinely that interested in me either. I just do my thing, mind my own business, stay in my own bubble. But yet … WHY?

No other way around it ... When in doubt dig deep and barrel through it!
No other way around it … When in doubt dig deep and barrel through it!

I watch others who have the capability to workout and have the potential to do great things, but yet they just sit there – happier to enjoy the comforts of food and the softness of their bodies. I take care of those whose bodies have given up from years and years of it’s owner’s abuse, misuse, and disuse.  I take care of those who have basically let their bodies rust out – too many years of eating the wrong foods, watching a little too much television, providing it with little or no sun, hydrating it with the wrong kind of fluids, and definitely not providing it enough activity.  It saddens me that people don’t care enough about themselves to take care of themselves, however, when they’re really sick *then* it’s an emergency and want to be saved. Seriously? NOW it’s an emergency? It should have never gotten to the point where your heart is now failing, your lungs can’t provide you with enough oxygen, where your trunk can’t hold you up and your frame is falling apart. I have never in my entire life wanted to be one of *those* individuals. I’ve always been active, athletic, and strong. True, I could eat better, but for the most part my diet’s not the worst.  Fitness has always been my passion from a very young age.

So I ask myself again, “Why? Why me?” What did I do to deserve this? I’m sure that I can ask until I’m blue in the face and still never be able to completely figure it out, or ever get a straight answer. I did everything right except for ONE wrong foot plant … ONE. I’m so angry. I’m so, so angry. It’s my own fault. I can’t blame anyone else except for me. I’m sure there’s a lesson here, but WHAT? What is this lesson? Patience? Tolerance? Empathy? I know that there’s a reason, but I’m so caught up in my own little pity party that I can’t see straight at this moment because my ego keeps talking and won’t STFU!  And the more I think about things, I think that, yes, I know that surgery WILL fix my knee, but what about my mind? There is NO surgery to fix one’s thoughts …

SNAP OUT OF IT, ROW.! My ego needs to just Shut The F#@K Up already! (insert *hard bitchslap*)

Here’s a different perspective … I AM thankful.  I am thankful for my Physical Therapist, Todd, who got the ball rolling for me – he was wise enough to know that I needed serious help and that I needed it STAT! It’s because of Todd that I was able to get into see my Primary Doctor, get an order for a STAT knee xray, and get a STAT orthopedics referral.  Without Todd, I would have waited … I would’ve waited and just asked one of my ER Docs to take a look at my knee one night at work.

I am thankful for my health insurance.  I am a very blessed individual to have free coverage for myself and my family.  Not only that, my family and I are also covered by my husband’s health insurance.  Double coverage … BONUS!  I am thankful that my co-pays are $5.00. I have witnessed a lot of individuals whose co-pays are $50, $70, $100, and even $200 or more.  I feel bad for people who come to the ER for very “minor” complaints and end up having to pay these outrageous co-pays. Um … that’s what a clinic is for, what going to your Primary Doctor is for. I’m really sorry that your co-pay is $200 and you got a 15 minute visit with my ER Doc for your complaint of ear pain. I can not complain about my health insurance coverage.

I am thankful that I am still able to walk and even work. I know that some individuals have injures that are far more severe than mine. I also know that there are some whose injures are not as severe as mine but have taken them out completely.  I sometimes wonder about that – if they fake more pain than they actually have so that they can have more time off work? Here’s my thinking about that … eventually all that faking will catch up to you and the pain will become real, and the injury will become as severe and as painful as you make it out to be.  It’s why I can’t ever lie about being sick or about being injured.  For one, I would not know how to fake being in “that” much pain. I’m one of those people who believe that if you lie when you call in sick, that you WILL end up sick. It’s just not worth it. I can work, I can walk, there’s no need to lie and pretend.

I am thankful that I have no pain. I am slightly weirded out when my knee catches and buckles – that is NOT a very nice feeling.


I am thankful for my hinged knee brace, Blue. Yes, I named my knee brace, what of it?  Without Blue, my knee would constantly buckle and I really would not be able to walk.  I wear that thing at least 22 hours a day.

I am thankful for the “forced rest” because I really needed to just stop and rest my shoulder. People forget that I have a shoulder injury also. It’s why I haven’t been able to do upper body exercises as people have suggested. Yep.

I am thankful for my friends who have had knee injuries an knee surgeries who have taken the time to talk to me about their experiences.  They have listened to me, let me cry on their shoulders, let me ask numerous questions, and never let me feel as if I were alone in this whole ordeal.

I am thankful for my Orthopedic Doc/Surgeon, Dr. Wilkins.  He made me feel at ease, and assured me that he would take care of me and that I would be okay.

So … see … in the darkness of all this craziness, I have discovered some good things. But I  just let my feelings, fears, and my ego get in the way.

Henry Rollins said, “There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength.” I have to remind myself that I am so much stronger than what I believe myself to be.  I am afraid, but I am going to do WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THE F#@K UP! This will NOT kill me.  This will NOT keep me down. I am going to unf#@k my mind and  I am going to slay this dragon because I know and believe that I can! I am stronger than this challenge, and this challenge is making me even STRONGER! Believe that!

My surgery is coming up … One week. One week! Let’s do this. Let’s get it done so I can move forward and get back out there! I’m ready! I am sooooo ready!

“If you are paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”  ~Steve Pressfield

Giving Thanks

I am not sure that I could possibly thank everyone or everything that has gotten me to this point in my running endeavors, however, I will do the best that I can to give as much thanks for all that I have received.

I am thankful for my friends who run with me – be it virtually via Twitter or FaceBook, or beside me in real life.  My friends cheer me on, motivate me, and pick me up when I’ve had a bad run or a bad day.  They make suggestions, answer my questions,  listen to my whining, and remind me that I CAN do this, that I GOT this!  For those who run with me in real life – thank you for trusting me and allowing me to run with you.  I will always do the best that I can to motivate and inspire you, and I would never leave you behind.  I am thankful for the time that we can spend together as we run.

I have to give a special “Thank You” shout out to my running buddy, Mac (a.k.a. The MACHine) Donahoo.  We just celebrated our one year Runniversary.  In 2010 we have run a race together every month.  She is the Laverne to my Shirley.  She amuses me.  She is “real.”  She is an awesome runner who also happens to be a good wife, mother, friend, RT.  She never lets me get down on myself.  We live 1.5 hours apart, and train virtually together, but every month we get together and crank out a Half.

I am thankful for my Coach, SpeedySasquatch.  Before I even signed on, he answered my silly questions and gave me various suggestions on running.  He welcomed me into his team.  He is patient with me as I doubt myself, and reminds me that “it’s” inside of me and that he will bring out the Bad Ass Runner that he knows dwells in the depths of my being (why don’t I know that its there?).   I trust the training as I have watched myself transform and improve in the short amount of time that I have been training under him.  He is always encouraging, and never lets me get down on myself.  I am a believer.  He is worth every cent that I pay him.  I am so grateful that Ali (@alitherunner), Linda (@MsV1959), and Shannon (@hendy2) suggested him!  He ROCKS!

Much mahalo (“Thank you” in Hawaiian) goes out to my friends from Aliamanu Intermediate, and Radford High School where I first learned about comraderie and team work.  Mahalo to my first real coach Thomas Chun – I have fond memories of him following us in his mustard colored Toyota as we ran our long distances.

I am thankful to my Chiropractor, Dr. Brian Crawford, who keeps my body in alignment.  I love the way it sounds when my spine clicks into place from C1 all the way down to my sacrum as I am manually adjusted.  Most people don’t care for manual adjustments and avoid the Chiropractor for that reason.  I run to my Chiropractor for this reason!!!

I am thankful to God for blessing me with a healthy body that is able to withstand and endure the “beatings” that I bestow upon it … I believe that it is amazing to be as “old” as I am, and to be able to still run, jump, punch, lift, push, pull, bend … to have NO health issues, and I have remained healthy, strong, and fit …  My body is one that has carried and delivered four healthy babies, has run thousands of miles, and at times has felt as if it has been put thru the wringer!  It is because I can still do all of these things, but more importantly because I can get up in the mornings that  I cannot complain.  I will not complain.

And last, but not least as this is the most important, I am thankful for my husband and family.  They are my rocks.  My hubby allows me to train as I need to.  He shoulders the brunt of the household duties that I let slide,  nurses me when I’m injured, has learned the art of taping, maps out running routes for me, rides alongside of me on my training runs, buys me gadgets, brings me to all of my races, sometimes also running in the shorter distance race … all without complaint.  My boys have accompanied me on my runs – sometimes on bike, sometimes by skateboard.  I have yet to get them to actually run beside me, but I’m slowly getting there.  They have endured my crankiness as I lose hours of sleep to get out there and run.  They know what I need to get out the door.  They tag along with me to races and most times they’re all there at the finish line waiting for me.  I have the best family ever, and I am truly blessed!!!

I lead a very blessed life, and I am truly thankful.