Serendipity: Blowing My Knee Out
I do realize that my definition of serendipity could bring you to my post shaking your head.
Let me give you a bit of back story.
I moved recently. In finally unpacking my lovely books after two years in storage, I realized I needed to buy another bookcase. Online I discovered the perfect unit being sold at the perfect price by an older gentleman. On arriving at his home, I found out the bookcase was downstairs, he had two bad knees to my one, he was trying to be brave.
Looking at the hold each of us had on the bookcase, I quickly decided it needed to be me who led the way upstairs. A valiant decision until I realized that I would be leading with my compromised knee. I was two stairs from the top when that knee exploded. I caught myself in the narrow stairwell, made it up the next two steps and out to the car. I was careful for the rest of the day but next morning I was unable to weight-bear on that leg.
A minimally satisfactory consult with a doctor, an x-ray that should nothing untoward, and a vague suggestion of an MRI if I lost 20 lbs (which would put me at my all-time leanest weight) sent me searching for the wonderful, delightful and fabulous physiotherapist I consulted with often when I had had other incidents with that knee 15 and 20 years earlier.
Knowing that fifteen years is a long time in the life of any practitioner who sees a myriad of clients each day, I was prepared for my enthusiasm to be completely one-sided. It wasn’t! and we spent the first 15 minutes of my appointment catching up on each other’s lives. Then in the professional, friendly, intuitive way I remembered he assessed my knee. He made comments that assured me it was me he was remembering and then called over one of his students to assist me through a series of exercises, monitoring my facial expressions closely.
A week later I returned, another assessment and he ramped up my exercises. Ten days later he ramped them up even more. I was shaky but determined. He heard each of my comments and advised accordingly. We were back into the flow of the ace-physiotherapist and the fitness fanatic of years gone by, except he was even more experienced and intuitive than before and I had a fraction of the fitness of years previous.
As an aside here, I’ll explain briefly that I discovered fitness later than many, but in my 40s it became my delight and my passion to feel so good and so strong and so healthy for the first time in my entire life. Twelve years ago I moved to take care of my dementing mother and those years were spent moving at the speed of a 90-year old woman, followed by a tiny grandson, followed by a gait-compromised special needs client. My fitness level plummeted and my weight increased by the same 20 lbs that doctor now suggested I should remove before he ordered an MRI.
Back To My Original Premise
Before you clue in to the fact I’m taking the long route to a short story, let me return to my original premise. Thank goodness that poor old knee blew out when it did.
It’s been three months now since it happened and although my knee is still precarious, I am feeling stronger and better than I have in years. My fabulous physiotherapist has unwittingly inspired me to get back into a fitness routine. I’ve been walking quite a bit for the last year and the addition of specific strengthening exercises has spurred me to push myself a little harder. Being reintroduced to muscles I had forgotten about prompted a rediscovery of muscles I knew must be still lurking somewhere. With all this extra enthusiasm starting my day, I’ve returned to my stretching routines of the past. It keeps getting better and better.
With my move, I had determined that some new lifestyle choices were in order. I had already pulled back from the hours I was spending online, I had already incorporated real books back into my day, the health choices were the only things I was vacillating on. Until the Universe told me to take the high road with an older gentleman who was about to compromise two knees and two ankles to get a bookcase up a flight of stairs.
The New Routine
In case you are curious what a morning routine might look like, here are the basics. I’m not going to explain a lot as the specifics are something you need to discuss with your own professionals who know your body and health.
- Up at 7 – my alarm being a chorus of songbirds supplied by my smart phone which always wakes me smiling.
- Out the door by 7:15 with my dog’s leash in one hand, a mug of black coffee in the other and a motivational podcast on my smart phone.
- Usually home by 8, where I proceed through all my assigned physio exercises and add in a few more because I’m feeling inspired.
- 15 minutes on a mat where I complete a few abdominal exercises of choice and then go through a series of stretches, consciously relaxing the muscles and joints through 10 exhales each.
- When that’s all done, I’m feeling quite self-satisfied so nothing will do except a very healthy breakfast.
- A lovely refreshing shower and I pour myself another coffee and sit down at my desk about 9 a.m.
This Was Me, You Are You
Probably because of my fitness history and experience, I was comfortable expanding on the specifics assigned by my physio. If you are not professionally trained (yes, I was a certified instructor) and especially if you are in mid-age, please talk to your doctor first before you start anything fitness- or diet-related. There are so many systems plugging along inside your body that you have no hints about that you can take no chances, you can’t assume anything – you must get a health assessment done by a trusted professional. The very best thing about getting health assessments done is that you are confident then about getting started effectively and safely.
I wish for you the same enthusiasm I have found in my return to good health! Let me know in the Comments if you currently enjoy good health and strength or if it’s something you think is a good project to start this Fall.