Injuries, make the best of them

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Everybody gets injured and you have two options how you deal with it. You can either get depressed, sit on the sofa and get fat eating chips or you can make the best of the situation. Give yourself a mental slap in the face and hear your Mama’s voice in your head, remember what she used to say when you skinned your knee and it hurt? “At least you HAVE a knee, think about all those boys who are missing legs.”

Three weeks ago, I tweaked my knee on a 10K run. No idea what I did but the next morning I had drastically reduced range of motion and soreness. It was slowly getting better when I had to install a very, very heavy battery backup unit in our cramped server room at work. The contorted, stretched positions didnt bother at the time but the next morning I couldnt walk. At first I was depressed. It was a beautiful fall day, no wind, clear sky, temperatures in the upper 70’s – absolutely perfect for a bike ride or run. How I wanted to be up there climbing my favorite hill thru the redwood forest! I wallowed in self pity a few hours then gave myself that mental slap in the face I mentioned earlier and changed my mindset. I went swimming!

My screwed up knee has truly been a mixed blessing. Nobody wants a inoperable knee but its reintroduced me to the joys of swimming. Ya, Ive been doing triathlons for the last 3 years but I havent trained seriously for the swimming part. Now that I have no other cardio options, its amazing how Im seeing cardio in a new light. Under water is one of the few places in the modern world where it is quiet, truly quiet.The only sounds are the bubbles from my breath and the rhythmic woosh woosh woosh of my hands plunging into the water. No jets overhead, no sirens, no horns, no fans. It allows the mind to focus intently on the senses of touch and sound. When I am doing things right, I can feel the waterline on my butt, the back of my hamstrings, and calves. I feel its a whole new world opened up to me. Ive always been a strong but slow swimmer and never before have I looked forward to swimming, until now that is. I swam the last 4 days, 30-40 min each day and was bummed when I had to stop because of leg cramps in my bum leg, otherwise I would have gone longer.

Not sure whats up with my knee, Im still optimistically hopeful that its nothing serious enough to require surgery. Its truly unlike any knee problem I have ever heard of. Its not getting better despite complete rest and multiple daily icings so I will make an appt Monday. In the meantime, I wont dwell on what I *cant* but rather enjoy the opportunity to swim.

Helen, my 94 year old neighbor has been a great influence on me. She has such a marvelous outlook on life which is why she is still mentally sharp and physically active at 94. She takes life one day at a time because each may be her last. She has a catalog of aches and pains but she doesnt dwell on them, each day she finds something she *can* do, and she enjoys doing it. Thanks Helen! Time for me to go for todays swim!