Just What I Kneeded

A llama, an Elmslie and DeNovo.

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What the hell happened in February?

In my post last week, I promised to fill you in on what’s been going on for the last couple of months since I’ve been too busy eating fro yo to keep this blog current. This is the first post this week in an effort to fulfill that promise, and we’re heading all the way back to February… If you’re not interested in reading a meandering post that covers about three months of “stuff,” then stop reading here.

I’ve mentioned very briefly that I had a minor setback in February (you can see the two references here and here). I want to apologize now because I wasn’t completely honest with you. It wasn’t a minor setback. It was, by far, the most soul-crushing setback I’ve experienced.

I avoided talking about this because 1) I simply wasn’t ready to share in this space, and 2) I was busy meeting new doctors. I want to share this part of the journey/recovery now just in case there is someone who is walking the same path who can find some solidarity in knowing they’re not alone.

So… February. I started to have more pain when doing my PT exercises about four weeks after the scope in January. This happened shortly after I returned to work full time and started more difficult exercises. Since I didn’t have a huge increase in pain (there was a definite increase, but it never got worse than before surgery), I wasn’t terribly concerned. It sucked, but I’d work through it like all the other times.

Then my knee got swollen and hot. Really hot. Like, radiating-heat-through-my-pants hot. This doesn’t typically happen to me. I get swollen enough for my knee to feel stiff, but it never gets hot. My PT was concerned when I had pain with a relatively light touch and started working with me to control the inflammation. She had me doing all sorts of things to help bring down the swelling–icing, elevating the leg 90 degrees by putting it on the wall, massaging the knee and taping to combat edema. The knee started to respond, but slowly.

About 10 days after the first sign of a problem, I had a regularly scheduled post-op appointment with my OS, and that’s when everything went haywire. My PT was able to join us for the appointment. I thought that was good because she can articulate much better than I can what’s going on with the knee, especially in therapy. I was wholly unprepared for the conversation, but in hindsight, I probably should have seen it coming.

My OS and PT started talking about how pain–chronic pain–isn’t always due to a mechanical issue or structural problems. They started talking about hypersensitivity, and I just sort of lost focus. I listened to them, but I didn’t hear what they were saying. They said it didn’t make sense that my knee had taken a turn four weeks out from surgery–that wasn’t “normal.” They talked about central sensitization  and how that might be what was happening to me. In those brief minutes, I felt like I’d lost all control.

What they were telling me, regardless of what the actual diagnosis would be, was that there was virtually nothing that I could do to stop what was going on. To get better. This wasn’t something that I could work out in physical therapy or ride out on the bike. This was my body betraying me.

I bottomed out over the next few hours and days. I went crazy on the bike. I pushed myself way past my limits in the gym. I started swimming like a person possessed. I had decided, consciously or not, that I could will this problem away. If this was a problem with my nervous system, I could engage my brain (a pretty important part of the nervous system) to master the problem. To make it disappear.

I was pushed right up to the figurative ledge. I have to credit my PT with pulling me back and talking some sense into me. She explained why they thought it might be problem with my nervous system and helped me better understand why I was being sent to a pain specialist (not the guy who prescribed all those narcotics last year).

In the time between making the appointment and actually going to the appointment, I spent a lot of time online trying to find out more about chronic pain and its causes. I also spent hours pouring over journal articles about pain hypersensitivity and central sensitization. The more I read, the more I was convinced that this was not my problem. I had only one symptom that fit–pain.

In the end, after two frustrating appointments (frustrating because I didn’t get anything out of them), the pain specialist agreed with me. I did not fit the diagnosis of central sensitization. On one hand, I felt validated in my reluctance to accept that this was the problem. On the other, I was disappointed because, by that time, I was hopeful that she could offer some help. Instead, she essentially told me I was already doing all the things she would tell someone in my position to do. She was reluctant to offer treatment because she didn’t see my pain as chronic since I’d had surgery in January (only about 10 weeks before I saw her). She also couldn’t believe I wasn’t on some kind of narcotic pain medication; I explained that those all made me sick. So I was left with no diagnosis and no offer of any treatment.

While I was waiting for the first appointment with the first pain specialist, I went to see a different kind of pain doctor–one who specializes in musculoskeletal pain and sports medicine. He also did not think I fit the diagnosis of central sensitization. He mentioned a few things that we could try, but he wanted me to first seek a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon just to make sure that nothing had been missed and that there wasn’t a structural problem that should be addressed. While I appreciated his approach, I’d had about enough of the OS’s. I was also making progress with my knee by this point, so I opted out of another opinion from another surgeon. The pain was still there, but it was changing… improving in some ways.

So after a few months and several appointments with new docs, I was left in the same spot I was in before this nonsense. I continued to work with my PT (one thing ALL the docs agreed on was that I should keep working with my PT), and we kept working on a plan that strengthened the muscles in my leg to help the knee function properly. In doing so, we discovered a few things like how I don’t use my tibialis anterior properly and that my IT band is tight.

I’ve skimmed over a lot of the details about the frustration, pain and even anger because this is all in the past, and I don’t like to dwell on it. I prefer to move forward.

The big silver lining to all of this is that I picked up swimming, and, about eight weeks later, I had finally managed to build my VMO to a point where we could actually see some definition. Since that point (almost three months ago now), I’ve made more progress than I made in all of 2013.

Since this is turning into a novel, I’ll wait until the next post to tell you about the other things I’ve been doing (I’ve moved into uncharted waters) and where I am today.

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The Gatekeeper (and a promise)

He calls me “sweetie.”

I don’t hate it.

Actually, he started calling me sweetie, but it’s now evolved to also include “cutie.”

He is one of the gatekeepers at my favorite Indy park, and I always enjoy seeing him and being greeted by his friendly welcome. It kind of makes my day. We bonded through the Colts’ season last year, when there were fewer people in the park during the cold weather. He always knows when I haven’t been out in a while (which, since I’m there so frequently, could just be two consecutive days), and he calls me on it. “Gotta get in your ride! Gotta enjoy this while you can!” I worry when I don’t see him. Recently, it was warranted because he had been ill. Usually, it’s because he’s been assigned the other gate. Sometimes, as he gleefully explained earlier this summer, he takes a long vacation.

We once had a deep discussion about how life moves too quickly and how you can’t let work take up too much precious time. He had noticed that I was there earlier than usual one day, and I’d copped to playing hooky. He thought that was grand and encouraged me to take advantage of opportunities to enjoy life. I think the world needs more people like him.

*     *     *

I’ve been so busy over the last two months, I’ve had trouble keeping this blog current. It no longer matches exactly with where I am and what I’m doing. So, next week, I promise to make good use of the week to publish a few posts about what’s transpired and what I’ve been doing lately. It’s mostly good news! I’ll try not to inundate you, but I do think there are a few points that might be important for anyone with similar issues who has been following along–some more about PT, new pain management ideas and going solo.

One quick update for now. I’m getting SUPER fast in the pool. I’m basically a torpedo at this point. All because I bought these bad boys.

Blue swim flippers.

Yes, that’s my bathtub. Why? Isn’t that where you swim?

Seriously, though, the fins have already made a difference. I’ve only worn them a few times, but the power it takes to move these through the water really does seem like it should help build leg strength. We’ll see, I suppose. Regardless, they’re fun because now I can beat other people (who may not actually know we’re racing).

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Challenge accepted

I should probably call this post “Challenge ANNIHILATED.” Because that’s what I did last night. I annihilated my goal.

Seven weeks or so ago, I created what I call my “Challenge Route.” Basically, it’s a two-mile loop (actually, it’s 2.03 mi) over gravel and dirt and up and down hills that I try to walk as fast as possible. The challenge is to shave time off of the total every week. It doesn’t have to be a big difference, just less than the time it took the last time I walked the loop.

I started off the first time rather tentative. I’d not walked much at all since the big surgery because it hurt to do so in the early months, and it was never part of any PT plan. I’ve also never been a big walker/jogger/runner, so it wasn’t really something on my radar that I wanted to work toward. But then, one day in late April, I met a friend for a walk on the Monon. We talked and moseyed until we realized we’d gone over two miles. We had to get back to our cars, so we ended up walking over four miles that day. That was, by far, the longest walk I’d taken. It was a leisurely pace, but it was enough to convince me that perhaps I should walk more. So I did.

Since I’m supposed to be “saving my knee for the important things,” I didn’t go crazy. Surprising, I know. I always go crazy when I decide to do something. Not this time. At least not at first.

I made the first loop on the Challenge Route in a little over 40 minutes. I was picking my way through the various paths in the woods, so it took some time that first day just to map the route. The second time I completed the route in 36:17. At that point, I made it my goal to complete the route in less than 30 minutes–roughly an average of 15 minutes/mile. I figured that should be totally doable.

I’ve been doing the route once a week for the last seven weeks, and I’ve shaved off a minute or so each time I’ve done it. I’ve been cheating lately. I’ve been JOGGING (slowly!) to shave off more time. No, jogging has not been approved by any healthcare professional, but what they don’t know won’t hurt them. I don’t jog for long distances or for much time, but it’s let me shave off more time. The repercussions are similar to a long bike ride–I have to ice all night with my cryo cuff and take it easy the next day.

Last night, I went for it. I was bored with the slow progress, so I wanted to make my goal. I completed the route in 28:53. Woo woo! That’s an average of 14:13 min/mi, if I did my math right. I realize that’s not super swift (heck, I had to do 9-minute miles in ninth grade gym class, so my inner freshman is a little embarrassed to be celebrating), but it’s tangible progress. I need a new challenge now. Probably one that doesn’t involve jogging.

Fallen tree on the reservoir.

My favorite view along my Challenge Route.

I haven’t been neglecting my PT program while working toward my walking goal. In fact, I’ve been figuring out new ways to do some of the exercises. For example, I’ve had nothing but pain and trouble when I try to do leg extensions on the machine at the gym, so I’m improvising at home. All you need to do the same is one 15-lb cat. Place said cat across your legs and start lifting. It’s highly entertaining. Not sure how effective it is. Though it’s worth noting that I can do the cat-assisted leg extensions without pain. Winning!

Cat-assisted leg extensions.

Cat-assisted leg extensions. Sorry about the poor quality pic. I was too busy trying to balance Mowgli, do the leg extension and take the pic to worry about the quality.


Just breathe

Sometimes, all you need is the company of good friends and a stiff drink.

In between the doctor’s appointments, PT sessions, gym sessions for the home exercise program and general management of the knee (think icing, elevating and taping), I find as much time as I can to spend in the company of good friends and positive people. Though I’m a pretty optimistic person, there are occasions when I get into a bit of a funk and need the benefit of friends who lift me up. I think everyone probably has these days, so it’s not like an earth-shattering revelation or anything.

I’ve been having an awful lot of fun and positivity the last couple of weeks. I’ve tried out a few new-to-me restaurants, biked a ton (rode my fastest 5-mile split since the big surgery last week!), walked my “Challenge Route” a few times (more on that in a future post, if I remember), kayaked, biked some more, swam a total of about 12.5 miles and built a fence (more on that later, too). I’ve also been out to the lake for BBQ and boating fun (no boarding or tubing because I’m not risking an injury that I’d have to explain to any healthcare professional). It’s summertime, and I’m busy eating fro yo and living my life. Focusing on things other than my knee has been so good for my mental health.

Two friends and I spent one fun Friday lollygagging at Eagle Creek. It was the perfect day. I’m not entirely sure how we ended up all playing hooky, but I am so glad we did. We spent the morning riding around the park on our bikes, and I rode more inclines (they’re not big enough to be hills) than I’ve ridden in well over a year. I think I was more willing to ride them because I was trying to keep up with two in-shape women, and it helped break me out of my “keep-it-on-the-flat” routine. I’ve now started to incorporate at least a few inclines in every ride, and I think that will help me continue building strength.

Biking at Eagle Creek.

I’m the shorty on the left. Pretty sure LG and JP had to bend down a little to get me in the frame.

That afternoon, after a leisurely lunch at Rick’s Boatyard Cafe (I’d never been there, but I will definitely go again), we tried to go stand up paddleboarding, but all the boards were in use. We went kayaking instead. I’ve never been kayaking on Eagle Creek–so much I haven’t done there! Zip lining is next on my list of things to do. Paddleboaring is on my list of PT-approved activities. When I brought it up, she said, “It’s not the worst idea you’ve had,” which I took as a ringing endorsement from her considering her previous reactions to my grand plans. In truth, her comment was more along the lines of, “Hmm, I guess stand up paddleboarding is not the worst idea you’ve had if you can step gracefully from the dock like you’re stepping aboard the Queen Mary.” That’s a big “if,” but still. Ringing. Endorsement.

On a random and beautiful Tuesday evening, a couple of friends and I checked out a new BBQ joint in Nora, just north of Indianapolis. I’d seen it a few weeks ago, shortly after it opened in May, on my millionth trip to Huddles. It’s called The North End Barbecue & Moonshine. I figured that any place with moonshine in the name had to be legit, so I was super excited when it was suggested as the destination for our night out.

The evening started with a Moonshine Punch for me (made with Georgia Moon Peach-Infused Shine, grapefruit, honey water and rhubarb bitters). Yes, please. I can count on one hand the number of alcoholic drinks I’ve had in the last six months because I just don’t drink much, but this one made it hard not to ask for another round. The evening ended with Huddles, so… kind of perfect.

What other activities can you do without stressing a bum leg? That largely means activities that allow for a mostly straight leg. I’m not kidding about the zip lining; I think that’s doable. I keep wanting to go indoor rock climbing, but I think that might be expecting a little too much. I’ve asked PT about rollerblading several times, but she doesn’t think it’s a good idea since I already can’t control my tibial rotation (apparently not good with the movement pattern required for rollerblading). I’m working on a list. In the meantime, I have more fence to build.


No one else like me (or how not to use your tibialis anterior)

Some time back, I mentioned to my PT that the upper lower part of my leg was fairly sore. Like a really sore muscle kind of feeling. It also felt almost like a bruise when I massaged over the area. My PT took a look, palpated a bit and pronounced the anterior tibialis to be the problem. Come again? The what?

Now that I’m in the know, I can tell you that the tibialis anterior (this is the way most tomes reference it) is a muscle that sits on the upper lateral (outside) portion of the leg, just below the knee. In case that description doesn’t do it for you, I’ve carefully drawn a diagram on my whiteboard. See below.

Tibialis Anterior on the whiteboard.

This is the best I could do. I realize now that it’s not even on the right knee. Whatevs.

If that’s not good enough for you, check out this resource that shows the origin, insertion and actions of the tibialis anterior. Normally, this muscle allows you to dorsiflex your foot (pull your toes upward) or invert your foot (point your toes toward your other foot). But, apparently, I’ve managed to unconsciously figure out how to use this muscle to help compensate and alleviate some of the pain in my knee.

PT: “I’ve never seen anyone use their anterior tibialis the way you do. You seem to have figured out how to recruit your anterior tibialis to maintain your external rotation of your tibia.” (I tend to have internal tibial rotation, and we’ve been working on making sure I don’t do that.)

PT a week later: “I’ve learned that my patients often know their bodies better than I do. When you told me a week ago, or when you asked me why that part of your leg would be sore, I didn’t really know. But you’ve somehow figured out how to use your anterior tibialis to manage your tibial rotation.”

I haven’t figured anything out! My body is just doing things without my knowledge or consent. This is the second or third time that my PT has said she’s never seen anyone who does “X.” Since she’s been doing this for 10 years and has seen hundreds of patients, that’s saying something. My right leg is an orthopedic freak show.

At a later appointment, she said she’d been talking to the athletic trainer at Ball State, and he said that a lot of his student athletes are sore in the same spot. There’s apparently an epidemic of inappropriate use of the tibialis anterior. The problem is, though, that I have no cure.

This issue isn’t something that we really tackled with exercises. Instead, I’m working on massaging the muscle to make sure that the knots are worked out. I’m literally taking a rolling pin to it a couple times a week (hey, it’s kind of like foam rolling). The soreness has largely dissipated, but there are still days when I can tell it’s tight and overworked. Then I roll it some more and tell it to stop complaining.

There are just SO MANY things that play into this. It’s a puzzle. And as soon as I get one piece in place, another one goes missing. But, as I mentioned in a recent post, I’m competitive. I like a good challenge. So I’ll keep at it until my knee bends to my will.


Wherein I discuss my arse

Specifically, I’m going to discuss my glutes. The maximus, the medius and the minimus. Mostly, though, just the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius (the names make them sound like some kind of Roman gladiators, right?). I’ll also touch on a few other random hip muscles I’ve learned all about in the last few months of physical therapy.

Apparently, these muscles have a lot to do with how my leg and knee function. I have trouble engaging my glute medius in the right way at the right time (this is the same problem I have with the VMO). It’s most noticeable during hip abduction and when I’m trying to keep from internally rotating my thigh. That means my tensor fascia latae (TFL) kicks in at inappropriate times and tries to do more work than it should. Sucks because that happens to be attached firmly to my IT band. Which is attached to my knee. To be specific, the IT band is attached to the lateral aspect of the tibia via the iliotibial tract.

My PT first mentioned that she thought the IT band was part of my problem at some point in late March. This was after an incident at the pool where my knee locked up on me. Up to that point, my IT band had never been mentioned as a possible culprit. My PT started working on the IT band pretty hard during our sessions, and she gave me new exercises to help strengthen my hips. I do different exercises for the glute medius and the glute maximus, but they’re all pretty much under the category of “exercises I hate to do.”

Glute Medius Activation Exercises

Are you familiar with donkey kicks? No? I wasn’t until my PT made me do them one day. I didn’t even believe her that they were a thing until I came home and googled it. Yup. They’re a thing. Apparently, they’ll give you a “bigger, harder butt” (at least according to one video I found). I haven’t yet seen that result. You’re supposed to do them while kneeling, but I can’t kneel, so I was doing them sort of standing and sort of bent over a table. This is one of those exercises that I hate doing because I’m convinced people are staring at me and wondering what the hell I’m doing.

I do one exercise, specifically to activate the glute medius, that I call “balls to the wall.” No clue what it’s actually called. Essentially, I use a small ball (2-3 lbs) and hold it against the wall with my thigh (the part right above my knee). I stand with my side to the wall, and I hold the ball in place by pushing my leg toward the wall. This makes me engage my glute medius the right way in the leg that I’m standing on.

I also do way more sedate exercises like clamshells, lateral band walk and the seated hip abduction (I had a personal trainer who used to call these the “open for business” exercise). All of these are fairly simple and largely subtle exercises, but they have definitely made a difference.

Clamshells are likely the most well-known exercise for glute medius activation. I’ve certainly seen enough people doing them in the therapy clinic. Here’s a video of the exercise. My hips were weak enough that I had to start these with just a little movement and no band. I also had to focus quite a bit to keep my lower leg from rotating incorrectly. Lots of my frustration comes not from the difficulty of the exercise, but from the difficulty in getting all my body parts to work in the right way while doing the exercise.

Glute Maximus Activation Exercises

I was not allowed to stop with just the glute medius; I had to also incorporate some exercises to target my glute maximus (the big butt muscle, in layman’s terms). Typically, these can be engaged and strengthened by doing squats and deadlifts. Unless you’re like me and can’t do squats or real deadlifts. So…

Hip thrusts are where it’s at, if you need to work on your gluteus maximus and can’t squat. If you google “hip thrusts,” you’re eventually going to run across the name Bret Contreras. He is a big advocate for hip thrusts, and you can see him demonstrate beginner form below. It’s a long video, so skip to at least the one minute mark to start learning about the beginner form.

He talks in the video about mastering body weight first. Um… yeah. I’m still working on that. When I’m feeling really into it, I’ll use a 25-lb weight plate, but I kind of still suck at these.

In addition to the hip thrusts, I also do bridges on the mat. Sometimes, I’ll get crazy and do bridges with my legs up on a Bosu ball. Oh! That reminds me. I’ll sometimes do the hip thrusts with my back on a fitness ball.

I do, occasionally, throw in some deadlifts. I have to do them fairly straight-legged, so they’re not exactly the correct form, but they seem to work well enough for me. I typically use kettle bells because I don’t really enjoy hanging out in the weight room at the gym. Too many sweaty dudes who like to look at themselves in the mirror and talk smack.

If you’re interested in further reading, check out the articles below.

In addition to all the good info about getting my hip muscles activated and strengthened, I’ve learned interesting terms like “butt wink.” Look it up; it’s a thing.

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Nobody can do more than twenty

When I first started my current job, I was asked to complete a StrengthsFinder Profile. The premise of this is to figure out where your strengths lie and develop them to excel, rather than trying to correct your weaknesses. I have to admit this was sort of revolutionary thinking for me at the time, and I was appreciative that my new employer was taking this approach to career development. But that’s not why I bring it up.

My top five strengths are as follows:

  • Intellection (I like to think.)
  • Strategic (I see patterns where others simply see complexity.)
  • Adaptability (I live in the moment.)
  • Competition (I like to win.)
  • Input (I am inquisitive.)

I could talk about what I’ve learned about myself from this exercise and how I’ve learned to embrace my strengths, but really, I’ve been fixated on just one of these for the past several years. COMPETITION. I think it was surprising to me that this was a strength. I’ve always been a (ridiculously) competitive person, but I’ve never considered it a strength before I took completed this profile and learned that my innate competitiveness should be embraced.

The below explanation of competition is taken from page 91 of Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, PhD.

Competition is rooted in comparison. When you look at the world, you are instinctively aware of other people’s performance. Their performance is the ultimate yardstick. No matter how hard you tried, no matter how worthy your intentions, if you reached your goal but did not outperform your peers, the achievement feels hollow. Like all competitors, you need other people. You need to compare. If you can compare, you can compete, and if you can compete, you can win. And when you win, there is no feeling quite like it. You like measurement because it facilitates comparisons. You like other competitors because they invigorate you. You like contests because they must produce a winner. You particularly like contests where you know you have the inside track to be the winner. Although you are gracious to your fellow competitors and even stoic in defeat, you don’t compete for the fun of competing. You compete to win. Over time, you will come to avoid contests where winning seems unlikely.

This explains so much of my life. I really do like to compete. It’s true that I compete to win, and I don’t like to enter situations where I don’t think I have a good chance of winning. I also compete with people who don’t even know they’re in competition with me. Like random cyclists on the Monon. I like to swoop up behind them and pass them with glee. Winning! Ok, let’s be real. At this point, it’s really only the runners that I can pass, but whatevs. I still win!

Physical Therapy Update

If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what in the hell all of this has to do with anything remotely related to my knee. I’ll tell you.

It seems that people have figured out that the fastest way to get me to do something is to tell me they don’t think I can do it. I even know what they’re doing with this weird reverse psychology, but I can’t stop myself from proving them wrong. My PT is just the latest in a long list of manipulative people in my life. (To be fair, I’m fairly certain that half the time she has no clue she’s challenged me to do something.)

She doesn’t so much outright challenge me to do things, but she says things that just make me want to prove her wrong with every molecule of my being. It doesn’t always have to be doing a particular exercise; sometimes, she’s trying to get me to NOT do something. In one of the last sessions, after we’d done the exercises and the soft tissue manipulation (hey, that still hurts, in case you’re wondering), she was talking to me about my home exercise program. I’d essentially been doing the same exercises for the past six weeks or so, and I wanted to know about changing things up since we’d spaced out our formal session to every two weeks. PT started writing down a list of exercises for me to do, along with the weight/reps I should be increasing at this point.

She started out with the basics: leg press (50#), knee extension (only from 90°-45° and only 30#) and hamstring curls (PT started to write something like 30#, but I quickly corrected her and let her know that I’m perfectly capable of, and in fact have been doing, single-leg hamstring curls with 55#).

PT: “Fifty-five pounds with one leg?” (She asked with a tone of incredulity.)

Me: “Yeah. Why not? That doesn’t hurt, so I’ve been adding weight.”

PT: “Ok.” (And writes down 60# on my instructions.)

Me: “Uh, you wrote that down wrong. I said 55 pounds.”

PT: “And now you’ll do 60.”

Well, ok, then. The next exercise she wrote down was the deadlift. She asked what I’d been doing for those, and I explained that I wasn’t doing deadlifts so much as single-leg hip hinges with a 40# kettlebell. She looked at me with a raised eyebrow.

PT: “So you can either do the kettlebell or maybe you should try doing a deadlift with a bar… 50 pounds.”

Me: “With a bar?! That means I’d have to venture over into the weight training area of the gym.”

PT: “Yeah.” (She clearly did not pick up on my distress.)

Me: “But you have to really like looking at yourself in a mirror over there, and you have to grunt really loud on every rep.”

PT: “Uh huh.” (Clearly unimpressed.)

Me: “I’ve been doing single-leg hip hinges on the Bosu ball. I’m pretty good.”

PT: “Yeah? You’re ready to go over there (pointing to the Bosu in the clinic) and take on a college athlete?”

Me: “Take on or annihilate? I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty awesome at the Bosu now that I’ve been practicing daily. I’m in the gym showing people how it’s done.”

PT: “The front desk people probably see you in there and have their fingers poised over the phone to call 911.”

Me: “Whatever. You just can’t handle my awesomeness.”

PT: “Ok, so you’re also going to do the cable column. Ten pounds is fine. I don’t know that you get much benefit from more weight. I’ve never seen anyone do more than 20 anyway.”

I’m sorry, did I hear that right? NO ONE has done more than 20 pounds with the cable column exercises? You can bet your sweet apple that I went to the gym the next day and tried to do 21 pounds. Actually, it was 22.5 lbs because of how the weight is distributed on the machine. I managed 10 reps of one out of the four exercises. I’m working up to it on the others… Nobody can do more than 20. Ha. Watch me.

Marker sketch of bike.

This signed original is on my whiteboard at work. It shows, perhaps obviously, both my bloody knee scars and me on my bike. Very realistic, except I wear a helmet, not a hat. (I didn’t have a pic to accompany this post, so you get to see some of the randomness produced by my co-workers.)


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