Eighteen months after I fractured my lateral tibial plateau, and a mere five months after my first arthroscopy (that included a pretty extensive synovectomy, scar tissue removal, and cartilage debridement), I completed a triathlon. Yep. Me.
I didn’t intend to do a triathlon that year, but I’d signed up for it at the urging of a friend in the days after my first knee surgery when I still wasn’t thinking straight (thanks, general anesthesia). Since I’d paid for it, I was sure as hell going to do it. So, with a whole lot of willpower and a few tears on the last hill, I did.
My use of the word “completed,” rather than “competed,” is wholly intentional. I was definitely not a contender that day. As you can tell from my wide backside, I was overweight and out of shape. I’d just spent the last 18 months doing not much more than sitting around, feeling sorry for myself and eating cupcakes. PT doesn’t exactly get you ready for a triathlon. I was also too afraid of crashing and wrecking my knee to ride with clips, so I pedaled that dumb bike in my tennis shoes (not awesome). In the end, I was happy that I did it and pretty proud of myself for embracing the whole mind over matter thing.
My new goal is to complete this triathlon again. Maybe this fall. Maybe next year. But my sights are set on it. (Provided that I’m ever able to run again…)
I didn’t mention to my surgeon that I’d done the triathlon when I went in to his office to get the first Synvisc injection three days after I did it. I thought it best to keep that to myself. (You should know that, at the time, I’d been told that there was nothing I could do to further damage the knee; I could do anything I wanted as long as I could stand the pain. Things have changed since then.) I also think it best to keep my new goal to myself… at least for now. Nevermind my surgeon, my PT would flip out.