Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

I did this, and I’ll do it again


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.

Completing the Little Miami Triathlon.

This was approximately 2.5 seconds before I fell over.

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.


Author: Laura

I have a fern I named Frankenstein. I like leprechauns, practicing kung fu moves on my dining room furniture, and pretending that one day I will move to Fiji. I dislike my neighbors' kids, anything that is chartreuse, and Ben Roethlisberger.

6 thoughts on “I did this, and I’ll do it again

  1. that’s awesome that you did it! You’re were probably really sore afterwards! but you still did it! right after I hurt my knee I did a half marathon figured I couldn’t do more damage than I already did.
    my doctor kind of squash to my dreams of wanting to do a full Ironman. He looked at me and told me I was crazy that I would probably kill the transplant in my knee if I did a full. He said he had no doubt I could do it but he didn’t know if my knee would actually hold up.
    triathlons are a lot of fun. I’m thinking about doing the try for the Cure here in Denver this year.

    • Yeah… I was pretty sore, but I iced the pain away. How is your recovery going now? I hope you get to do some races this year, even if not an Ironman. I’m really impressed that you’ve done a marathon with the and knee! That takes a lot of persistence with two good knees.

  2. Well it was only a half marathon. I’m not all crazy just half crazy. :) Recovery is going. I have a lot of “rice crispy’s” in my knee right now. We have had crazy cold weather. Most of the week it was in the negative’s for the high. Its coming along. I’m a week into P90X. Its harder this time around I can’t go crazy like before but I don’t have pain just the rice crispy’s.

    • Half crazy is wholly ok with me! Haha. Glad you’re not having any pain. That’s great! I need to get back to doing some sort of structured exercise, but I just don’t feel like it most days since I do PT every day. Do you know what the rice crispy’s are from?

  3. Pingback: Goals are generally good | Just What I Kneeded

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