Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

Off the reservation


The only true disability in life is a bad attitude. – Scott Hamilton

After nearly six weeks of following every order to the very last letter, I went completely off the reservation this past weekend. I’d had a rather defeating week, and I decided I needed to clear my head when I woke up on Saturday morning. Since the day was absolutely beautiful (a rare, sunny day with 50+ degree temps in the middle of a cold Midwestern February), I decided it was time to dust off my bike, pump up the tires and put the rubber on the road. No, cycling is not on my approved list of things to do. Thank you for asking. In fact, I’m only supposed to be riding the indoor bike with minimal resistance for 10 minutes every other day. But… I can only keep my shit together for so long before I need to break loose and feel like I’m actually doing something. Before I have a high-speed come apart. This time, apparently, my limit was six weeks.

I rode for as long as I dared (10 miles), and I smiled every minute. The sun was in my face, the wind in my hair, and the crisp air filled my lungs with every breath. I paid for it over the next 48 hours, but it was 110% WORTH IT. (At this point, there’s really nothing I can do to damage the knee; it’s just a matter of controlling pain and swelling.) I’m in a much better place mentally than I was last week.

Bike tire on asphalt.

We might still have a lot of snow on the ground, but it was 50+ degrees and sunny. The rubber was on the road, and I couldn’t stop smiling.

As if the cycling wasn’t enough, I then decided that I needed to throw in some aqua therapy and thought it was a good idea to do laps in a pool the next day. This actually is on my list of approved activities, sort of. I’d been told that I can be in the pool for a total of 20 minutes and should mix in some exercises (like squats or treading water) with the laps. I just felt like swimming laps though. So I did. For 30 minutes.

This trip off the reservation came after I had an utterly defeating appointment with my surgeon and PT early Friday morning. It took all of ten minutes for me to lose every last ounce of motivation. I spent most of the rest of the day being grumpy and did not one single PT exercise on Friday. Didn’t do any of them on the weekend either. I think this small act of rebellion helped my mental state, too. I’m back at it now with the new week, and I’ll keep plugging away until such a time comes along again when I just need to feel the wind in my face…


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.

3 thoughts on “Off the reservation

  1. Pingback: Unbalanced | Just What I Kneeded

  2. Pingback: Much work to be done | Just What I Kneeded

  3. Pingback: What the hell happened in February? | Just What I Kneeded

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