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.
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.