Don’t Like Hills

The shoulder is much improved! Thanks to rest and ibuprofen and stretching and paying attention to my posture, I’m no longer in agony. I even cranked out 1300 words of Book yesterday with no major problems. As I said in the comments of the last entry, it’s no good me doing all these bloody Pilates classes and yoga tapes if I’m not going to put it into practice in everyday life.

Today at the physio we focused more on my Dodgy Knee. What Dodgy Knee, you may ask. Well it’s the same ol knee I injured during my running training last year. It’s still giving me trouble almost a year on, I just haven’t been boring you with the tedious details. It seems ridiculous that I could still be having problems from such a brief flirtation with running, but it’s true. While the pain eased the general grinding and sporadic aches never really improved. And because I’m a bloody idiot, and got used to the sensation, I never got round to doing anything about it til now.

I don’t want to go into too many details, because it’s impossible to accurately describe almost a year of various pains and attempts at healing and medical advice in just a few paragraphs, and it’s always open to misunderstandings and assumptions and that can be frustrating. But in summary, it turns out the knee is still in very bad shape. The exercises my last physio prescribed were apparently doing more harm than good, and my attempted Running Comebacks were premature. And some of the things I did thinking they were Low Impact were actually too much impact.

Arrgh. Arrgh. So. It’s going to take some fixin’. I’ve got 4-6 weeks of therapy coming up. No lower body weights, no squatting, no kneeling, no rowing and running is totally out. I’ve only to do the most teeny tiny exercises, like tensing my quad and releasing. Six sets of ten. Exciting. And after this time if it doesn’t respond I may have to be referred to the dude that has the camera thingies they stick in your knee to clean out all the debris that may be floating around in there.

Which of course freaking terrifies me. I don’t want anyone digging around inside my knees! I will do these exercises and rest and make every attempt to avoid the digging.

You have no idea how angry and frustrated I am with myself right now! I am so crap at listening to my body. All this past year I have been so obsessed with getting fitter and smaller that I just neglected to properly treat this knee. Since the crippling pain had gone, I thought it was okay to have the freakishly loud grinding. I didn’t do this out of misplaced martyrdom, I just stupidly got used to it and got busy with my weights and kickboxing and lord knows what, all the while making it worse.

Anyway, I’ll stop my whinging. The upside is, I’m in truly excellent hands. And I am determined to be a good, responsible patient this time. I’ve learned my lesson.

. . .

At least I have full blessing to cycle. I got my bike on Saturday and it RULES. We rode seven miles that afternoon and I had a ball, when I wasn’t crapping my pants with terror. I had my fingers poised over the brakes the whole way, just in case, and when we got back my hands ached from gripping the handlebars so hard. Nearly fell off coming back into our driveway, upon realising too late that I lacked the balancing skillz to do a hand signal.

On Sunday we went to the park where I was humiliatingly overtaken by a swarm of six-year-olds. Then I discovered my fear of descents most definitely applies to bikes as well. Anytime there was even a hint of a downward slope – say, the distance between the top of a Mars Bar to the bottom – I would freeze and dismount and whimper, "I don’t like hills! I don’t like hills!".

It’s a learning curve, I tells ya.

. . .

So Gareth and I are away tomorrow for a couple of days to see my beloved Radiohead and have our first non-wedding-related break together! Huzzah. I promise to return refreshed and ungrumpy. Take care, dear comrades!

18 thoughts on “Don’t Like Hills

  1. Good luck with the knee! It’s humbling, isn’t it? I got tendonitis in my foot and it took a YEAR to heal (physio off and on) and I’m STILL wearing a bandage … the body gets its revenge when we don’t pay attention. : (

  2. Yeah, the body whispers, then screams if we don’t listen the first time! I wish you a speedy recovery. And have a blast at Radiohead!

  3. Oh diet girl… I’ve been reading for quite a while (always the dedicated worker) but never commented til now. I’m also a very very fearful biker. In fact, I’m the only person I know so far who had to learn how to ride a bike three times: one when I was really little (ran into a tree, never again), the second one when I was 17 (got my wheel stuck in an old railway, fell and broke my front tooth, while a gang of much younger kids was watching and giggling) and then again about 5 years ago. I’m still terrified, traffic is ferocious in my city (Buenos Aires), I dismount at the slightest sign of danger… oh I felt so connected with you!
    Waiting for your book.

  4. Ouchies, I’m so sorry to hear about your knee troubles. Mine’s been making this awful cracking noise when I climb stairs lately, a clear sign it’s tired of my fat, I’d guess.

    I hope that you are soon feeling 100% again, or at least very close to it – and that surgery is avoidable, because I understand not wanting to go that route! I also understand medical stuff and the worries it will be misunderstood…

    Hope you have a wonderful break!!! You’ve earned it, it sounds!

  5. That is a real bummer about the knee and the dodgy physio giving you bad exercises. The bike sounds like fun – I’ve been thinking about getting one and riding to work but think I’ll wait until summer.

  6. Oh, the hills are the best thing about cycling! Going down is exhilerating like being on a rollercoaster! Weeeee! And going up – well you know a downhill is coming up soon enough. Were you slogging up hills or sticking to mostly flat terrain? Were you on bike tracks or sharing the road? Sharing the road with cars and trucks can be quite a scary experience sometimes.

    I did used to be quite terrified of hills and still when I go down really fast I still squeeze the handles within an inch of their rubber lives. But I love going fast! I am still not very confident with the balance so I’m still not very good with the hand signals. I can’t imagine riding with no hands like you see people doing all the time. I have to slow to an almost stop before I feel in control enough to dare raise a hand off the grip for a few seconds. I should probably practice more though.

    And I can only hop on and off the bike from one side – the awkward side.

    Still I love, love my bike and I miss it if I don’t ride for even a day.

    Really hope your bung knee gets better soon!

    And hoping you find the joy of cycling descents soon enough!

  7. Knee pain can be such a miserable experience! And I must say, grinding noises might be an indication that something is wrong 😉 Best of luck and take care of your self, physically and mentally.

  8. Good luck and enjoy Radiohead. It’s been too long since I saw them…

    And good luck with the knee. I think those of us who have carried a lot of weight around for several years must have put so much pressure on our poor wee joints!

    I suggested the yoga because I did my first ever Yoga class a couple of Fridays ago and I felt as though I stood taller and straighter for a couple of hours afterwards. Okay, it wasn’t permanent but that was my first ever class. Anyway, all I can say is I’m convinced and will be back in the class every Friday unless I’m going out.

  9. And I just thought it was me who had descent-a-phobia! Mind you, part of the thrill of cycling downhill is terrifying yourself. That and the sound of the wind roaring past your ears.

    Hmmmm, now where’s my helmet/bike pump/nearest flat cycle path??

  10. I’m so happy to hear you like cycling! What kind of bike didja get?

    I used to have a terrible fear of descents, too. There’s one somewhat steep hill on my usual path that really scared me; I’d holler “I’m gonna DIEEEEE!” every time I went down it if nobody was around to hear me.

  11. Terrified of riding downhill–I once had a panic attack at the Mt Tam in Marin, CA. I’d worked so hard and managed to get up this freakishly steep hill, to the horror of needing to ride back down again. I cried and had to be talked down from my cries of “just leave me here.” I managed to do it, but never again.

  12. “Thanks to rest and ibuprofen…”

    I really need glasses. I read that as “Thanks to rest and BOURBON…” What a cure!

  13. I’m wondering what Marla had to drink just before posting…LOL. About the bike riding: I’m totally terrified of the downhills and insist on keeping the brakes on the entire time so that I do not get too much speed going. It all stems from being a little girl (9 y/o, I think) and having a terrible crash at the bottom of a big hill. I fractured my skull and took the skin off of my elbow. I still have the scars (physical as well as mental) and use them to justify my cowardice.

  14. Hi Shauna, a great running/blogging community that I am a part of has loads of people who are various stages of recovering from knee-or-misc-other injuries which has them on the bike a lot (or pool running or any number of other crazy alternatives). if you need evidence that you can go from injury to marathon just check it out! so much inspiration its nuts! (also some wonderful weight loss stories). if anyone would like some more direction to specific blogs rather than browsing i can point you in the right direction!

  15. hi there, great site, am impressed with the proof that i’m not alone in mind battles against chocolate and let’s be honest, it never tastes as good as you have convinced yourself it will… not to mention, nothing tastes as good as slipping into those size 14 jeans (as opposed to a size 24)

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