Ever since I started this program of exercise and general goal of consistency, I’ve had a wolf named Failure nipping at my heels. I can hear in his barks and howls the memory of times past where I’ve been very gung ho about something, almost to the point of obsession, and then, all of a sudden, the interest fades and I’m done.
In addition, when the interest has been in some type of exercise, I’ve been plagued by what my family has dubbed the 3-week rule. And now, on the 20th day since I started doing CrossFit, I’m freaking out.
It started during yesterday’s workout. During the squats, my left knee was giving me trouble, and it got progressively worse with each round. “It’s unstable,” said my husband-coach. “Let’s try a different stance.” He says it’s mostly a matter of my knees not being quite strong enough yet.
We tried a few things ; nothing seemed to make it better. Approximately a year and a half ago, I had significant pain in my left knee with walking that was exacerbated by stairs. My doctor had me go in for an MRI; turned out I had a cyst on the back of my kneecap that was rubbing against the top of my shinbone. I went off to physical therapy, and the therapist told me she had a similar cyst in the past and would “try to pop it.” I now envision a big zit in my knee.
I wasn’t able to complete the PT because of the migraines; couldn’t drive, couldn’t predict when I was going to need to sit in the dark, but when I did leave the bedroom, it was better. I’m guessing it was because there was little to no aggravation on my knee because I was next door to being an invalid.
And now it hurts. A lot. I iced it last night after the workout, and it was better for a little while. It ached when I went to bed and it ached when I woke up. It hurt after I took some Naproxen. It hurt more by the time I’d been walking around doing errands. And now I’m getting ready to workout, and, frankly, I’m scared. I’m scared I won’t be able to work out; I’m scared I’ll be injured more by the time I’m done.
Gary (husband et coach) has some ideas about how to alleviate some of the pressure; we’re going to set up the plyo box in front of the pullup bar and I’m hold on to a 100 lb. exercise band to take some of the weight off my knees. Got my fingers crossed, but I’m still on the verge of tears just thinking about it. I’d blame menopause, but I think I’d be emotional (at least to some degree) about the situation regardless. By the time I was done yesterday, I was frustrated and angry about the whole thing.
But it’s back to accepting imperfection. If I have a bad day, well, that’s not the end of CrossFit for me. I’ve always heard that it takes six weeks to make a habit, and I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to make it to that magic number. Gary says that I need to relax and mentally prepare for when I miss a day: to trust that it won’t be anything but a small bump on the road. When it happens, I’ll just pick myself up and get back on that wagon. And if, please don’t let it happen, but, if I do screw up my knee and have to stay off it, Gary’s already thinking about the other things I can do to let it heal.
Fall off the wagon? It’s my damn wagon, and if I fall off it, well, I can stop it and get back on. Listen up, self. That’s the way it is and the way it’s going to be. Imperfection does not equal failure; a day off doesn’t mean you have to take the rest of your life off.
So, Jodi, go do your damn work out.