Back In The Saddle Again

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I’m about to leave today to get back to the bluegrass. My daddy had a hip replacement surgery, which is why I shared I was back in my hometown. It is one of the hardest things for me to see the strongest man I know laying in a hospital bed. He has worked hard at his job forever, and it just took a toll on his body. Luckily, the wonderful doctors and surgeons were able to replace it successfully, and, after a tough recovery, he will be up and able to walk me down the aisle in July.

Injuries happen. They are awful and unfortunate and can leave you feeling like all accomplishments you under your belt will reverse. Right at the peak of my training, I had a knee injury. It was right after completing my first race- The Warrior Dash.

If you’re looking for an incredible experience to have with friends that gives you a challenge, but isn’t crazy long, you’ve got to consider the Warrior Dash. It’s a giant obstacle course that will have you muddy, soaking wet, and having a blast. On top of all that, you’re supporting the research of St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Does it get any better?

Anyway, I had been training for this race for a while, following a great running and lifting plan. I’d gotten to the point where I was truly looking forward to running—a feeling I never thought possible. Yes folks, it does happen!

My heart was getting stronger and I wasn’t winded as easily. The more in shape I got, the more I looked forward to my training. Race day happened, and it only pushed me to work harder when I felt that joy from crossing that muddy finish line.

Listen to your body

After training, my right knee would start to ache. I talked to my trainer about footwear, my running technique, surfaces I was running on, stretches to help—everything I could think of that would be causing this pain.

Finally, as a last resort, I went to the doctor when my knee started to swell pretty much every day. And ok, to be honest, my fiancé had to force me to go. I hate going to the doctor and like to just think that everything will work itself out.

I won’t bore you with the medical details, but basically my knee is built a little weird, and it caused some issues/tearing situations. I was able to work with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles around it, but I had to seriously cut back on and modify my training.

After a couple months of physical therapy, I injured the other knee the same way. Stop, rewind, start everything all over.

Talk about frustrating! Being the terrible patient I am, the recovery was next to impossible to endure in that I felt like I was just being lazy. I needed to be more active! I was living with this fear that when my recovery ended, I was going to somehow gain all of this weight back. It wasn’t all vanity; my body was craving activity and my mind wanted that clarity I get after a good sweat session.

Did my fear come true of losing all my progress? Nope. I was able to slowly but surely work back into my usual routine, being more conscious now of how I was treating my knees. Getting my strength back was required, but it was nowhere near as hard as it was when I was first beginning.

It’s a hard lesson, but worth having. Sometimes you just have to sit back and let your body heal. Even when you don’t want to. And for the sake of your loved ones, I hope you can muster more self-restraint in the whining department than I did. Sorry, M;)

Cheers!

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