Doesn’t it just tick you off when your body goes rogue on you? I have this little knee thing going on, right? Bilateral patellofemoral syndrome. Which is a fancy name for overuse that presents itself as pain across the front of the knee. Quite common (read: I’m not special) and usually treatable with physical therapy.
Which is all well and good. But, when the weather is nice where do I want to be? On a hiking trail. Such has been the case the last two…maybe three weekends. Instead, I’ve been stuck with a pedestrian life. Pining for the trail and reading trip reports on Washington Trail Association’s website like a starving woman.
I’ve been in PT for approximately…three?…weeks. It’s a pain in the keister. Not the knees…the keister. To make time in my work schedule to go to PT two times a week. And to remember, on non-PT days, to do my exercises. The good news is that there are still a lot of things I can do without pain: yoga, machines at the gym, etc.
The other piece of good news is that I seem to be making slow progress. To the point that last Sunday I decided to test the knees on a trail, just to see what would happen. To see if I might be good enough to head to Mt. St Helens this weekend for a five miler. A five miler sounds a bit like pocket change, but I’ll happily take about anything at this point.
On Sunday I invited the husband to join me, but as I had plans to attend a yoga workshop later in the afternoon he had already set his sights on a movie. Something involving bad guys and good guys and action and blowing things up. Anyways, his movie time conflicted with my walk time, so I set out on my own.
The trail I chose was a little 2-miler out at a local park. It has some (though negligible) gain and I was hoping that, along with the uneven ground, would allow me to semi-assess my progress.
I hit the trail head right in front of two women who were chattering away, so struck out at a pretty good pace in order to get some distance between us. It was a bit of a challenge. Getting ahead of the chattering women. The trail started out pretty straight, which meant their voices carried. And they were chattering. And chattering. And chattering. And messing with my silent outdoor mojo. C’mon! There are birds chirping and a breeze sifting through the trees. Enjoy it!
Speaking of chirping, the knees started chirping at me almost immediately. Groan. Big groan. But, not severe chirping. Just, “Hey…we’re here! We’re not all the way healed yet, so don’t do anything stupid! Oh, you want to go up that little hill? Well, we’re going to remind you we’re here on the other side!” The right (the less severe of the two) seemed to semi-calm down after a bit. The left…not so much. But, again, it was tolerable. And, I was going pretty fast to get away from the ladies (I succeeded, by the way, and it was good).
I came off the trail semi-discouraged/encouraged. While no pain-free, I can pretty confidently say they’re better than they were a few weeks ago. And, I got out, even if it was just for a short walk. And even that short walk helped take the edge off the thirst.
This weekend (weather pending): Mt. St. Helens!