“To conquer frustration…

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”
― T.F. Hodge

Today was day three at the gym. The first day I went swimming  and that was quite a step forward. The next day I was delightfully sore. As a result, I went forward on to a second visit to the gym, the very next day.  I forced myself to walk down into the room where they house all those treadmills. I saw them and my heart sunk with envy.

It was a great feeling to even just be in that room. I walked around looking for a machine that would work my hips. I found it. I call it ” the leg spreader” machine. I did three sets with weights. I used too much weight. Keep in mind, I am used to being strong and used to my body being even, not crooked. I really could tell the difference in strength on each side of my legs and hips especially while using the leg spreader. I used too much weight on the leg spreaders because once I was finished, I stood up and had a horrible sharp pain on the inside of my left knee.

I ignored the pain. Damn it,  I had not even tried my five-minute run on the elliptical yet.  To be honest, I have never tried an elliptical machine before. So I get on it and it wont work. I am used to treadmills, you just hit quick start and it goes. With  the elliptical  you have to start walking first. I couldn’t figure that out!! I was thinking the machines were broken,  I had to go ask for help and the guy was like,” you have to start walking first.”

I start the machine and set resistance. Here I am on this elliptical machine arguing with myself about how five minutes wont even break a sweat, and wont even get my heart beat going. However, that five minutes turned into eleven minutes and I had to pry myself away. It was hard to stop. My muscles were happy!! I was happy!! However, I don’t want to delay my progress, so I stubbornly stopped at eleven minutes.

I then moved over the stationary bike. That was boring as hell. I forgot my headphones, so I had nothing to listen too or look at except for the chic running her ass off on the treadmill in front of me. I could only tolerate 15 minutes of it. I started to get mad. Not at her, just at my situation. So I hopped off the bike and wandered over to the rowing machines. They are my favorite because they work both your upper and lower body.

I went to town on the row machine.

I stepped off the row machine and realized I couldn’t walk. The sharp pain on the inside of my knee prevented me from walking. I over did it. I couldn’t believe I over did it. I felt as if I hardly did anything. My left side of my lower body is much weaker than I imagined. It makes sense, I have atrophy, you can visibly see the difference in the two legs. I had five surgeries in a time span of a week and a half. The body can only tolerate so much.

I knew this pain from a run injury last year. It is the little tiny ligament on the inside of the knee. It is maybe an inch long and a few centimeters wide. I think it is the tibia collateral ligament. What should I expect,  since they ripped two screws out of my tibia bone. Of course the ligaments will be affected by that. I remember waking up from that particular surgery and it felt like someone took a sledge-hammer to my tibia bone all the way up to my knee.

The pain from this little ligament on the inside of the knee is an annoying injury to have. It first of all, hurts terribly. However, the good thing  I found out was that fewer miles and a knee brace fixes it quickly. Of course, that is if it is from running. I think this time it is a different story. I just need time. I can not allow my determination to get in the way of my desired outcome. I will keep going, I will just go a little lighter and slower. By the end of the night, I was icing my knee and my foot because it had swollen a little bit. Staying off it for a solid eight hours  seemed to work well because today I was just fine.

Today was too gorgeous of a day to “take it easy” so the first thing we did was take the dog and the bike and hiked a few trails. Yes, they were easy trails. With each step I took, I had the wonderful, long missed, magnificent sore muscles from the gym. Oh what a feeling!

I couldn’t stop there. We decided to go swim after that for about an hour. Now I realized, we, my son and I, were having an active day, like the kind of days we used to have, active and fun and it was happening again! It is a good feeling. Not just a good feeling, a glorious feeling! It feels good to be sore, to be tired and, to not be watching tv or doing nothing active.

Tomorrow, the gym is closed. I am not sure if I should be grateful for that. I need to remind myself to pull back and slow down. Sometimes I feel like my weimaraner looks, all crazy hyper about not running free off a leash. As if he will explode in the moments before the gate opens and he can run.  He got to run today and it is a look of pure ecstatic joy on his face and through out his entire body when he runs free.


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