This is a Gift

Dec 29 –

his is a gift.

I was discharged from eight months of physical therapy almost three years ago on January 6th, 2012. On January 10th, I’ll be on a stage in a weightlifting competition. I have no illusions about the competition, but life is short and fragile and should be lived. I celebrated another PR last night. I back squatted 80 kg (176 lbs) – a fraction of my body weight. Progress has been succeeding at small steps along the way. Lifting my leg up on its own without using my hands – PR! Being able to pedal a stationary bicycle all the way around 360 degrees – PR! Walking without a limp – PR! Walking into the gym the first time – PR! Coming back -PR! PVC pipe to trainer bar to 15 kg bar to putting some weights on the bar – all PRs! Working with Coaches who can’t tell I am permanently partially disabled unless I tell them – PR! My 9 pins and a plate and the weakness in my leg is something I feel every day so it always surprises me when others don’t notice the things I do to compensate around it. Whoo hoo – I successfully disguised holding onto the bar in the back squat rack for support because I’m not sure if my leg has recovered enough to not limp away – PR! I ride that PR train whenever I can.

I was talking last week with a guy who had had surgery on his knee and was struggling. He had a lot of questions and trusted someone who knows knee pain. Been there, done that, and continue to do that every now and again when my knee gets fussy. I am the Queen of modification, feeling things out, and how to listen to my knee when it starts talking to me. I couldn’t tell my fellow knee pain guy why box squats and goblet squats help sometimes, but I know that they can be magic. I don’t know the right things for him, but I know that the only way out is through and learning to listen to your own body is a process. The ego wants to do everything it could do and to jump right in. The new reality is slow, patient, testing it out, learning the difference between a good pain versus a sharp bad pain, and listening and trusting my Coach when he says “done”. Coach took this picture of me backsquatting 165 lbs the other week….adding 10 lbs at a time, feeling it out along the way.

This is a gift. And I am so thankful.

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