Well this might sound all doom and gloom today, after the passed few days of stress and long tiring days. I left work yesterday feeling really tired, but more over – mentally drained. I can cope with the long hours and the aching/pains in Neil (the knee), but this week it has just been one issue after another, every day. A colleague said it was just like putting a jigsaw back together in different places – every day. No sooner had you solved it, the puzzle just changed direction and created other difficulties. Suppose that’s the fun part of our job – keeping track of everything all the time….
By the time I got home yesterday it was like falling asleep at the first chance to relax – the nodding dog syndrome. I was too tired to even cook a meal so cheated by eating a bag of ‘Dolly Mixture’ sweets and going to bed to watch TV. I actually don’t remember much about what was on TV because I think I went straight into Snooze World. Twelve hours later and I woke up with the TV remote stuck to my face and the buttons imprinted on my cheek. All this did was make me lay in bed longer before getting up because I was hungry. Breakfast included a cup of tea and a bowl of cereal before getting dressed to go the gym.
Now this is the doom and gloom bit I think. The drive to the gym is about 5 minutes and I was listening to the radio – SMOOTH RADIO – as this station plays chilled music from the 1980’s that I enjoy. (Thought process being that I go and exercise in a chilled mood and maybe feel a bit better in myself.) WRONG!!!!!
I swiped my membership card and said ‘HI’ to Mark G before going to the changing rooms. I usually go with a set routine in mind and focus myself to doing that as best I can. But today, as I sat in the changing area I just thought to myself ‘Why am I doing this?’ I just felt really deflated and that I was wasting my time because I wasn’t going to enjoy the same old routines of weights/reps and increasing them to improve. I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do – which was to train properly, running jumping, squatting and generally inflicting pain on myself. Instead I was just going through the motions and playing safe so not to injury myself any further. Mark G/ Mark M and my other friends keep telling me to take it easy and to be careful not to over do it. But that is precisely what I want to do – over do it and challenge myself. I am fed up trying to be safe, trying to exercise without having a solid base to push through – balancing on my good leg so that I can just attempt to exercise Neil (the knee). I feel a fraud when I’m training. I see the other members working hard at their own routines and I am just playing at mine. Don’t get me wrong, I am improving my upper body strength and getting much stronger than I would have been if I did not have Neil (the knee) creating difficulties for me – and for that I am grateful to Mark M, Mark G and Alison for sorting out routines for me.
So, as I stood in the main gym studio today and I looked around I could see a young Lady running like she meant it, for her life on the treadmill and I was jealous. Even laughed at her in my head because I knew I have ran faster, longer, harder than she was. (I felt quite bitter about that too.) Then I looked at the weight machines, the place of my efforts for the past 4 weeks and no doubt for the coming months too. Treadmill or Weights? Treadmill or Weights was going through my mind over and over again. Like a naughty little boy that had been told ‘Not to do it’ I wanted to betray the instructions and just do it. No one else was around and could tell me to be careful. I was totally able to decide my own exercise routine today and then suffer the consequences later.
I’m doing it I told myself. I’m going on the treadmill and I’m going to try running again. (It has been 3 months to the date since I last went for a run and I wanted to see if I could just run a little bit.) Headphones went in the ears, music from SMOOTH RADIO blasting out and I drowned out the world around me. I then spent the next 19 minutes walking as fast as I was able to do before I increased the speed to 8.0 (a slow running pace but a running one nevertheless.) I managed just 5 strides before I had to stop…. Neil (the knee) reacted instantly and the pain was excruciating. But was I bothered – NO!! I had achieve my goal – I had RUN again.
After a short rest I looked over to the Rowing Machine and the ‘Naughty Boy’s’ voice in my head was telling me to try that too. Now Neil (the knee) was still giving me a hard time and I was having serious doubts about my own mental state at this point. Doing something that I knew was going to hurt, but still going to do it. So I did. I strapped my feet into the machine and set the resistance to level 1 and off I went – lasting all of about 10 seconds before Neil (the knee) got angry again. This didn’t deter me though. I simply upped the resistance to Level 10 and straightened both my legs and continued with the routine. This time I only used my arms and ABS, rocking forward and backwards to row the distance. That was much easier than I had expected and I felt good afterwards. Neil (the knee) however had began to ease his anger towards the exercise.
Next I went on the Static Bike and thought carefully about this one – Neil (the knee) wasn’t going to let me off so easy doing this one. I studied the bike for a minute or so and thinking about how and when Neil (the knee) gets angry when I use him. If I don’t straighten Neil (the knee) or push through him, I generally get less pain and aching. Now I can adapt this exercise quite simply by lowering the seat so that I don’t straighten Neil (the knee), but not too much as it will mean I push through him to move the pedals. That’s exactly what I did and it worked well – at a slow pace of pedaling and on the flat.
The demon thoughts in my head had made me take several big risks today and I was lucky enough to survive them without causing any further injury – so far!!! On reflection I now wonder why I did this today. Was it just me being bloody minded or did I actually want to hurt myself? I am worried about the answer to this question because I think I actually know the true answer. My eldest son Tom, was also texting me at the time and telling me off for being stupid. He knows me and what I’m like and he would be the first to agree that I don’t do ‘Sitting on my backside’ very well. Both my sons understand what I’m like and how difficult this past few months has been. But they also know that every chance I get I will push harder and further to get back into proper training mode – even if I end up injuring myself again. My only excuse for doing this is because the Medical Advice is contradictory on itself and I haven’t actually received and firm instructions of what I can or can not do in training. In fact I actually haven’t had any treatment either. That is another issue to be discussed in the coming appointments.
Lobster Bath was the end result afterwards and now I’m chilling again on Claire (the couch), about to watch a DVD and eat a bag of ‘Jelly Babies’ tonight.
LENT – has only 8 more days to go.