the same thing always happens

Every single time I get started in a fitness program I . Get. Hurt.

Not badly this time, but this is ridiculous. I mean swimming for goodness sake, who manages to hurt themselves while swimming? okay, other than my niece who sprained a wrist climbing out of a pool once. I meant aside from that. She’s accident prone anyway. She once busted a knee just standing still.

I start ice skating, I develop a weak ankle.

I start running, I twist an ankle.

I start a martial arts/sword fighting program, I get my right knee destroyed and have to have surgery.

Anybody see a trend here?

When I had to slim down before the wedding I decided to go with something nice and SAFE. A walking regimen. Every morning I would get to work, put down my bags, put on my tennis shoes and go walk the halls of my building for 30 minutes. Every morning. Great plan, right? No stairs, no un-even ground, nicely air conditioned, no weather to worry about. The worst I’ve got to worry about is a random professor coming out of his lab to ask me an office question.

So what happens three weeks into my new plan and just five months before the wedding? My left knee starts to swell up. Then it gets really unstable, like there’s a jelly fish inside the joint and with every step it has to squish out of the way, or I just have to roll right over it. Finally it gets to the point where I’m on crutches and have to go have the knee drained, then get an MRI (inconclusive, but might be a torn meniscus) and then operated on. All in a rush so I’d be able to dance at my own wedding. The doc actually asked for an autographed photo of the event to put up in his office next to to all the athlete photos.

dancing at the wedding

Of course the doc, who is a sports medicine orthopaedist and very very good (he fixed my other knee. ‘nother story, ‘nother day) got a real surprise when he got into the knee. He had been expecting a torn meniscus. What he found was a weird growth that looked like a sea anemone. He took photos, faxed them over to the oncologists at the next building over (Emory University Hospital) and asked them “What IS this thing? and What do I DO about it?” so they walked him through scraping it out of there and that was that.

Turns out I have a very rare version of “pigmented villonodular synovitis” All of the previously observed ones have a blood supply, that’s how they grow. But mine didn’t. It was just filled with clear fluid. So I’m now in medical journals. Or my knee is anyway. But I digress….

My point is this, it seems like every time I try to start a fitness program, I get hurt. This time it’s my back. I have ALWAYS done my freestyle stroke with all of my breaths coming on the right side. I know, I know you are supposed to do three strokes and breathe, and then three strokes and breathe so you will alternate sides. But I just can’t. I’ve never been able to. It drove my swim coaches crazy. I learned to do 2, 4, 2, 4, 2, 4 instead of the 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, in races.

Well this past Tuesday in the pool I decided that I’m a grown up now. I can try to learn to do this stroke properly and do those darned alternating breaths. So I did it. Nice and slow. Not pushing hard I just did three laps with the alternating breathing. It wasn’t awful. I did manage it, but I felt like I was wrenching my head up out of the water for every single breath on the left side. The rest of my hour I did breaststroke and MY version of freestyle with all my breathing to the right hand side.

And now, two days later, I can hardly move I’m in so much pain. I’m going to the doc tonight after work to get her to straighten me out. And I’ll be back (hahahaha) in the pool next week, so it’s not nearly as serious as the knee thing was, but it does get annoying to always seem to get hurt three weeks into ANY fitness prgram.

I guess the answer to all this is that I just don’t need to stop. Ever again. Then maybe I won’t get hurt.

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