I have promised myself to keep this a positive place. But, it can be tough sometimes having knees as messed up as mine. Sometimes a girl needs to vent, though, so I will do my best to get it all out and then find myself a positive spin on the situation. I mean they say writing is cathartic, right?
So, I have messed up knees. Not knees like, sometimes they hurt or I have a healable sports injury. Mine are quite special and beyond that point. See, for some reason no one could ever fully explain to me, I was born with two under developed patella, which in non-doctor speak means 2 half knees caps. Somehow this went undiagnosed for some time. I grew up an athlete. Before even entering high school I tried out most sports under the sun: soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, track, a gaggle of water sports including swimming and wind surfing, and a bunch more. I was an active kid, and I loved competition.
In eighth grade, I settled on my true sports passion: track and cross country running. I was naturally gifted with endurance and I wasn’t too shabby on the speed. I could easily out run all my classmates and somehow ended up at the Junior Olympic Nationals for Cross County in my first season. However, gifted as I was, I was also stubborn and stupid. I started my high school career much a shining star and won race after race. Then the knee pain set in. I should have realized that something bad was going on, and I shouldn’t have been scared to say something. I convinced myself that even though my knees hurt and were visibly swelling that it was something that would pass. I mean I was still growing – perhaps they were just growing pains?
So my knees swelled and hurt and I would run and run. Until, in a state qualifier I went down and just couldn’t get back up. My legs would not support my body weight. I ended up limping off the course, then in a doctor’s office where the doctor declared my condition with all these fancy terms, and then finally in physical therapy where the PT was so astounded I could walk with knees turned out as much as mine where that he called over all his colleagues to see.
So long story, well not that much shorter, I no longer can run. I tried to come back from the injury but I had broken down too much cartilage and had all these other fancy problems. I was sad and pouty, but then tried to do other sports. Turns out I am not a fast swimmer at all and doing as many laps as they require you to do for a high school swim team nearly drowned me. In college I played rugby and it was fun, but I was never much good and could never fully get over the idea of being tackled by people who could crush me at will, so I never cultivated the same passion for it.
Now I am out of school and trying to find new exercises. I like hard gym classes, but more than anything I would like to do something to really push myself. I am restarting physical therapy tomorrow with the hopes of being able to do activities soon that I am currently limited from participating in. Even so, my current doctor is telling me that running is probably always going to be out of the question. This hurts, because I would love nothing more than to run a half marathon. I am not even talking about a whole one. Alas.
So, silver lining? Well, I’m not super sure. Maybe PT is going to be an awesome experience that leads me to an activity that is healthy for me and that can challenge me and my antsy personality without being painful. Maybe I am just really not supposed to be someone that goes beyond gym exercise classes, but instead uses her drive in another way? I’m really not sure. I suppose, as with all things, time will tell.