My right knee

Ok.  I need to admit that I’ve been keeping something from you all (or y’all if you’re one of my US buddies).

It’s my right knee.  It is – in brief – struggling with the training.

So I’ve only run once this week and, with 14.38 largely uphill kilometres looming on Sunday at my first run event, I have been rather upset with my right knee.

Upset’s a bit mild.  I’ve been really f-ing angry.

Like an over-tired toddler throwing a tantrum over the candy that they want in the supermarket, I have yelled and shed tears over this knee (I’m an only child alright, it happens).

Now look, I understand completely that my right knee is part of me – I’m not totally dissociated from my body – but wow, I turned on it this week.

I was discussing this with the amazing Allison (doctor of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture practicer, best massage therapist in the world, spiritual healer, giggle maker, all round top person and miracle worker) while she stuck needles in my knee on Monday.  We were talking about how angry we managed to get when our bodies stopped us from doing the things that we loved – for both of us, it turns out, this is running and yoga.

Moxibustion on Knee

This is moxibustion - the burning of moxa on acupuncture needles - on your knee

Funny thing the old sporting injury.

If, like me, you use running and yoga (or any other exercise) to clear your head, meditate, sort your life out, help you sleep, stay in shape, push your boundaries, fundraise and generally improve your life, it can come as quite a surprise when your body decides not to support you back.  I, for whatever reason, have found myself taking it really quite personally.

Doesn’t my right knee know how important this is to me?  That to be able to fundraise for Maddie I really need to be able to run?  That this feels kinda like one of the most important things I will ever do?

So what the hell, right knee?  Surely these are a heap of good reasons for you to shut up with your pain and making me fall over when I run and just make it so that my right calf and right thigh can just get me through my training?  I mean seriously.  Why would you not want to support this?  What are you, some kind of saboteur?  Don’t you have a heart??

Yes.  I know.  It’s a knee.

It no more has a heart than a brain or the ability to rationalise, empathise or support great causes (beyond its ability to get my calf and thigh working together).

But there you have it, that’s how I feel.

So Allison and I have seen a lot of each other this week (big raspberry blow to LM and CM and anyone else on the waiting list – she moved me to the top of it all three of her days this week) and as she sticks needles in all sorts of parts of my knee and then hooks them up to electrodes and burns moxa on them and does all sorts of crazy stuff, we’ve been talking about this.

And we’ve decided that, maybe we need to love our injuries a bit more so that they don’t feel all unloved and full of bitterness (did I mention I am fairly spiritual and philosophical from time to time in between the swearing and drinking? – sorry if this is uncomfortable).  That, much like a “war on terror” or a “war on drugs”, by focussing on something, we call more of it into our lives… So by hating my right knee injury, there’s a good chance I’m encouraging it to be a cop-out.

Key training for the rest of this week is to love my right knee so it feels stronger and can carry me across the finish line on Sunday (and of course, see Allison two more times, take my own bodyweight in voltaren and do more calf raises and squats than I have previously thought possible).

One more note on this – I have to wear a knee brace under my 2XU running tights now (see “new running gear” post if you don’t know how rubbish I already look in these)… if you see me running around, you’ll note that my right leg now looks like a string of sausages… or two pigs fighting to get out of a wetsuit…

Paints a pretty picture doesn’t it?  Between the tight tights and the knee brace and the sweat pimples on my forehead (again, refer earlier post titled “gratitude”, I don’t want to have to talk much about them), I’m looking crash hot.

But don’t mock me – I have some pent-up anger that my right knee is no longer receiving and it’s looking for somewhere to go.


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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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