After 10 years of regular exercise, and doing it 7 days a week except for moments when I’m in flare I have never injured myself until yesterday. First, I must say I recognize the fact that the reason that I have managed my MCTD so well is because I do keep moving and if I get injured and cannot move I know that my management may suffer. My foundation are my feet and legs and without them the rest of me is a crumble mess so I take very good care of my feet and I work very hard to stay injury free. This doesn’t mean that I’m so cautious that I won’t try new things or that I don’t push myself but it does mean that I’m very conscience of what my body can do and what I prefer it not do.
Lifting weights used to cause me pain and stress in my upper body and small joints but I could still walk, run, use elliptical machines and keep my foundation strong. When I started cross fit, many people in my life said that doing cross fit was an injury waiting to happen. I would explain firmly that I’m not like other people and I really have a good understanding of my body and won’t get hurt. Well, here I am one year after starting cross fit to say I did have an injury yesterday.
I got caught up in the moment and the cheerleading of my instructor and thought I could plyo jump a box that was a bit too big. Ok, let me restate that the box wasn’t too big for my first round of jumping but as my fatigue went up I should have lowered the box and instead with a fatigued body, mentally tired brain, but the cheering going on I jumped and twisted my knee. Part of my foundation tingled and I knew that I was forced to stop at that moment. Not that I chose to stop, not that I recognized my ability was no longer ready for another jump but in fact I was forced by my own body to stop. This is the very position I never wanted to be in. I like to choose when my body can do something and when it cannot but this time it chose for me.
I obviously stopped jumping and spent the rest of the time using upper body until our 30 minutes ended. I then headed to treadmill to walk and see how it felt. It was ok until steps came into play and then I could feel the soreness. There was no swelling which was good so I avoided stairs as much as possible but walked again at lunch time and headed right into Bikram in the evening. That is when things really started feeling better. This morning I jumped back into Bikram first thing and could tell that I was stiff but no real damage done. I will continue to walk, avoid some steps and jump back into Bikram again to get some more stretching in. The heat was feeling good, the stretching was good and during “fixed firm” posture I laid there and really stretched as much as I possibly could. During this posture is when I realized I didn’t hurt anything but I am stiff and need to loosen it all up again.
Fixed firm is when you sit in between your feet with your ankles right up against your hips. With your hands on your feet you start to lay back until your back and head are on the floor. If you can’t get there you are instructed to go back as far as you but using your hands to take pressure off of your knees. This posture is incredible for stretching out the knees and when I first started Bikram many years ago I could not do this posture. Now I can go right back and lay there for 2 postures. I really like the way it feels but there are still some days when I’m tight and cannot go all the back, I listen and modify. This was one of those times but as I did a couple more times I could feel the tension in my knee give and I was able to get a good stretch.
This morning my knee is feeling much better and will do some walking at lunch time and will continue this a couple more days before I try a sprint workout again and may use the row machine for my first sprint workout just to make sure this knee is as strong as it can be before I try running and sprinting on it again.
This was a wakeup call to me that as I get older injuries are a potential fatal flaw in all my hard work and I need these legs to carry me into my extremely old age. If I can continue to walk and move around, I can continue to manage MCTD and I needed this minor but good lesson to remind me that I need to make sure I take extra care of this body.