Just because the circuit training is for people who have had an operation don’t go thinking it is not hard work. Under the watchful eye of Clodagh and Minnie we are encouraged to do each exercise to the point of failure. Lunging forward on to the operated knee is, and I know this seems a little pathetic, scary. Every time you lean forward onto it, putting your full weight through it, there is the fear in the back of your mind that it will snap. Such things do happen but nothing serious has befallen anyone so far, although three week Aniston did arrive with a worry that she had done some damage whilst moving a mirror at home.
Kicking a football seems such a long way off at the moment. All I want to be able to do is get to level four of each of the exercises dotted around the gym. These are, as I have said before, all so simple with a healthy knee but all are really tough in our current state. Zooming around them is no good either, you have to do each one with care and attention as it is so easy for your body to trick you as I found when I had been practising the forward dip off a step at home.
In my mind I had been doing it perfectly but once in the gym it was quickly pointed out that I had been cheating myself. Stepping forward, my right hip was dropping forward and down too, thus putting the foot nearer the ground and taking the strain off the left knee.
A whole week of me working on my own had thus had no beneficial effect.
Shit, shit, shittety shit. Everything is tough, everything hurts and everything is vital to a full recovery. Leaving anything out is pointless and knocks you back.
Failure, that is, doing an exercise until you can not do it any more is hard both physically and mentally, because the point at which you can’t do it anymore is also the point at which the knee most feels like it is about to pop. I am so totally aware of every twinge in the knee both when doing the exercises and when going about doing my normal every day stuff. Something has to give because at the moment I can’t think of anything normal, even walking down the street I am concentrating on keeping the knee above the second toe, making sure the stride is even and so on. Hour after hour goes by and all I think about is the knee.
Coming back from the gym is always my favourite time, the work on the bike and walking machine, you may call it a running machine, always loosens up the knee and the walk home feels almost normal. Under the old regime I never used to think about my fitness. Now it’s all I think about. Tomorrow is another day, and another step on the road to recovery.