an unexpected break - legs out the car window on a dirt road

An Unexpected Break

A week and a half ago, things were great. Rushed, but great.

I was squeezing in a 4:30 p.m. CrossFit class on Thursday after a long work day before running home to shower, walk the dog, and head out with friends. It had already been a crazy week at work, and water also decided to find its way through our ceiling in our home office. (This is still a mystery, as it hasn’t happened again and we’re just chillin’ with water stains and a hole in our ceiling.)

The CrossFit class was particularly intense, but I felt great during it. I’ve been training a lot harder lately and taking better care of my body in return. I only ate out twice throughout the whole month of January, and I’ve been prepping my food, counting my macros, doing mobility, foam rolling every morning, and warming up with Crossover Symmetry.

At the end of the class, we did 150 wall balls for time. It was exhausting, but I felt fine and I was doing a pretty good job pacing myself, taking breaks, and splitting the reps into sets. I even used less weight than usual because of the amount.

With 3 left to go, I felt something in my knee pop. It didn’t hurt that much, but I knew popping was bad. Thinking it was a freak thing and desperately denying that anything had happened, I tried the last 2 wall balls I had left and it popped every time I squatted down, although not as badly as the first time.

I walked around and felt okay, joined in the mobility class to stretch and felt mostly fine, but every time I squatted or bent my knee with weight on it, it popped or caught and hurt a bit.

I thought it was some dumb freak thing that happened, and with a few hours it’d work itself out.

I went home and walked the dog, ignoring the little bit of tightness and pain whenever I bent over. I showered and tried squatting to see if I could, but it still hurt. I figured it’d be better tomorrow.

I went out and had dinner with friends, forgetting about it for a while. It hurt a bit when I got up, and when I climbed back in the booth and put weight on it while bent, it hurt a lot and popped again. It hurt when we went bowling.

I went to bed and woke up the next morning, noticing it was a bit tight. I got a ride to work, but walked downtown for lunch and walked my mile and a half walk home. I took the dog on a long walk.

It wasn’t until after all that, 24 hours later, that I actually checked my knee because it was feeling pretty bad. The top outer part next to my knee cap was pretty swollen.

After bowling and walking around a whole day with it, I finally sat around and iced it, started freaking out, made a doctor’s appointment, and tried to rest.

It turns out I’m really bad at resting. I would sit down with some ice for 5 minutes, think about how the dishwasher needed to be unloaded, get up and do it, come back, remember another reason to get up and do something, repeat.

The next day, two days after the pop, it felt even worse. The back was really tight, and I noticed that when standing straight, I could feel a grape-sized bump on the back on the inside. I started icing it more, taking ibuprofen, and having Geoff walk the dog (he’s the best).

The doctor’s appointment wasn’t very informative. My ligaments seem okay (thank goodness), but it could be a tendon, or a bunch of other stuff. I was told to get an x-ray, rest, start PT, and come back in a week for an ultrasound. The conversation went pretty much like this…

“In a week? Can we schedule it sooner?”

“That’s the earliest opening.”

“What should I do for the week? I walk to work, walk my dog, do CrossFit.”

“Well, rest. Definitely don’t do any lower body exercise and maybe only do one of those walks.”

I felt heartbroken. The thought that I not only wouldn’t be better in a week, but that I’d be waiting that long to even have any answers was frustrating. After that, all the sadness and fear and frustration I’d been burying in favor of thinking I’d be better in no time came to the surface.

I’ve been working so hard and doing everything right, including taking care of my body, eating right, and planning in rest days and mobility. And I still got hurt.

It was such a freak thing, too. I’ve never had the slightest knee problem, and of all the things I do at CrossFit (including things new to me), this was something I’d already been doing for years and felt comfortable doing. So suck it, CrossFit haters – not just another CrossFit injury.

I just keep thinking it shouldn’t have happened.

I’ve spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself, eating Reese’s while I sit around and ice my knee, and tearing up as I try to go down stairs at work and try not to think about CrossFit. This sucks and it shouldn’t have happened.

But it did, and it’s yet another reminder that no matter what you do, there are some things you can’t control.

I’ve had an unexpectedly slow (except for work) week of coming home in the evenings, sitting around and icing my knee while watching a lot of guilty pleasure shows (Reign, anyone?). I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate and going out with friends.

I feel restless and anxious and a bit unhappy, but I’m dealing better than I initially thought I would. I’m trying to view it as an unexpected break, an opportunity to give my body some rest and indulge in more reading and tv than I usually have time for.

Tomorrow I go back for the ultrasound, and will possibly have some fluid drained and a steroid injection. Whether that helps or not, I’m ending my week-long chocolate and tv pity party. Tomorrow I’ll find out what’s up with my knee, schedule my PT, and hit the gym to work on my upper body. I did say I wanted to get my strict pull-up this year…

Oh, and did I mention it’s supposed to snow 6-10 inches tomorrow and my doctor’s office will probbbbbbably cancel that appointment I’ve been waiting a week and a half for now? I’m taking a deep breath and trying not to freak out all over again.

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