Two and a half weeks ago, my surgeon cleared me to do pivoting things with my knee, and to go back to tae kwon do. He also said, very seriously, that as soon as my knee started feeling tired (the quivering exhausted muscle sensation), I was to sit my ass down and be done for the day.
A week ago, I went back to the do jang for the first time since June 1st. There have been some really nice improvements- new mats, the women’s locker room has been painted. Otherwise it had the same feel and the same smell (this is not bad, it just is).
I chatted with one of the head instructors about where to start. I knew, even if I hadn’t been told (very firmly) that a class was out of the question. But I wasn’t certain on where to start. (I tend to get paralyzed by too many options, and even if my instincts say one thing, my brain goes over all the other possibilities and is like, “but is that the BEST thing to do?”)
Really, what was important that day was going, and getting up the stairs and just starting SOMEWHERE. Where didn’t matter all that much. It was the step in the door that did.
However, I have retained some flexibility (when you start with nothing, being able to get your leg up on the barre is something to be proud of), and muscle memory. I ran through the blocks and strikes from the first couples of belt levels and tried a very few (very very very gentle) kicks. I realize that the weakness in my hamstrings is going to make just holding my leg up for kicks hard.
THen I ran away to Vancouver for several days, and went back a week later. This time I went through the blocks, tried some more kicks, and went through the first three forms. All in all about 20 minutes after stretching, and then the muscle fatigue set in.
At which point I had the better angels in my head argument- where I didn’t want to stop just then, but the ACL is BRAND NEW and I cannot afford to get a new one again so soon, and baby steps lead to bigger steps, while over doing leads to being crippled.
It was hard. The worst part is the effort it takes to get there for only 20 minutes of working out.
But that’s where we are. In a few weeks, I hope to be able to join at least the first part of a class and who knows? I have this hope of being able to take my black belt test this fall, we’ll see how long the practical part of rehab takes.
At any rate, it is really good to be back.