I ran a mile and a half yesterday.
That might not sound like much – it didn’t to me, just a year ago. But that was before I took an ungraceful spill while snow skiing on the Ides of March last year, detaching my ACL and sustaining other assorted bodily damage. Running after ACL surgery is a big deal.
I underwent reconstruction surgery in May, spent four months tottering around on crutches, and have been trying to strengthen my quad, which turned into a wimpy, hotdog-like appendage in the interim, ever since.
At first, I couldn’t even straighten my leg. Or bend it all the way. I’d stack sacks of popcorn on it to try to get full extension. And it hurt.
I gradually advanced to doing squats and stepping on and off a low box. And I resumed my four-or five times a week swim practice as soon as I was cleared.
Lately, though, I can sense real progress. Two or three months ago, my physical therapist watched as I lurched down the hallway of the Texas Orthopedics office, in a sad attempt to run. I held onto bars as I hopped delicately up and down, trying to get my leg used to impact.
But soon it didn’t hurt so much. I increased the distance bit by bit. This week, I ran a mile and a half without stopping with hardly any discomfort. Then I did it again the next day.
Can you see that smile on my face?
Running’s not my main sport – swimming holds that honor. But I love to cross train to stay fit, and I appreciate the simplicity of putting on my running shoes and walking out the door to get a workout in when I’m traveling.
I’m so sick of going to physical therapy. I’m tired of having a knee that doesn’t feel strong or stable. I want to ski again.
But my doctor told me last week that the graft is solid as a rock. He’s confident I’ll be back to all my usual antics before long. And if this week’s runs are any indication, I believe him.