“Your setback is the platform for your comeback.”
There is a method to my madness. I am taking these health and fitness classes, trying new workouts, new foods/vitamins/homeopathic remedies, etc. to make this world a better place…starting with me. Seriously. I mean that. I am kinder and more compassionate, more creative and thoughtful, freer and more willing to give freedoms when I am happy, healthy, well-fed, nourished, rested, pain-free and feeling good.
A little less than a month ago, I noticed a weird feeling in my right knee. On the pain scale it is about a 3 – so not too bad. But something is different, something feels weird. I have never been that person that can’t do some activities because of pain, so to be that person now is a little distressing. Even if the pain is a 3, I’m not one of those “I’ll-keep-pushing-it-because-it’s-only-a-3” types. Nope, not me. I am CAREFUL.
So I got a Functional Fitness Test today which is a game that goes a little something like this: I performed squats, lunges, dead-lifts, step-ups, step-downs and ran on the treadmill all while being watched from several angles. Then answered several lifestyle questions such as: Do I wear high heels? Yes, all the time. Do I stretch my hips? Yes, all the time. Have I ever had any injuries to this and/or that? Nope. Do I sit all day? Yes, most days but not since my Back Strengthening and Stretching Class two days ago! After a lot of looking and asking and poking, this was the conclusion that we came to: I am slightly knock-kneed. LOL.
I turn my knees in (ever so slightly) when doing all of the above-mentioned exercises. The reason: My ankles and hips are tight. So my body has to give, and give it does, by turning those knees inward. At one time or another when yoga classes had mirrors, you could watch yourself in the mirror and tweak your movements just so, to make sure that you were properly aligned. But these days, the mirrors are gone. Yoga is not a place to compare yourself to the woman in the back row who you normally would not be able to see (without eyes behind your head) but because of the mirrors, you can envy her stretchy limbs and compete with her in your mind. No more of that. This is not a place for ego and competition, so guess what? If you start doing poses improperly, you will probably imprint that improperly aligned feeling signature on your brain and every time you do that same pose, you will strive to feel that same way which is – guess what? Not aligned because your knees are turned in. The game just got harder.
Also, once upon a time there were mirrors in the gym that you could squat and dead-lift in front of or check yourself out from the sides, but real estate in the gym is hard to come by and if you are working out with free weights sometimes you are facing the middle of the open gym instead of a mirror, or worse yet – the wall. Yep, the game is getting harder.
Lucky for me I have been given the gift of my trainer, Jon, and some retrofitted-just-for-me exercise moves: lateral resistance band around the knees when squatting, robot walking with the band around my ankles, two stepping with the band around my ankles, hang-back squats to open tight hips, foam rolling those inner thighs. The lateral resistance band forces me to constantly push out from the hip – opening up those knees that want to turn in. It’s a game changer! All this time I thought I was using my butt muscles for certain exercises, I was actually using my quads. Oh what a glorious day it will be to have a sore butt! I truly cannot wait. Take that, Sartorius!