Me: “So how soon until I can go running again?”
Physiotherapist: “Not for at least a month.”
Physiotherapist: “No seriously, I strongly recommend that you do not run with your knee in this condition.”
Me: “Gotcha, no running, I understand.”
Physiotherapist: “Ok good.”
Me: “A light jog perhaps?”
Physiotherapist: “PROMISE ME YOU WILL NOT RUN ON THIS KNEE!”
Me: “Ok I promise!”
So the next day I set out to go for a run. What does that qualified physiotherapist know I thought to myself, it’s just a little bit sore, I’ll be fine. Also how dare he say that my knees are strange! I think I would have noticed by now if they were making me walk funny.
The sun is shining, it is such a gorgeous day, there is no way I’m not going out for a run today. I laced up my running shoes and set out for the Frankton track. I decided to walk the first bit just to warm up. I’ll admit I did feel a slight twinge in my knee but being the stubborn mule that I am I continued on regardless.
Logical side of my brain: “Ow that hurts, stop now!”
Stubborn mule side of my brain: “Shhhhh it’s fine, it just needs to be warmed up!”
Logical side of my brain: “Oh god there’s a group of people on a Segway tour coming up behind you, move over and let them pass!”
Stubborn mule side: “I will not be overtaken by an old lady on a Segway! It’s running time!”
This is how I ended up stubbornly hobbling/jogging/running directly in front of a Segway tour for 1.5km with my unfit ass jiggling right in front of them in my these-used-to-fit-perfectly-but-then-I-hurt-my-knee-and-couldn’t-exercise-for-2-months too tight yoga pants.
Now most people would view this humiliating experience, and the accompanying excruciating pain, as confirmation that maybe the physiotherapist was in fact correct. But not I! After well and truly ruining that poor Segway tour I continued on along the path. I distracted myself from the pain by looking at the scenery, silently cursing the cyclists that all took the time to stop and smile as they passed. I felt like yelling “You are exercising! Why are you happy! You are meant to be red and panting and sweaty and in agony!” Stupid happy cyclists. Perhaps my sore knee was effecting my mood…..
Nearing the end of the track I emerged from beneath the tree shaded path onto a beach. The sun was behind me now and it cast my shadow right out in front of me, I suddenly stopped dead. Oh. My. God. What the hell was wrong with my shadow! Is that what I look like when I run!! My knees ARE strange! Oh my god the physio was right, they do point inwards! How in 27 years of being alive and looking in mirrors have I never noticed how unbelievably weird my knees are!
Disheartened and apparently bow legged, I promptly got off the track, found my way to the road, got a coffee and jumped on a bus straight home.
After spending a day feeling sorry for myself, staring at my weird knees in the mirror and icing my knee caps I decided that I WAS going to find a way to exercise. The physiotherapist mentioned that I should go on the bike at the gym to strengthen my knees. Well I can do one better I thought! I’ll rent a bike and this time I’ll finish the Frankton track!
I found a little shack that rents out bikes right by the lake and, after getting my head jammed into a child’s bicycle helmet by the angry Asian lady that was determined to find a helmet that fit my unusually small head, I was finally off. After not having been on a bike since I was a child, I felt like bambi learning to walk, weaving all over the pathway, people being forced to jump out of my way.
I finally made it off the public path and onto Frankton track, I began to relax, I looked around me, my god the scenery is beautiful down here, hey look I’m passing the pier already. And then suddenly it hit me….I was exercising, I was exercising and I wasn’t in agony…MY WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A LIE! All this time I thought exercise was this horrid painful thing that makes your ass look like you didn’t eat nutella for breakfast, even though you did! The more Nutella the more pain was what I always believed! But this was amazing, my knee wasn’t screaming, I wasn’t red and panting! 6km flew past in minutes! I couldn’t get the smile off my face! Hello fellow cyclists!! Finally I know your secret! I felt like I had joined some sort of secret club! The other cyclists smiled back knowingly at the stupid grin plastered across my face! Hello sweaty runners! You fools!
I got to a cute little restaurant right on the water in no time, I’m usually so sweaty and red by the time I reach here that I keep my head down and shun all human interaction BUT NOT TODAY! Today I am a cyclist! I parked my bike up and walked into that restaurant, head held high, the wind in my severe case of helmet hair and the bike seat shaped sweat patch on my crotch. I ordered myself a wine and a cookie and thought to myself life is good 🙂
(Follow up on this blog: I ended up buying the bike off the rental place because I had so much fun but then I woke up the next morning with a bruised crotch from my cycle and could barely walk for a week….I still love my bike tho!)
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