The Road to Recovery

I want to share a personal story with all of you.

One that I am currently still writing and one that many of you have told before. 

You see, for the last 6 months or possibly even longer, I have been on the road to recovery. 

I can pinpoint the exact workout it happened. It was a high volume back squat. It was something like 8 or 10 reps. Everything felt great. I hit some big numbers, numbers I hadn’t hit in a loooong time. 

The following day was when I noticed it. My knee was swollen. Like swollen to the point where i couldn’t flex it past 90*. Over the next few days it continued to get worse, pain and more swelling. Squatting, running, lunges were all off the table, even walking up and down stairs became challenging. 

I was injured.

I’m sure many of you reading this have also injured yourself, whether it was in the gym or not, and because of that you got discouraged, maybe even to the point of stopping all physical activity completely. 

Can you imagine if I, an owner of a gym who coaches clients one-on-one and in groups, decided to stop moving? I wouldn’t be setting a good example, now would I?

So I am here to share my journey on how, over the past 6 months, I have been working to rehab my knee. Am I back to 100%, absolutely not. But I have started squatting again, so I’ve definitely made progress. And I hope that by sharing my story it encourages you, if you’re currently injured, or for when you do get injured, to keep moving. 

Before I begin, I will tell you, recovery is long. Getting injured is quick and easy, recovering from that injury, working to build back up, and be better than you were before? That’s not easy or short. 

The step on the road to recovery for any injury is to let it rest. I’m not saying do nothing, I’m just saying do nothing with or to whatever is injured. So for me, I didn’t use my knee at all, for 2 weeks, I told you this was a long road, and we’ve just begun. 

After the first two weeks, the swelling had gone down and I could move my knee again, there was still pain, but my range of motion had returned. This is a critical step in the recovery process. A lot of people think they’re healed at this point, but they’re wrong. It’s just beginning. 

Now that I had range of motion back it was time to start working on the surrounding muscles. When you injure something, especially a joint, all the muscles connected to it tighten up to prevent the injury from happening again. So I taped my knee with kinesiology tape and began working on rolling out and loosening up my quad and my hamstring. During this time I continued to rest my knee, wearing a knee sleeve during classes to remind myself not to use, and modifying workouts so I didn’t use my knee. 

This process went on for about 3-4 weeks. 

Now that everything felt back to normal, and there was no pain in my knee, I moved onto the next phase, fixing what went wrong in the first place. I set out to work on strengthening my glutes, weak glutes are one of the largest culprits when it comes to knee pain. 

Again this process took about 3-4 weeks. 

Everything started to feel great. I had my full range of motion back and there was ZERO pain during any movements. So I decided to do air squats in a workout. Wrong move. The next day my knee blew up again. Back to square one. 

The road to recovery isn’t easy, it’s long, and it’s not always straight. 

So I started my plan all over again, which brings us to today. Just this week I started squatting again, though this time I am squatting to a box to make sure my knee isn’t taking any of the pressure, and everything is going great. So I am going to continue on this road, taking it one step at a time. 

So what’s the moral of this story?

First, the road to recovery is long and slow, and that’s ok. Second, just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you need to stop. And lastly, find people to help you. 

If you’re injured and want to know how to get back into it? Let me know, I’d love to help.