Sunday, January 4, 2015

A love letter to my left knee

Me and left knee right before fateful tree collision
Dear Left Knee, we've had many great adventures together.

We made it to the top of Mount Rainier and the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We hiked the Wonderland Trail. We completed a triathlon and a couple half marathons. We biked across the state of Washington. We ran away from a bull on Maui. We climbed a 250-foot tall Douglas Fir.

 The list goes on.

But all that fun has come with a price. You’ve always been touchy. Even back in 9th grade, when I first started running cross-country you would easily get sore. Later when I tried to train for a marathon, you balked. No likey run more than 8 miles!

Still, you were a good sport with most everything else. You hiked, you climbed, you skied, you biked, you walked the dog. And you didn’t really complain seriously. Until 2011. When I skied into a tree.

OK, I know, that was dumb! And totally unnecessary because I was already down the hard part of the hill and had just gotten cocky!

 But you recovered even from that, or at least you seemed to. And everything was just fine until I decided to revisit my childhood dream of horseback riding. (Because of course hiking and backpacking and swimming and skiing and biking and Yoga and working full time and writing a novel and learning Spanish and taking guitar lessons just aren’t enough activities for me).

 And one day, early in my lessons, I jumped off just a little too hard. I landed funny. And you pretty much gave up the ghost then even though it took a few more months and an MRI for me to realize it.

Left Knee, do you remember how when I was 13, we used to do horse vaulting at camp? How my “signature” trick was to run alongside the horse, mount it at a trot, dismount, then mount again, all while the horse was trotting?

We were young then. But now we’re not. And you need help after all the good times you’ve given me. That’s why soon you’ll be getting a new ACL (or anterior cruciate ligament). It won’t actually be NEW so much as it’s actually a gift from my left hamstring. (Hey Left Hammie, shout out to you!)

 This isn’t going to be much fun, Left Knee. It’s gonna hurt and we’re gonna be seriously hampered in our hedonistic pursuit of outdoor adventure for a few months. But they say it’s for the best. That we’ll be almost like new afterward, and can have many more years of activities together.

So, Left Knee, I guess this is both warning to you about what’s to come and also a love letter. I want you to know how much I appreciate all you’ve done for me over my life. I’m truly sorry that I haven’t expressed it before, but better late than never, right? Xo Rebecca