My quest over the next 6 months is to reclaim the ability to move freely, naturally, and skillfully using a system of natural movement called MovNat.
It’s been over a month since I began, and I have to admit, it’s been slow going.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many people go all out after years of not moving or conditioning their bodies. They soon find themselves injured, which is obviously counterproductive.
Why the slow start?
In part, a lack of physical conditioning. Even the simple stuff is challenging. It’s hard and humbling.
But there’s another issue that has created some subtle resistance to training…
An old knee injury.
I injured the right patellar tendon in a snowboarding crash when I was 15. That was 25 years ago.
This is the tendon that attaches your kneecap to your tibia.
They threw the whole leg into a cast to immobilize the patella for 6 weeks. When the cast came off I had a skinny, weak leg.
For some strange reason that I cannot recall, they never followed up with rehabilitation exercises!
It’s never been the same.
Periodically my knee feels misaligned and clicks. Sometimes it hurts when I’m doing stuff. Occasionally it gets achey.
It’s not a big deal, but it is.
It’s not because it’s really not that bad. It’s workable.
It is because it’s acted as a psychological barrier that has kept me from doing exercises and activities to the extent that would have made my legs much stronger and healthier.
I’ve always been a little too precious with it. Whenever I’d start feeling a little discomfort or pain, I would back off from what I was doing.
A low level fear of wearing out the knee or having to get surgery became a subtle mental resistance to doing certain activities.
Who knows, maybe it did save me from surgery?
The problem is that it also kept me from being as active and fit as I could be.
This is the classic cycle of deconditioning.
You get hurt and laid up for a period. Weakness and pain discourage activity. Lack of use keeps you weak and in pain.
The cycle continues. Until you disrupt it.
For me that was finally going to see a physical therapist.
It was so worth it.
After a thorough evaluation, my PT’s given me specific stretches and strengthening exercises to help with mobility and strength.
Just hearing her evaluation that there isn’t anything seriously wrong with the knee—no torn or loose ligaments, no worn out cartilage under the kneecap—has given me an immense amount of mental relief.
It’s going to take awhile to get things stretched and strong, and I may still experience some pain from time to time.
We all have our physical challenges. What holds us back is our mind.
I wonder how else I’m standing in my own way?