We don't think about our knees when we are young. We run and jump and play and do all the fun things in the world that we want to do - our knees are just there to help us. I certainly never gave one bit of thought to what I was putting my knees through. I was a dancer - I danced every day. I took class as often as I could and I danced professionally for a time (not a very long time). Even as I got older I still made sure to take one or two classes every week - always a ballet class and often a jazz class.
By the time I was in my mid 30's I began to realize that I had to be a bit more careful. When all the young ones (20's) were going down on the floor and spinning around, I had to improvise - I knew that while I might be able to get down, getting up would pose a challenge.
Now in my 60's my knees hurt more often than they don't hurt. I saw my doctor about it a few years ago and I went to physical therapy for a few months. Jerusha, the therapist, told me I had to use my knees to help with the pain. That was counterintuitive to me but I tried here and there, never really finding it to work for me. Of course, the majority of my time was spent sitting in a chair, knitting or reading or working on the computer.
Then I found SparkPeople and read and read all about how to take care of myself - not just in what I ate, or what exercise I did, but how to live a more well balanced life. I realized that if I lost some weight (to take the pressure off) and strengthened my legs, my pain would ease up - and it had until a couple weeks before Thanksgiving when my projects and preparation got in the way of my routine. Last week the pain was pretty bad.
So I decided to see the Orthopedist, which happened yesterday. I have moderate arthritis and a tear in the meniscus of my right knee - but overall she thought I was in pretty good shape for my age. She offered a few suggestions but said my best course of action was to get back to my routine and stay with it. This morning I got back to the mat and did both some strength exercises and yoga. Later this afternoon, after I get my dinner prepared, I will do the stationary bike and the treadmill.
But my biggest accomplishment today was going for a walk. We skipped yesterday, I just couldn't handle the weather which was similar to today: 20 degrees with a 20 MPH wind which makes it feel like 2 below zero. But little Daisy was so sad all day yesterday and today she's been looking at me with that "is this all there is now" look.
So I put on my long underwear, tucked in my thermal long-sleeved shirt, put some extra Boomsilk (moisturizer) on my face, put on my Vikings sweatshirt (because it has the best hood), my son's heavy soccer long jacket (that's hard to zip up but really warm), and a scarf that I had made a few years ago but never sold. Here is Daisy waiting not very patiently for me
And this was the finished product - my first ever selfie
The walk to the path was bitter - the wind was blowing right at my face. Once we got to the path I let Daisy off leash (I figured there couldn't be anyone else crazy enough to go walking today) and she absolutely LOVED it! I hooked her up once we got back to the neighborhood. I was surprisingly warm except for my face. That wind chill can be brutal. I felt like we were walking so slow but it took exactly the same amount of minutes as it always does to take that path.
I'm actually quite proud of myself. I didn't freeze. I had my trusty cell phone with me in case of an emergency (although I still don't really know how to use it). And other than foggy glasses when I walked into the house, I felt pretty good! I've decided I'm just not going to let winter stop me from achieving what I want!