MPFL week 14 (March 18 – 24)
I could have never predicted that I would be waking up in my parents’ house three months post surgery, but there I was. What a long road it had been already; now I have boomeranged back to the exact place I started this journey. The previous week felt like an absolute dream. Almost like we never even left at all. I woke up extremely exhausted. I felt like I had been but through an emotional ringer and I just had nothing left. Even still, I was determined to try to find ways to have a grateful heart in all of this mess. I felt at peace with our decision to come home and I was thankful to be with my family during this uncertain time. My roommates in California ended up road tripping home to be with their families as well. Everything was a mess, but at least we were all safe.
Part of me felt selfishly satisfied. I had been resting for the past 3 months while the rest of the world continued on at their fast pace, working towards goals and reaching for success. Often times I felt left in the dust, jealous and anxious that I was falling behind in pursuit of my ideal life. But now…everyone was forced to slow down. The playing field felt even for the first time in months. You bet I felt guilty for feeling that way!
Maybe you think that it’s over dramatic for me to compare my recovery period to this period of social isolation and quarantine but let me paint this picture for you again. My parents do not live in the town I grew up in and even if they did, a lot of my friends have dispersed. I was not able to drive. I had no one come visit me. I could not do even the little things that used to make me feel fulfilled. And I was at risk every time I left my house for injury – especially during the icy winter. My parents work all day. Now bear with me. I’m not listing all of this to complain or give you some sad sob story and beg for sympathy, but more as a reassurance for YOU. If I can get through that, we can get through what our world is going through right now. And maybe that’s why this has all shaken out this way; so that I can use my last three months to help someone get through this.
As I sat in the living room thinking about all of *that* and scrolling through instagram, I began to feel uneasy. I saw SO much quarantine content. People documenting their every move, saying they were going crazy after day 2. I wanted to jump through my phone and shake these people and tell them that if they just took a deep breath, let themselves feel all of the feelings and look within themselves, they may be surprised at how much growth is possible during periods of isolation and uncertainty. I felt like I needed to say something but did not know how to find the words to get my point across without offending anyone.
I didn’t want to make anyone feel like their emotions aren’t valid. Because they are. It is totally ok to feel stir crazy and anxious, but I wanted to raise awareness to the fact that we are all going through it. Worldwide. It is something we cannot change and must accept, adjust and try not to circle the drain about it. Recognize with empathy that everyone’s situation is different. There is my situation, there are elderly people in nursing homes who aren’t allowed to have visitors, people who will likely die alone, hospital workers without supplies, people who’s surgeries have been deemed non-essential…the list goes on. I wanted to encourage whoever took the time to read the novel I wrote on Instagram to take a deep breath and try to look at this from a place of gratefulness and love when things start to feel overwhelming. Take a second to put down your phone, turn off the news and just f*cking breathe.
I don’t proclaim to know everything, if anything I’m on the other side of that spectrum. But if what I’ve learned in these past three months can help someone get through this difficult time, I’m all over it. Plus, I can’t tell you the relief I felt after writing that.
In light of that, I decided to take advantage of all of the access to online work outs. Now that I was more mobile, I felt ready to begin to test out modified versions of old workouts I used to do in Los Angeles. That’s one thing I was able to find graciousness in. Prior to my surgery, I would hit up a work out class probably 5 days out of the week. I had spent many nights up worrying about how I would feel back in LA when I was still unable to go to my favorite classes. Those had been my outlet. Although the number of instagram lives and fitness “gurus” on instagram has all of the sudden exponentially multiplied, I am not complaining too much about it over here. It has been so incredible for me both physically and mentally to be able to test out these workouts in the safety of my own home. This way, I can build confidence, strength and hopefully be back to it once I finally do get to go back to California.
The first week back, I did the workouts I listed below. I’ll talk a bit about how they effected my knee there.
- @journsla– Full body floor pilates with towels as sliders
- Journey is an instructor at MDR (the pilates place I work at). Typically the class is done on a megaformer but obviously most people don’t just have one of those laying around in their parents’ basement. Instead we used towels so that we could at least slide on the floor and mimic the movements. This one did wonders for my mental. I am OBSESSED with MDR and I miss that place so much. I spent much of my time before coming back for surgery taking class there so to be able to get a little taste was amazing. I have been so nervous that my knee would not be able to take it, but I surprised myself! A lot of the class is in plank and at that point I was still working to feel fully supported in that position. It is hard for me to straighten my leg fully and I don’t quite have enough muscular control to fully flex those muscles that used to be there. But- it’s a step in the right direction.
- @aubrewinters– Cardio sculpt
- This one was a little bit more challenging for me given the nature of the workout, but I wanted to give it a go anyway. I’m avoiding jumping and fast paced movements at this point so while I was still able to hang, I did have to slow down some of the squats and lunges. Aubre is great though. Very fun and upbeat so that made it easier to push through feeling discouraged for having to modify something that would have normally come so easily!
- @modoyogala– Modo Yoga flow
- This. Was. Amazing. I used to take class at modo pretty frequently when I was in LA and I have been really missing having that me time. Something about yoga just really helps me feel tuned in and grounded. I did this one along with my mom. It’s a little harder to get into that zen zone with a little Banksy dog running around though. I also can’t quite bend my leg enough to do child’s pose, so I found other ways to rest and breathe
- @barrys– Barry’s circuits
- This was probably the most challenging thing I did knee wise. I obviously am not jumping so I did a lot of modifications- rather than jump I just did calve raises and reached my arms to the ceiling. The good thing about these circuits is that that they are only about 20-25 minutes so just when my leg is about to give out, it’s over. Plus, in a normal Barry’s class, you spend half of the time on a treadmill running, which I would not be able to do at this point either. Still, made me feel good to be able to say that I did a Barry’s workout.
- @journsla– Full body floor pilates with towels as sliders
By the time Sunday rolled around, my knee was swollen and I was TIRED. The night before, my family and I played heads up charades style. As if my abs weren’t sore enough, they were completely roasted from laughing at my parents. My dad is AWFUL at charades. Which made it 10 times better. In an effort to continue the fun, we decided to put on *slightly* nicer lounge clothes, grab a few (4) bottles of champagne and do brunch quarantine style. I felt so grateful to be with my family and that we enjoy each other’s presence so much. Also drunk, I felt very drunk. And obviously the next order of business was to make them film Tik Tok videos. One of these days, man. My Tik Tok ship will sail in.
Monday was a slow day (you can expect that after 4 hours of mimosas), so I took the time to finish my book (Real Love The Art of Mindful Connection by Sharon Salzberg) and make a commitment to reach out to friends daily. I’ve written about this before, but I am historically horrible at it. Especially when I already feel out of the loop or isolated, I tend to self sabotage and isolate even more. It is something I am well aware of and something I am continuing to work on. So, I’m doin’ it. And I feel great. Even just a 20 minute phone call with someone can do wonders for your day. Helps you see outside yourself for once and remind you that we are all in this together.
I’ve worked through a lot during this time, but I know I have so much left to sort through. Sometimes the tangled pieces get in the way of my interactions with others. It sneaks out through a negative tone, unnecessary argument or just being too sensitive about things. I’ve come to terms with the fact that there are parts of me that need healing and that I may not be able to do it on my own. And that’s ok. I am thankful for the support and patience of my friends and family and although this is not an easy time for me (or anyone). Week one quarantine – check.