MPFL: Week 16

Week 16 (April 1 – 7)

It’s kind of starting to feel a little strange writing these as “week whatever” MPFL posts. While that’s very true, my recovery is no longer the focal point of my life. Instead, I have been focusing on what I can do and how far I have come. I mentioned in previous posts, my goal for this recovery initially was to audition for pro teams in the spring- AKA now. Around week 10 or so, I received the news that while my recovery was  progressing beautifully, auditioning was probably a bit far fetched. I never would have thought in a million years that those auditions wouldn’t even end up happening on the timeline anyone was expecting. NFL and NBA are cancelled till further notice…which means their dance teams are too. Some teams have decided to do virtual auditions, but that seems to be the outlier.

aab43dc5-76c4-4712-95f3-38f35a1599cdWhen I was told not to get my hopes up for this auditions season, I didn’t picture that I would be able to be as active as I am right now. I do pilates each morning, walk my dog and am working through a strength training program. And I am so incredibly grateful for the ability to move.

As I continue to chronicle my experience with this surgery and rebuilding strength and confidence in my knee, I will still file knee related things under the knee surgery tab and post updates. I am far from where I want to be and definitely no where near being on a court, stadium or stage again, but I am choosing to close this chapter of my life. I want to stop looking at this season as a period of recovery and move on to just simply living. I am feeling so much stronger and motivated to make some significant improvements during this lockdown period. And am so thankful for the community of people who have followed along in this journey and those that have found comfort and support through my writing.

With that being said, here’s week 16.

This whole year has felt like one big April Fools, so that kind of stole this holiday’s thunder. No one tried to get me and I didn’t even change my Facebook relationship status to in a relationship like I do every year (because that is not predictable at all!). Instead, this year April 1st was the start of what I’m sure was going to be a very challenging month in isolation to do my part in flattening this curve. And for my sanity, that was also going to mean finding every way possible to stay busy.

Fake busy

I spent the majority of my Monday fine-tuning the fitness plan I had started to make for my mom and I. I figure if we’re going to be stuck in the house for a month, may as well work towards a goal of some kind. Investing time in my physical health has always helped me feel mentally and emotionally healthy as well. It feels great to take even just 30 minutes out of your day to tune out of the crazy and tune into yourself and I’m so pumped my mom is on board to do it with me. I ended up purchasing Melissa Wood’ s pilates package for 9.99/mo. Well worth it a million times over. I wake up with it each morning before I have my first meal. It’s a great way to start my day off feeling centered, strong and more motivated. Melissa is so calming and really helps me feel that shift in my day. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve tried to develop some sort of routine to help bring a little normalcy to this crazy time.

As far as the strength program I made for both my mom and I, we do that in the evenings on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. We alternate between push, lower body, pull and full body workouts. On the “off days,” we do some sort of 30 minute low-medium intensity cardio. Of course through all of this, I am listening to my body first and foremost. I haven’t had any slips or falls in quite sometime with my knee. I’m feeling much stronger and able, however haven’t been to an actual PT appointment in about a month- since we tried to make the trip back to California. I have been doing PT-inspired exercises during this time and I firmly believe that pilates is saving my life in that regard. I do plan to consult with my surgeon as well as my PTs to arrange a telehealth visit to make sure everything is on track and moving forward without doing too much. That balance is hard to find.

img_1359I am so thankful for the gift of movement and so blessed to be able to slowly ease back into a normal level of activity during my prolonged stay at home, but I’ve still got the rest of the day to try and stay occupied. During one of our weekend cleaning sprees, I found a sketch book in my dad’s office here. I used to love to draw but haven’t even thought about picking up the hobby again since probably middle school. Since finding this empty notebook, I’ve spent several hours trying to remember how to be artistic in that way and it’s been a good pastime and has made for some more decor in the spare room here that is finally starting to feel like my own. 

I also have made embarrassing myself on the internet a full time job thanks to TikTok. And now that I can manage to do the dances without falling over, it’s bout to get a whole lot worse. And I am here for it.

img_1465Since everyday feels the same in quarantine, we’ve been looking for a way to make the weekend feel more…weekend-y. So to signify the weekend, my parents and I do Fiesta Friday and order take out from the local Mexican restaurant. Hampton is so small and it was tough for local businesses before, but this pandemic has really taken a hit to a lot of the small shops and restaurants here. So it not only  gives us a break from cooking dinner and spices up the routine a bit but also feels good to do our part to help keep this town a float. Kind of fun to pretend like we’re at a restaurant…who would have thought that ‘pretending we’re at a restaurant’ would ever be my idea of fun on a Friday night. Makes it a little easier to imagine we’re there now that they can sell Margaritas to go. 

Then we follow it up with brunch that I most often make. I have spent a lot of time scouring the internet for healthy brunch recipes and made some of my own as well. This week’s brunch of choice was one of my favorite instagram blogger’`s (@whatrobineats) cauliflower oat bake. Sounds so weird but holy shit. I made the pumpkin carrot cake one and we devoured it. It’s like a cross between bread pudding and oatmeal that is not only nutritious but leaves you feeling satisfied for hours.

By this point I think everyone is getting a bit stir crazy. We’ve all been pent up in the house for weeks now and it’s hard not to get caught up in all of the things you would be doing if Coronavirus hadn’t hit. We were supposed to have a housewarming/homecoming party this weekend, Coachella would have been the following weekend, not to mention the countless summer concerts on the agenda. While we are obviously not doing any of those things. It’s been really amazing to see artists and communities come together to help others get through this challenging time. A few of my friends had sent a link for a series of DJ’s live-streaming on youtube. So I spent my weekend online pilates classes simultaneously live-streaming various DJ sets. It wasn’t much but it definitely put a smile on my face. Plus holding a plank for several minutes seems a bit easier to the sounds of Gryffin.

img_1637And for the cherry on top of the weekend, I won the 1st annual Reimer family bloody mary contest that we conducted over my Instagram. Which was really no surprise to me, but it’s always fun to have something to gloat about around here. 

This April is not off to the start I thought it would be, but I think it’s challenged our creativity and brought my parents and I closer together in new ways. We have expanded our definition of what it means to be productive, entertained and occupied and I am excited to see the ways we continue to find to keep each other sane.

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