Time to accept that I can’t rely on this goofy knee until I get it fully healed. Until then, I think I need to make a significant shift in my personal programming and how I approach working out.

I semi-deliberately took the holiday season off to rest my knee…and to a lesser degree my brain. If I wasn’t working out, I didn’t have to think and worry about my knee. Now that we’re back home, like most folks I’m getting back into the gym rhythm. The WODs the past two days have been illuminating and somewhat annoying.

Bottom line is my knee is totally unpredictable and that’s impacting every decision I make. Worse, it’s starting to compromise my lifts.

I said that the knee is unpredictable. That’s not entirely true. I have discovered that that regardless of weight, any time I focus on landing a clean, snatch, or jerk with my weight in my heels there is a shooting pain that starts in the knee and radiates up and down the leg. It’s severe enough that I’ve had to bail out of lifts and a couple of times it was literally knee buckling.

It’s not a question of weight. It’s a matter of impact and positioning. I’ve had the sensation working with a PVC pipe during drills. The annoying part is it’s fairly easy to fix. I just need to land mid-foot and then there’s almost never a problem. If you lift then you know the issue with that is, that’s a no-no for technique. So what do I do? Do I stop lifting entirely so that I’m not further reinforcing bad habits that I know are pre-existing? I believe I have to.

Compounding the issue is that unpredictable element. Yesterday I nearly toppled over twice just during warm ups. Once doing straight leg KB deadlifts and once doing walking lunges. Both times something was just a shade off in my balance or my foot positioning and my leg just wanted to collapse out from under me. Today however, we did 5 rounds of 30 second interval work including double unders and power snatches and I never had an issue. So who knows?

For folks who are wondering what did my doctors’ advise. Until we get the results of the MRI this coming Friday the basic guidance has been ‘don’t go heavy and if it hurts, don’t do it anymore.’ The hole in that strategy is that nine reps out of ten don’t hurt at all, but man when that tenth rep goes bad, it’s bad.

I have made some adjustments. I’ve been scaling back weights responsibly and subbing lifts. I’ve been focusing exclusively on power cleans over squat cleans. Today we included jerks and after experimenting with a split jerk or two, Doug directed me to go exclusively to push jerks. It was obvious to him that I was hyper-focused on my knee and it was compromising the lift top to bottom.

All of this to say that I think until I get a clear vision for how extensive the problem is with my leg, I need to shift my work out focus in earnest. I’ve monkeyed with the idea before, but I think now it’s time to apply it in earnest. I think I need to work on core work, upper body gymnastics, ring work, rig work, etc. Not certain yet what that programming is going to look like, but I need to work it out quick.

Part of me is excited about the opportunity. I’ve often said that I want to focus more on gymnastics and this sort of work. However, feeling like I’ve been forced into it takes a lot of the luster off the ‘prize.’  I’m also frustrated because the Crossfit Open is starting at the end of February. It looks like we’ll be retesting some of the past Open WODs over the next few weeks. I’m not certain how many and which of those I’ll be able to do. I was really looking forward to retesting those. Plus, I don’t really know if it will be possible to participate in the Open at all. Guess we’ll have to wait and see on that.

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