Saw my surgeon on Wednesday. It was a bit of a mixed bag meeting. He’s very pleased with the progress my knee has made so far, but he wants to see again in 6 weeks for what he expects will be our final meeting. I’m pleased that he’s pleased and that he feels I’ve made great progress. I too really like the way my knee feels. Somewhere in the process though, there was a miscommunication. Both Erin and I thought that yesterday’s meeting would be the final appointment. I was really hoping to be able to declare the knee healthy and say that all of this was officially well and truly behind us now. Six more weeks to wait isn’t that big a deal I guess. Still it was a let down.

What was not a let down was that the surgeon encouraged me to ‘test out the knee’ more. He made it clear that if I do things that aggravate the surgical site, it may bark at me and let me know that it’s not happy; but I won’t re-injure it or do lasting damage. He’s ok with me squatting near, but not below parallel. We have a philosophical disagreement there. He’s of the opinion that any squat below parallel is a risky move likely to create a new meniscus tear in either knee. Quite simply, I know better than that.

We didn’t discuss loads either. I started too, but it was clear that when I started talking about ‘the gym’ he was envisioning a globo-gym with lots of machines for leg curls etc. He wasn’t picturing barbells. It was obvious that it wouldn’t be a productive conversation. To that end, I now have an appointment with the trusted Dr. Krista Spicher at Active Life Concepts to discuss how we strengthen my knee/leg from here and work out the imbalances that have inevitably developed from 6 plus months of favoring my right side, both deliberately and accidentally. With the surgery done and the clot gone, this is now a training issue, not an injury issue. To help me fix that, Dr. Krista is the best person for the job. I am very much looking forward to working with her again. It is such a comfort to work with a physician who really understands what Crossfit is and what it entails.

In the spirit of testing out my knee, I had a very good time today working with the 7:15 crew on today’s WOD.

1 Split Jerk + 2 Jerk Balance
6 sets as heavy as possible

I didn’t really adhere to the rep scheme as prescribed. I just worked through a few reps of split jerks at various weights, just refreshing myself on the movements. This is one of the lifts I first abandoned as soon as I injured my knee. My assessment, I have a lot to relearn. It’s going to take time to trust that my left leg is healthy and get back myself back to a well-centered drop and landing.

When I split jerk I land with my right foot forward. I noticed today that I was heavily favoring landing on that foot putting my weight forward instead of centered.It was so pronounced that I noticed early on that I was landing on the outside of that right foot and some times rolling to the outside of that foot. I never worked with more than 65# on the bar, but I think I would have done myself more service, if I had stayed with just a 15# bar and two 10# plates and really drilled the footwork. I can also see that it would be good to get back in the habit of wearing my lifting shoes. They would have helped reduce, if not eliminate, that roll. It would definitely be in my best interest to use all of the tools available to me as I start fresh here.

Having said all of that, I’m still very pleased to have gone through these motions pain free and to have had the chance to assess things. It was a very cool feeling to be back on the racks with my friends. I need to go back to lifting 101 with all of my lifts, but that’s ok. It’s to be expected. It was just nice to be lifting at all today.

21 – 15 – 9
Calorie Row
Thrusters (95/65)

I mistakenly thought this was Open WOD 15.5, but realized later in the day, it’s a round short. Open WOD 15.5 includes a round of 27. I didn’t miss it today.

I rowed straight up with both feet strapped in and was pretty efficient. Not a big surprise there. I’ve had more than my fair share of rowing since November. Still, I was very impressed with my friend Allison’s rowing. I consider myself a pretty efficient calorie rower. I get about a calorie per stroke at a rate of low 20 stroke/m. I finished my row expecting to be the first off, looked across the room and NOPE! Allison was going into her first thrusters! Way to go, Allison.

I experimented with just a couple of full depth thrusters with a 15, then an empty 35# bar. Frankly, my air squat feels all jacked up right now, off balance, still not to depth, chest caving. Trying to do full range of motion thrusters at any weight, seemed like a really poor choice.

I elected to do them with a 20″ box behind me to sit to and with a 65# bar. This seemed to be an appropriate scale. No round went unbroken. I deliberately chose to break each round into two sets setting the bar down and walking around for a few steps to take time to assess my knee. Things were tight around, but not in the knee each round, so I chose to continue. Again, I could feel myself instinctually leaning to my right putting more weight and strain on that leg protecting the left. Trouble is, when I do that the left knee has to cave inward. Centered is definitely where I needed to be, but it was a mental battle to have the confidence to stay there.

I finished the assigned work in 6:40. This was an excellent test WOD and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. There’s definitely lots of work ahead to recover proper form in just about everything, but I look forward to the challenge ahead.

Random Notes/Observations

I’ve done full 20 minute ROMWOD sessions three days in a row now with minimal scaling and am really pleased with how those went. I need extra padding for any pose that requires me to rest on that left knee, but other than that have not had to modify much more.

Parallettes make really cool balance beams that are much more challenging than flat 2 x 4’s! I’m looking forward to experimenting more with those soon.