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Trains and A Bad Knee

I’ve been thinking a lot about taking a train trip, recently. I’ve always been really into the idea of going on a long journey by train, and I’m feeling the itch to wander a bit. My options are a bit limited, since not a lot of trains run through Portland, and I don’t really want to sit on a grody bus for hours on end just to get to my awesome train ride. Basically, I can go south to California, which, honestly, sounds pretty boring. I go to California multiple times a year, due to family or wushu, and I lived the first 10 years of my life down there, so I’ve definitely had my fill of the place.

The other option would take me through some of the northern states, like Montana, the Dakotas, and end up in Chicago. It would all be new territory for me–aside from Chicago, but I haven’t even been there since middle school–but it could also be a fantastically boring journey. My understanding is that people usually go to places like Montana to escape from everything, not to go see something. But hey, there’s risk involved in everything, right? And there could be some beautiful country out there that’s begging for some photography. 🙂

And, since I mentioned wushu already, things have been rough there. One of the things wushu is notorious for is causing knee problems, and knee problems are probably what a wushu practitioner dreads most. And, of course, that’s what I’ve been dealing with, lately! I’ve been having aches on the inside of my left knee for close to 2 months now, and it SUCKS.

I did get checked out by the proper medical professionals, though, and my bones and tissues are okay, so now I’ve been in physical therapy for the past 3 weeks or so. The amusing bit is, it wasn’t wushu that brought on the knee problems, it was another activity notorious for destroying knees: RUNNING! Apparently, my feet pronate, and my leg muscles aren’t balanced quite right, so my stride was pretty ugly and put a lot of stress on the inside of that knee. When I started running, the repetitive stress of my god-awful stride brought on all of these issues.

So, I’ve been in PT doing all kinds of crazy exercises to strengthen and activate the right muscles, and build towards doing all my favorite activities safely again. I’m constantly surprised and fascinated by all the things I learn about how the body fits together, and all the different methods and apparatus they use to fix these problems. I’ve already worked with ultrasound, Superfeet insoles, soft tissue massage, Kinesio Tape, foam rolling, and probably a lot of other things that I can’t even remember off the top of my head.

A couple days ago, we even did some stuff with the “sport cord.” This basically involved me putting on this wide belt with a big bungee cord is attached to it, and then jogging forwards and backwards while my therapist held me back with the other end of the cord. Holy crap! It was crazy. Things do seem to be getting better, and I actually ran 2 1/2 miles a few days ago without it hurting, so I’m certainly not questioning the methods. 🙂

So, yeah, I want to go on that train ride, but I also kind of want to get stronger before I do that. I know myself well enough to know that I’ll probably get lazy and not do my daily PT exercises if I go on a trip. 😉 Maybe in a few more weeks?

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