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Icing The Wrong Muscle

So about fiften years ago I was diagnosed with patellar tendentious. At that time I had an extra 70 pounds of weight and no idea what eating healthy looked like. I tried, but like many people my age, I had bought the lie that Special K and Crystal Light actually are good for you. I didn't know what all the chemicals and soy were doing to my body. So I just grew accustomed to the knee pain and the limp that often came with it. Well, I am nine years into my health journey and have learned a lot. I try to stay away from eating anything that was made in a lab or causes inflammation. I love being active and working out and it’s just fun having energy. Who would have thought I could do the monkey bars for the first time at thirty-eight years old? From time to time my knee acts up, but it’s normally due to eating things that cause inflammation so I didn’t think much about it when my left knee started to hurt three weeks ago. I bought some new knee sleeves to help with squats and was more careful about my food choices, but the pain never went away. It isn’t awful, just stiff and a little swollen: my normal when it starts flaring up. But yesterday I did the math and realized it’s been hurting too long so something else must be going on.

After consulting a friend much wiser than myself who was a physical therapist, I realized that the knee pain was just a symptom of another pulled muscle. Somewhere along the way I had messed up my abductor, and my knee was hurting from overcompensating. It was so obvious. It had been staring me in the face for weeks now but I hand’t noticed because I didn't look past the pain in my knee.

When I would try and get out of the car, it hurt to lift my leg up. When I was sleeping, my leg, not just my knee would be in pain. I hand’t even stopped to consider it and wrote the pain off as being sore from a kick butt workout. But yesterday, when I stopped and really took a look at my leg as a whole, I realized in a minute that the knee pain was just a symptom of something else being wrong. I had been treating a symptom and ignoring what was really hurt. For years I’ve been careful of my knee and while yes, I do need to be aware of them, I can’t ignore new injuries because of past ones. This got me thinking this morning, as I was reading and icing my leg and knee, what other things do I ignore? At this stage of my life I have done a lot of work in allowing God to heal my soul. I know many of my shame triggers and often what’s really causing anger and insecurity. In the last year alone God has shown me many reasons behind why I do some of the “crazy” things I do. You know the things that make you feel as if you’re watching a movie when the words come out of your mouth that don’t line up with what you really think or believe. The times when your response isn’t really what you intended or even wanted to do. So I try to always be aware of situations where old heart wounds may be affected and I try to quickly run to God. But what about those things that are new? Things that I write off as one thing but are actually another? I don’t want to ever bury my head in the sand when it comes to the state of my heart. So this morning, as I’m still in shock that the pain of my leg was there for three weeks but I paid it no attention because I was focused on the pain in my knee, I’m asking God to keep me ever aware. Just like I don’t want to numb any pain or sorrow my heart may be feeling, I don’t want to ignore any other warning signs. My prayer is that God keeps me so living in the moment that I don’t miss a thing. If I hadn’t stopped yesterday and took notice of what’s really going on but had instead gone to the gym as normal, who knows what damage I could have done... For a good part of this morning I was bummed about having to rest my leg. It’s a beautiful day in Roswell and I was going to hit some trails for an hour, but instead, I’m still sitting with some ice packs. To be honest, I went from bummed to outright sad with discouragement looming in the distance. I was tempted to play “what if”. What if it’s worse than I think? What if I can’t work out for 2 weeks? What if I go backwards in the weight I can clean? What if I gain 10 pounds this holiday? What if I... but praise God, I heard Him leading my heart and stopped the “what if’s” and instead opened my journal and wrote “I’m Sad. My hip is hurt... Daddy, I need a miracle from you.” And slowly I started to see this week for what it is and in light of my work schedule, it’s the perfect week to take off from working out. I also saw how before any serious injury happened, God led me to take a look at what was really going on. I saw Him reminding me of some other things and leading my heart to pray through all this. I think another “what if” that was trying to take root in my heart was the vague fear that I’d missed something in my life other than the pulled muscle. There was this dark “what if” trying get get me down that was nothing shy of a lie from the enemy. So instead, I joined my first football pool, made a yummy breakfast, wrote this little babble and am excited about what God has in store for my day.... Thankful that He didn’t let me ignore the real issue for very long.

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