Last Friday, I hurt my knee.
I’ll get into the details down below, but let’s start with the actionable stuff.
P.E.A.C.E. AND L.O.V.E.
Have you heard of “RICE” after getting hurt? As it turns out, not all of it is based in the research we have. A more modern, although still less popular acronym is PEACE and LOVE. PEACE has been really helpful for me this week:
Avoid anti-inflammatory modalities
You can learn more about the framework here:
OKAY, BACK TO MY STORY
We were finally playing the backyard family football I had dreamt of for years. I lined up to cover my brother-in-law, who has about 6 inches on me. A few steps in, I can tell he’s going deep. I do a pretty good job of staying with him, and keep an eye on the quarterback (my cousin). The ball’s coming our way, but it’s a little bit short. My eyes light up as I realize I’m in the perfect position for an interception.
As the ball’s coming toward me, though, something isn’t right. My vision starts blurring, and I feel a pop. As much as I want the ball, I feel myself going to the ground in slow motion. No one pushed me, my knee didn’t hit the ground…nothing HAPPENED. My body just quit.
Now lying on the ground, shocked to be there, the puzzle pieces come together…I tore something, right? Maybe my ACL? I start picturing everything I’ll lose — backyard fun, squat training, carrying Iggy downstairs…
THE FIRST FEW MINUTES
After the initial panic, I realized that the whole family was understandably freaked out.
“Did you hit it?”
“Do you need ice?”
Others look on from some more distance.
I needed time and space to sort out what was happening. I decided I could stand up on my right leg, and I was right. I wasn’t feeling ready to test the left, so I accepted some help to get over to a chair.
Some caring family members brought me ice and heat, someone helped me elevate my leg, some people offered kind words, and others were clearly just trying to give me space.
After a few minutes of breathing, I realized I actually WASN’T in pain. If I hadn’t known what just happened, I would’ve happily jumped up to go play football. But that was completely at rest — I didn’t know if my knee could actually handle anything. Still, this was a crucial moment. In that chair, I decided that no, I didn’t need to be rushed off to the hospital for knee surgery.
THE FOLLOWING WEEK
There have been ups and downs — some days I’m bounding up stairs, others I’m feeling a sharp pain just from adjusting my position in bed. The process hasn’t been linear, and I don’t expect it to be. But a week in, I’m confidently moving about the world, often without giving my knee a thought.
Next up: I’ll be getting consult from at least one physio to get their perspective on what tissue damage is likely to have occurred, and how I can keep building strength, stability, and confidence!
1) When I went down, everyone else’s beliefs about pain/injury became obvious.
2) The first important decision was where to go in order to make the next decision.
3) The second decision was whether I needed immediate medical attention.
4) I’ve learned so much about myself over the last week. Of course I wish I hadn’t gotten hurt, but I’m grateful for the lessons.
5) I’m grateful for the STRENGTH I have around my knee. If you want to learn more about strength training, I’m here to help.
6) I’m grateful for the EDUCATION I have around pain and injury. I’m so lucky to have stumbled into a professional field that has not only allowed me to prioritize my own physical capacities, but to learn many important lessons about health.
7) Pain and injury are not the same. They can both come together, or we can experience one without the other.
8) I’m not a professional athlete. I have no sport to return to, so it’s up to me to set my own standards for recovery and training.