I have really bad knees. Bad knees certainly run in my family (we tend to over-extend), but over the years I have certainly done more damage to mine on my own. Currently, my right knee hurts something awful, which is unsurprising because 1) I worked out yesterday, 2) the weather is changing and 3) I’ve hurt this one the worst.
I was interning in the Chicago suburbs in the summer of 2006 and commuted about an hour (traffic!) everyday between the office and my sweet corporate housing (this is important later). One afternoon, while leaving work, I tripped on the stairs coming out of the office and tumbled down them in spectacular fashion. I was wearing a skirt. These were outdoor steps so they were that rough rocky, concrete material, and my knee was pretty gouged up. But I picked myself up, told myself it wasn’t that bad, and then sat in traffic for an hour as my knee oozed down my leg. I still have a scar.
Back at school, Winter of 2007, I was walking to class when I saw a guy in front of me trip over the uneven sidewalk. I chuckled to myself and BLAM – tripped over another patch of unevenness and landed straight on my knee – hard. Karma, whatta bitch. The impact ripped through my work khakis (stylish!) and long underwear (hey, you try walking a few miles in freezing Central IL!). My knee wasn’t looking so hot either. However, I was on my way to take a German test and didn’t have time for medical attention or a change of clothing. Fastest test I ever took.
By far the worst and least funny. In December 2008, I was driving across the bridge from Missouri to Illinois when I was hit by a mack-truck who came into my lane. I hit the far wall, spun around a few times, and hit the center median wall head-on. The force of the final collision was so great my knees were slammed into the steering column. Miraculously, I walked away with just really bruised knees and a bruise from my seatbelt (thank you, Chevy Cavalier!). I got some x-rays and they came out clean, but my knees have never been the same. I’m now like the arthritic who can predict the weather with their joints.
So, one of my main motivators for getting fit is to retain what little healthy is left in my knees. I know that keeping my weight down and staying active will definitely help, but I’m currently on the look-out for some knee strengthening exercises.