I Did A Knee Push Up Today

What’s the big deal about being able to do a knee push-up?

This has been a long year of injuries and other multiple other things that are getting in the way of Harold the runnah. From getting old, screwing up a shoulder last year, to a nasty winter, my feet or hamstring woes, and recently hyperextending and twisting a knee while rototilling. These added together have resulted in more downtime than I have had in over ten years.

So what have I done about all this woe-is-me – I’m not running stuff.

I whined to my doctor about it. Who agreed that I needed some physical therapy. Then the day before my first physical therapy appointment, I messed up my left knee.

When I first saw the physical therapist, she agreed that I was a mess. That the knee needed to calm down, so we worked on the reasons for the referral, my left shoulder, and hamstrings. Even though they were a lot lower on my priorities as far as pain management went.

Fortunately or unfortunately, dependent upon how you look at it, the no running was much easier to deal with because of the knee injury.

As the physical therapist said, the injury might be a blessing in disguise (I didn’t believe her and still don’t) since I would have run when I started feeling better. I agree that I would have started running before she wanted me to but wasn’t thrilled upon hearing that sentiment – especially since it was true.

Then last week I went back to the doctor, to whine some more about my left knee and hip, which I discovered was bothering more than I realized.

Even so, I did attempt to not run until this week. Then just once, I had to run a short way while out walking down-back. I stopped after 30 yards and agreed very quietly that running right now with that left knee the way it is, ain’t a great idea.

I didn’t expect miracles in physical therapy, having gone through this routine before. However, I have been working consistently at doing the exercises the physical therapist assigned, even though they didn’t seem “strenuous” enough, and I complained (maybe whined a little) to her about it on my last visit.

I am rather old school and was brought up in the time of “No pain, no gain” thinking and mindset. The assigned exercises certainly didn’t rise to that level of discomfort, and I didn’t have any of those “Eureka” moments where suddenly I felt great.

At least, until today.

I was out in the back of the garage doing my daily PT and noticed that the usual pain in my shoulders wasn’t there. The right shoulder is officially in worse condition than the left one, even though the left one is the one that has been painfully grumbling for the past few months.

Which got me wondering.

Could I do a push-up?

I was doing a set of 40 before getting injured at the end of October. The last time I tried one in February, I buckled onto the floor because my left shoulder couldn’t do it.

It was time to test the tolerances again.

I got on the floor and thought about what I was doing for a moment. Needless to say, I felt a bit of trepidation about attempting a regular push-up. I remembered how the shoulder felt when it buckled last time.

Then I discovered when I got into the regular push-up position, the left knee let me know exactly how much doing a push-up would make it unhappy.

So I decided to do a knee push-up. The going down part was no problem gravity works quite well. It is the pushing up that is hard.

I did it!

I did it…pain-free!

It was the first time in eight months that I did a push-up of any kind without pain in either shoulder. I did nineteen more – knee push-ups.

All pain-free.

Small as a single push-up is in the overall scheme of things in the world today, doing those knee push-ups was huge in my world.

No pain while doing a push-up.

Imagine that.

If nothing else, it is progress.

There will be that snarky “I told you so.” look on the physical therapist’s face when I tell her. I don’t care. It is a start that I can build upon as I work towards running again. It is the first success I have had in a while – this year.

Those push-ups this morning were more steps along my journey toward being healthy again and will lead me back to running as pain-free as a 65-year-old who has abused his body in numerous ways throughout his life will be.

Yeah, by the way, did I tell you that I did a knee push-up today.

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