Saturday, January 3, 2015

3 Strikes

It was the ultimatum..."If you want to try out for the soccer team, you must hold at 110 pounds...end of story!" was what my dad had instructed.

That was what finally did it.  Somehow, with lots of adolescent growth, I finally found my place on the soccer field.  Playing through high school and most of college.

It was my junior year at Plymouth State. Our record was good, Big game day at Boston College, on the astro-turf.  I didn't have any turf shoes, so I decided on sneakers, they seemed to give me more traction than my cleats.  I played sweeper, the last line of defense. 

It was a close game, we were up 1-0, with about 20 minutes to go.  BC had a breakaway down the left sideline.  I was angeling back at full speed to support the Right Back....YES!  Our back beat her to the ball, and passed it quickly up field.  I stopped short, cut and turned up field.

POP, CRACK....THUD...down I went in a heap, pain shooting through my left leg.  Apparently every part of my body turned accept my left foot...stuck in place facing the wrong way on the turf.

Little did I know that would be the last competitive soccer game I would ever play.

April 1984, ACL Replacement Surgery.  My rehab took place in a Gym, right next door to the aerobic studio (think Jane Fonda era) in Danvers, Mass.  My future awaited me.

I stood on the side line my senior year and co-captained the team to an ECAC championship, unable to play.  Yet by winter I was able to start taking aerobics classes at the old gym at Plymouth.  I fell in love with the movement, music and sweat.  This was where I belonged.  I have been teaching aerobics ever since.  30 years now.  No wonder that left knee has had it.

I am scheduled for Knee Replacement Surgery on Monday, January 12.

It has been a struggle the last few years.  I continued to ignore the pain, until my right knee and hip began to object very loudly, because they were doing all the work.

A little over a year ago, I went for a second opinion...the first one was unacceptable to me.  "You can swim, and do the elliptical, you dont have to teach classes".  Ya...Right, maybe for you...not me.

The new doc gave me 4 options...
Heel wedge- Strike one; Orthovisc Shots- Strike two; High Tibialostomy- Strike three. Joint Replacement? You are UP!

I am happy and excited to get my new knee.  I am ready to respect my body and its limits, willing to make adjustments... I am not ready to give up the love I have for teaching group exercise classes.  Not for a long time yet.

There have been many years of my life that I have depended on exercise to get me through.  It has shut out pain, medicated my emotions, fueled my soul.  I am grateful for how it has helped me. 

Here is to my next chapter: Exercise for increased Joy, Health, and Growing Relationships...

Watch for upcoming posts...

-Conflict Comparison

-Divorce RX: Running to or away

-Exercise Friendships: the ones that really workout


  1. Thank you Anne, for your honesty and for showing your vulnerable side. I completely understand your experience.

  2. My dear friend - you will be so glad you had the replacement. I too had almost a parallel experience. After ACL surgery I started playing hoop in a mens league up here... real bright huh? That and some other foolish athletic exploits forced surgery upon me and although I cannot run anymore, I can: Snowshoe, Bike, Lift, Kayak, Swim, Play DOUBLES tennis and a lot more. Sure, I miss running but not having that thorough enervating pain made me less grumpy (a problem I'm sure you do NOT have) and made me slow down a bit and think. Not an easy task ;-) . Take the meds, don't fight it, they'll help you push your rehab and get greater range of motion. If you need support, feel free to call me or email, I'll be here watching you triumph yet again!

  3. Just now reading this. Funny how life is. I really needed to hear your words...and your experiences right now. Yes...the tom boys of the 70's will triumph and conquer all!!! Hugs to you!