Monday, November 29, 2004

Oh My Aching Knee

Well, for a good bit over a year now I've used the old "ignore it and maybe it will go away" approach to nagging knee pain. Unfortunately however, it is not going away and so today I had to break down and make an orthopedic appointment. I kept thinking maybe it was just a pulled muscle or something like that. I tried gentle yoga, stretching, rest, heat, ice, everything, but nothing has worked. I don't believe it's related to singlespeed biking or dancing because the pain predates the institution of both those activities. Besides, I'm running what a friend calls a very "user friendly" gear ratio on my bike, and I always try to warm-up/stretch and cool down sufficiently before and after strenuous activities, making sure my muscles are nice and warm before doing any real exertion. The pain is a stabbing, deep ache that runs from the inner aspect of my right knee cap, across the front of the joint line, and over to the outer edge. It feels like a hot iron rod is being pushed through the knee itself. Attempting any kind of external rotation, such as sitting cross legged on the floor in the yoga "lotus" position and trying to push the right knee toward the floor causes excruciating, intolerable pain. I also have persistent, frequent and rather painful give-way weakness, especially when performing movements such as the downward pedal stroke on my bike, and notice a distinctive pop or click when flexing or extending my knee once it reaches about the 20 degree point in those movements, accompanied by pain. At times, I even have to use my hand to further flex or extend the joint, and am frequently unable to perform this maneuver with the leg raised or otherwise unsupported from behind the knee. As nothing I have tried has worked so far, I decided to take the advice of my primary doctor and make the orthopedic appointment. Hopefully Dr. Fajgenbaum will be able to identify the cause of the problem and provide a solution that won't sideline me for too long. Keep your fingers crossed!
Posted by Tammy at 8:32 PM

Monday, November 22, 2004

First Dance Performance 11/13/2004

First Dance Performance November 13, 2004
I know this is rather late, as my first performance was actually a little over a week ago, but incredibly I'm still recovering from the excitement of it all! I was so nervous all day and night Friday and then by Saturday afternoon I was pretty much a nervous wreck. By the time Robin arrived at my house for us to practice, I could barely remember my name, much less the choreography! And then we changed it in several places, with only a few hours left to go before performing. On arriving at the dance studio Saturday evening, she and I went over the routine again a couple of more times, and I felt like we were fairly ready. Of course, when you're on stage and everyone is watching you and you know this is your one shot at it, well, let's just say I was glad Qadria was behind the audience with our "cheat sheet" to sort of keep us on track with what moves were coming up next. The only thing is, I didn't write on the sheet how MANY of each move and to which direction, so when I got my right confused with my left, there just wasn't much even she could do to help! Luckily, I didn't drop my veil, it didn't catch on my hair or my costume, and I didn't fall down, so I suppose I would have to say the performance was a success overall. I still cringe a little watching the video and seeing my left-right confusion and nervous stiffness, but I think if I can use that to learn and grow as a dancer, it's worth it. Also, as Kate told me, I can count this performance as the first one under my belt, so to speak, and ideally it will get easier and less anxiety ridden each successive time. And even now, with merely one performance to my credit and as much as I enjoy dancing to Qadria's beautiful choreographies, I'm already looking forward to writing and performing one of my very own.
P.S. As a side note, I guess this would be a good time to explain my dance name. Izdihaar is the Arabic term for "blossoming and flourishing" - I feel it is a beautiful reminder of my aspirations in my own development as a dancer.

Rigid Singlespeed

Well, I've gotten a couple of more rides on the new rigid singlespeed, and I have to say that the more I ride this bike, the more I want to ride this bike! It just seems to fit the way I ride. I never actually learned how to USE suspension anyway, so adapting to rigid was really not such a big deal for me. And the funny thing is, whereas my back used to ache when I rode full suspension with gears, on the rigid singlespeed, I've had no pain whatsoever. I wonder if it's due to the fact that this bike forces me to stand and move around a LOT more than I used to, thus using different muscles while allowing others to rest? Regardless, I can't believe how much fun I'm having - I feared my love of bicycling was gone forever, what with the race burnout, the muscle aches and pains, and just generally being stuck in a rut. This rigid one-geared bike has revived my love for this sport, and made me feel like a kid - I can't wait to get back out on the trail again and again and again....! :)
Posted by Tammy at 7:38 PM


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