Going back to Booty Camp was a hobble. Week 1 had left me searching for my knee braces, limping and taking the stairs two feet at a time, very, very, very slowly. The thought of returning for squats, jogging and deep knee bends made me kind of quesy.
But I went.
Sports bra, clean sneakers and all.
I took it slow, low and not bouncy. Jannah encouraged me to push it a little further and I was trying to figure out how without whining even more.
All of a sudden her suggestions for alternatives weren’t just low impact, they were … well… creative alternatives that used the strength of my legs without putting strain on my knees. Using a chair instead of the floor for lunges. High knee marching instead of frog jumps. Multi-staged push-ups against the wall followed by a low impact jumping jack instead of Burpees.
We had a serious talk about options after class. We talked about my physio stretches and Jannah recommended I do them immediately before class (and that I actually do them). My knees have been pretty good for the last 6 months so I didn’t expect to be this restricted in my movements or frankly I would have started with something less challenging. I felt bad about bringing this into the room, especially since Jannah is there for all 20 of us, all with our own objectives, goals and limitations. But once she had that lightbulb, her response was clear: making sure I don’t injure or damage my knees further while still getting a full workout.
The next class she came in with even more creative options, which she doled out to me as each new cycle began, and they are all working.
Can’t skip the rope, do a couple of wall push ups and 2 jumping jacks. Woo hoo! Hurts to jump back and forth across the yoga mat, do a sumo kind of high knee thingie with arms… Right on! Heart rate up, muscles being worked all over my body. Low impact and low strain does not mean you are out of the game!
I’m actually keeping up with the rest of the class. By the third class I even finished a set and wasn’t absolutely the last person. It’s not a competition, but it still feels bad to be the one who keeps everyone else waiting.
More importantly that that, after my second class I had NO PAIN. Okay, not really no pain because there’s always some grinding and stuff, but no new pain. No aggravation and the problems from the first class started easing up. By the Thursday of my third class, I didn’t even have to wear my knee brace. Oh sure I wore it in class, I’m not stupid. But after class I took it off and cycled home.
And I even started to feel like I fit in. A couple of people were making jokes with me about “mat time” or is it “nap time”… but more telling is that one of my fellow campers told me “you shouldn’t apologise. Ever.” Like all my friends eventually do. Obviously they are getting to know the real me.