By Amy Wong
I Blew Out My Knee but I’m Staying Positive
I broke my collarbone when I was too young to remember it and walked on crutches at my college graduation because of a sprained ankle. But I had never injured myself so badly that I ended up in the emergency room. Until Saturday.
I was taking my favorite bootcamp class at the gym, using heavy ropes—the rope is 30 to 40 pounds, 40 to 50 feet long, anchored in the middle and you whip, wave, and swing the ends. A great cardio and strength workout. Only this time while I was doing rope jumping jacks, my left foot landed awkwardly—on the rope instead of the floor—and my knee twisted and buckled. I crumpled to the ground.
Next stop: the ER. X-rays were negative but I knew I’d done something terrible to my knee. MRIs Tuesday confirmed it: complete ACL tear, medial meniscus tear, partial gastroc (calf muscle) tear. I’m having surgery but not until I do several weeks of physical therapy to strengthen the leg and regain full range of motion.
Meanwhile I’m laid up at home. Big black hinged knee brace. Crutches. I’m under doctor’s orders not to move around unless absolutely necessary. It’s torture for an active (some might say hyperactive) person like me. And I never knew it could be so difficult to do everyday things like walk my dog, pick up groceries, carry a plate, take a shower. As you might imagine, staying positive is a challenge.
I’ve been relying on a positive thinking technique I learned from best-selling author, speaker and all-around positive person Jon Gordon: Turn each negative thought into a Power Thought, full of positive energy. Look for the blessing or opportunity in each obstacle. (By the way, I just edited senior editor Evan Miller’s inspiring story on Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones—look for it in your July Guideposts—and discovered Lolo does the same thing. How cool is that?)
OMG, who’s going to walk Winky?
Thank you, God, for Cynthia, Chris and everyone else at New York Dog Nanny. They took over Winky’s walks on short notice, and even better, she loves having all these new people to play with her.
Out of the office a week, probably longer? I’m going to fall so behind on work I’ll never catch up!
Good thing I have a job where I can do almost everything from home—write, edit and discuss stories, look at layouts, post blogs. I’d rather be in the office to talk with coworkers face-to-face but I’m actually getting more editing done at home because I have fewer interruptions.
I’ve done intense workouts four or five times a week the past three years. I got myself in the best shape of my life. And this is what I get for working so hard to stay fit? Why did I even bother?
Accidents happen. It’s how I pick myself up from them that matters. My orthopedist said being in good shape will make recovery from surgery much smoother. My legs have always been my strength fitness-wise. This is an opportunity to work on the weaker parts of my body—arms, upper body, core. Watch out, Michelle Obama, my triceps are gonna look as good as yours!
Have you found blessings in a bad situation? I’d love to know how.
P.S. Want to know more about Power Thoughts? Read Jon’s article.
Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).