April was the tenth month after my total knee replacement and I could walk much further. After the holiday in Cornwall, which gave me more confidence in the distances that I could manage, I went back to see the physiotherapist. My Range of Movement has now gone up to 117, the highest ever. She thinks there’s more springiness in my knee and that it could improve further.
There are two niggly things. I found that my knee became painful after three hours in the car on the way to Cornwall and I have some pain in the middle of my back after walking a few miles. She says the answer is going to the gym and working on my general fitness and my core. She had also advised in my February visit, and conveniently, I had ‘forgotten’ this.
I don’t feel like a gym person and have managed to avoid them for most of my life but I can see that logically it’s the next step. I need to strengthen my glutes and my thighs by doing some weight training. She says someone of my age should be doing two sessions a week of strength training. Because I’ve had a total knee replacement, it’s even more important because I will always have a weakness down the left hand side of my body.
The list of my sporting achievements isn’t very long. My bronze cross lifesaving medal at school, I’m a strong swimmer; one summer before going climbing in the Alps, I could run three miles and I have a determined ability to go up mountains. I’m not a gym person, I’m really not but is it time to face my fear and do it anyway? She measures my thighs so she can gauge my progress and gives me more exercises to do and a list of instructions and repetitions for the weights machines I should be using in the gym.
I am taking every opportunity I can to go walking and to increase the intensity at which I am walking which shows on my FitBit. I love it; the familiar route round the Thames Path near my house, evening walks in Richmond Park and a circuit one morning right around the edge which is just over 7 miles. I’ve got the time saved on Strava and next time, I want to do it more quickly.