An Open Letter of Apology to My Spin Class Instructor… the New One

Dear Instructor Deb,

I know I’m not in class right now, and you need to know what happened, because I LOVE your class. I love the music (that remix of Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious? the one with the Indian drums and guitars? Is AWESOME!). I love you (in a totally platonic, non lesbian way). I love the new bikes. I love the old bikes. You have singlehandedly (or double wheeldly) made me love the gym.

And I’m not there today. I won’t be there next week, either.

I went to a Sports Medicine Doctor today. I went there, because last weekend after finishing up an hour on the bike I decided, HEY! I totally signed up for a 5k in May, I should see what I can do on the treadmill. After three steps– at 5mph, we’re not talking fast– it really did feel like someone was stabbing me in the knee. This is not good, you will totally agree, so I decided to see a sport medicine doctor. My Sport Medicine Doctor — Madame le Docteur, actually, as she is Quebeqois — is awesome. I totally stole her from my friend Kevin. At any rate, today was my appointment with Madame le Docteur.

Madame le Docteur first asked me about symptoms, so I told her about the last two half marathons, and the triathlon, and the giving up running in early 2010, and the attempt at running. I told her about pain-free cycling, about painful cycling, and about how much I love my ibuprofen. I told her about the spectacular crunching noises my knee makes going downstairs but not up, about how I feel cold in my knees. She asked me when I started feeling pain and I said about 3-6 months ago, I noticed after a good hard spin class I’d be a bit swollen and it would be a bit tender. She raised a Gallic eyebrow and looked at me: “You mean to say, you knew you had pain in your knees, and you decided then to run?” I totally felt like I was in school.

Madame le Docteur (ok, we’re going to refer to her as MlD, for ergonomic’s sake) next instructed me to put on a pair of shorts. As I didn’t come equipped with any, she handed me a pair of oversized men’s boxers– printed with Spongebob Squarepants. I knew I liked her when I entered her office and saw it very zen, with draperies and cool paint colors and I wasn’t one of fifteen people she was seeing that hour. But when she handed me the Spongebob? I knew I liked her.

She tsk’d tsk’d over my pronation (known to me) and after various assessments (the sounds my left knee make are painful to hear, even for MlD, and she made me stop after 1/2 of one lunge), she declared:

  • It is highly likely my left leg is longer than my right
  • I am highly over pronated
  • The orthodic inserts assigned to me from my former Podiatrist are crap
  • I need six weeks of physical therapy, 2x/week, at minimum
  • That my last round of physical therapy was NOT what you do if you want to keep your knees. Those Bulgarian Split Squats? Yeah, those aren’t cool.
  • I need a bike fitting
  • I need new orthodics (duh)
  • I need Xrays
  • I need to learn how to McConnel tape my kneecap
  • I may not exercise (bike or run) without taping first
  • I have to wear an anti-inflammatory patch on my knee 24×7 for at least a week. This is different from what they’ll put on there in physical therapy.

And now the good news: I will be able to do STP. As long as I do what she says.

“We are going to make you work very hard”, she said in her stern french accent. “If you want it you will need to work for it.” Well.  I certainly will have to.

If only to make all of the @%(^#*$ appointments.  But let the record state: I really love M. le Docteur. Oui.

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