ACL Reconstruction Surgery: Post-Op Week 10

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It’s a little hard for me to believe that ten weeks have gone by since I underwent ACL Reconstruction surgery! Thankfully, time has flown by pretty quickly, thanks to my intent to stay really busy. I’m definitely happy to wrap up July and see what new “abilities” August will bring. I haven’t seen my surgeon in a really long time and am excited about going in for my 11-week check-up next week. Hopefully he’ll be pleased with my progress and tell me I’m on the right track.

Just like I did for my last post, I’m doing a little breakdown of how things have been going during over the last few weeks:

Pain Level: I very rarely feel pain in my actual knee- more in the muscles surrounding it. Although the scar in my large incision is definitely starting to look better, I still feel some pressure and soreness there from time to time. My quads have been sore a few times (after a lot of activity) and I’ve pulled a muscle in my left hamstring twice (which sucks!). There’s definitely still quite a bit of stiffness around my knee in general, which is a constant reminder that I am still very much on the mend. I still can’t kneel on the ground because it causes great pain to my operative knee (and the large incision)- and can not wait until I’m able to. It’s amazing what I took for granted before this whole injury thing happened.

Here’s a close-up of my knees yesterday:

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And to compare, here’s a shot from week 6:

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Currently: July

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Hello! Dang… I am in a good mood today and just feel this sense of happiness that I haven’t had in months. I taught my first Bodypump class (at 6:00am!) this morning since surgery! The last class that I taught was May 15th… that’s a long break! I was excited (and a little nervous) to go back, but I had no idea just how much I missed teaching until today. It was great to see everyone and be welcomed back and I’m happy to say that I survived the entire hour of teaching. I had just about forgotten about the feeling I get from teaching a class until this morning. It’s just one of the best feelings in the world- a combination of endorphins and a sense of accomplishment- I’m so glad to have it back in my life.

Okay, enough gushing about Bodypump. (Except one more thing- the latest release, Bodypump 90, ROCKS.) Here’s what’s going on in my world, currently:

Currently: July

Current books: I’m about to pick up a copy of my friend Kelly’s second novel, which was just released this past Tuesday!

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She’s had two books published in less than a year (here’s the first)- I’m so proud!! If you’re into Young Adult Fiction, check this book out!

Current music: Bodypump 90 ALL THE TIME. I was cramming to learn the choreography this past week!

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Celebrating Three Years

Three years ago today Greg and I were married at a small vineyard in northern Virginia.

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Actually… we were technically married on a hiking trail in Maryland earlier that morning. (If you want all the details, feel free to check out this post.)

The last three years have brought a lot of major life changes for Greg and I, including me quitting my teaching job and us moving 1700 miles across the country. Through it all, Greg has been my greatest supporter, best friend and partner in crime.

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Current Favorite Things

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Hello! I hope you had a fabulous weekend and were able to get out and enjoy some beautiful summer weather. Summer has always been my favorite season, but honestly, I’m wishing it would hurry up and get to fall. Of course, that’s for selfish reasons because I want to just fast-forward my recovery (I’ll post another update on that soon).

Other than that whole knee thing, life has been pretty swell lately. I’ll be going back to teaching group exercise at the end of this month (yay!) and can’t wait! Work has been great and I’m celebrating my third wedding anniversary later this week. Greg and I are going to continue our tradition of summitting a 14er… sort of. We’re also attending a special dinner with my favorite chef ever and can’t wait to see what he cooks up.

Now, let’s get on to the main subject of this post: my current favorite things. In no particular order, they are:

My Nesco Food Dehydrator

I received this food dehydrator as a bridal shower gift from my stepmom. I didn’t have it on my registry, but my stepmom had a feeling that it was something that I would enjoy having (and she was right!). I seem to go through a phase of wanting to dehydrate everything a few times each year (and am currently going through one of those phases!). My absolute favorite thing to dehydrate, hands down, is watermelon. Lately I’ve been dehydrating that along with bananas, strawberries and blueberries.

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I also made apple fruit leather (the stuff on the right) with cinnamon. It’s almost as good as the watermelon. ;)

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ACL Reconstruction Surgery: Post-Op Weeks 5&6

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Hello! Summer is definitely in full swing here and the last few days have been hot. Luckily, the humidity is still relatively low so it’s not unbearable (and it’s cooled down a lot today!). Isn’t talking about the weather fun?

Time for another knee update! Today marks six weeks since ACL Reconstruction surgery. I remember just wanting so bad to get to this point, because I heard that you really start to feel “normal” again around six weeks. I don’t know if I necessary feel normal right now, but I definitely feel better (physically) than I have since the day of surgery. Here’s a little breakdown of how things have been going during weeks 5 & 6 post-surgery.

Pain Level: My pain level over the last two weeks has been pretty minimal. I still have some swelling around and behind my knee, which makes everything feel pretty stiff. I have some soreness around the large incision, but the pain level is very minimal. I went for my 5-week check-up last Tuesday, and the doctor was very pleased with my progress. He did the “ACL test” on my leg (to make sure the ACL was really in there!) and it kind of freaked me out. That night, I randomly had shooting pains in my hamstring on my operative leg, which really sucked. The pain lasted midway through the next day, and suddenly went away in the afternoon. Since then, I’ve had a bit more swelling around my knee (but no more pain in my hamstring).

Here’s a close-up of my knees yesterday:

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And just to compare, here’s a photo from two weeks ago:

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Les Mills Presents The Project: Immersive Fitness

There are many, many things that I love about Les Mills programs. I became a certified Bodypump instructor in 2011 after falling in love with the format and classes. Les Mills offers a multitude of different exercise programs and there’s literally something for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Trends in fitness are constantly changing and Les Mills has no problem staying up to date on the latest ideas and concepts.

I recently learned about the latest innovation in Les Mills fitness and couldn’t be more excited to try it out! Les Mills has partnered up with Reebok to create a revolutionary fitness experience called The Project: Immersive Fitness.

image from The Project on Instagram

Immersive Fitness takes the typical group exercise class beyond the next level. It creates an experience that engages the body and mind in ways that I never thought possible!

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Jamaican Ten Speed [a.k.a. the "Two Sipper"]

In general, I’m not much of a cocktail drinker. When given the choice of an adult beverage I’d pretty much always choose beer or wine. However, if a restaurant or bar is known for it’s amazing cocktails (like this place), I’ll have to give one a try.

Back in the day (and when I had a much higher tolerance for alcohol!) I would choose mixed drinks over anything else. And, those drinks were usually incredibly sweet. Even though just the thought of most of the cocktails that I enjoyed in my early 20s gives me a hangover, there’s one in particular that I can still about in a positive light.

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A Knee Update [4 Weeks Post-Op]

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Well, I pretty much failed at writing an update on my ACL reconstruction surgery each week. I really wish I had so that I could look back at where I was each week and track my progress easily… but life/work/Blend got in the way. So, I’m going to do my best to remember what happened during the first few weeks after surgery and go from there! This is probably going to be a bit all over the place- but hopefully it will make some sense. :)

Looking back at what the first week post-op was like, I can happily say that things got much better after that. I was a little nervous going in for my first post-op appointment. Even though I had done everything I was supposed to (which was basically nothing) I was nervous that my progress wouldn’t be where my doctor wanted. I was definitely relieved when he told me that my progress looked great (and right on track)! I had four out of five sets of stitches removed (all but the large incision) and was told I could decrease my CPM time to 8 hours a day (which is a lot better than 12-14!).

I also started driving again that week and was able to walk around (slowly, with a limp) with my leg brace on.

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Later that week, I started physical therapy. In that first session, the therapist measured the degree to which I could bend (which wasn’t far beyond 90˚) and straighten my leg (I was a few degrees off). She had me do all kinds of different “straight leg lift” exercises to engage my quads, hip flexors and glutes. I also had to work on quad sets, which is just flexing your quad. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to flex my quad- it was as if my brain stopped communicating with my muscles! The combination of the trauma and the swelling can make it extremely difficult to flex your quad (like you normally would) and I was told to just keep doing it over and over again to help keep the muscle strong.

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Blend 2014

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It’s still a little hard for me to believe- but this year’s Blend Retreat has come and gone. This was the third annual gathering for Blend (and also the third year that I’ve been in attendance). I helped out in some capacity during planning for the first two years and stepped into a co-organizer role this year. I’ve been friends with the other two organizers Lindsay and Janetha for a few years now, but have gotten a lot closer to both of them over the last year thanks to countless emails, phone calls and texts.

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I really had no idea just how much planning went into organizing this type of event! Lindsay wrote a great post about the “what, why and how” Blend all came together- which you can check out for details.

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Red, White and Blue[berry] Crepes

Hello! I got back from spending five days in Park City, Utah last night and have a lot of catching up to do. I was there for the third annual Blend Retreat, which was (once again) and incredible weekend! I’ll be back to tell you more about it later in the week, but for today I’m showing a little love to this year’s official sponsor: Silk!

There are certain recipes that, for one reason or another, seem to intimidate me. Most of the time, these recipes are even that complicated, but I just haven’t been able to make them right for some reason. Crepes are one of the recipes that I took a few attempts to figure out how to make correctly, but now that I have, they’re super easy to make.

One of the things that I really like about about crepes is that they are so versatile. You can stuff them with sweet or savory ingredients or just eat them in a stack like pancakes. Most of the time I fill my crepes with one of my favorite combinations: plain Greek yogurt, honey and berries.

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