I wore my knee brace, and things went really well. I was able to (almost) dance without knee-concern. I (mostly) just let the music move me, flailed about as much as I wanted, and didn't think about it. Okay, there were a few times my knee didn't feel quite right. But I didn't hurt it at all, and I was able to do almost everything I wanted, so it was mostly good. It felt good, and it was so nice to be able to dance without worrying too much.
This morning I slept in. Oh glorious sleeping-in! It was a great day for not-working. I lounged about, had cookies for breakfast, painted my skates, then I got my hair cut. By this time I was running late, so I hurried off to physical therapy. I had a good PT appointment, gave my knee a good workout, and it felt great. Then it was time for the season's first synchro skating exhibition. (Our club does 2 exhibitions a year, one before our first competition, one before our last competition.)
I tried on my new dress, and it fit great -- hooray! Then I quickly did my hair and makeup, albeit poorly, then rushed off to do the team warmup routine (like I said, I was late).
The other team captain and I choreographed the warmup together. It's a dancey, kick-boxey, 5-minute aerobic routine to get everybody's blood flowing and muscles moving. It ends with what we call the "SuperStar" move, where you jump, bend your knees in the air, then land with legs out and arms up, head back, fingers spread....SuperStarrh! Very fun and showey.
Well, my knee had been feeling so great, my brace was on, and I was feeling easy, confident, and athletic. I did the SuperStar move with extra flourish, not even really thinking about it. I landed in that position, my weight centered, my legs at angles to the ground ....and pain just shot through the right knee. It felt like I could feel my the bones in my knee shifting against one another.
The other day, the PT had asked where it hurts when it hurts, and I couldn't really tell her. It's inside the knee, not specific, not near the skin... it's between the leg bones somewhere. Today, it was everywhere. I couldn't believe how much it hurt from one stupid little superstar jump thing. I was too embarrassed to admit I'd just hurt the damn knee again, and I was right by the wall, so I just casually leaned on the wall. My stupid leg was shaking too much to put any weight on it. Outside I was looking fairly normal, carefully doing some stretches. Inside, I was spewing a terrible string of expletives. Inside, I really wanted to cry.
Fortunately it wasn't hurt as badly as last time (when it felt totally non-functional when I started using it). It hurt much more this time, but after about 5 minutes the pain and shaking had subsided. It could support me again. It was already in its brace, and there was still strength in it. I felt the joint tightening up, but it was still functional. I walked around on it, stretching it, getting its motion back. Inside I was kicking myself for being careless, but outside I'm not sure I even had the coordination to kick myself any more!
Anyway, we walked through our program a few times, then we put our skates on. We skated our performance fairly well. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty darn good! I took it very easy. I two-footed my lutz jump, and two-footed a few of our turns as well. I just didn't want to make anything worse, and I wanted to save my knee for competition tomorrow.
Now I'm following my basic rules of ice and elevation, letting it rest. Hopefully it won't stiffen up too much, and hopefully it'll take me where I need to go tomorrow. It's not a big important competition, but I still want us to skate our best!