• into the blue

The Dawson's Creek Effect

Updated: May 10, 2019

The irony of being on the wrong side of a long conversation with a man who would take a chunk out of my femur* in order to fix my knee, right at the point I decided to start writing about just getting out there and doing stuff was not lost on me.

That was five months ago and although I’m putting in the hours of hydrotherapy and physio it’s past the point of the big gains and getting old. I’m kind of done with straight legs lifts, I want to head to Bala, grab my board and jump straight onto the lake, still in my jeans, (an easy party trick, there’s not THAT much danger of falling off on a flat lake but I want the incredible feeling that leaves everything banal and shitty behind in the instant it takes to push off).

Instead I’m stuck on dry land despising the lack of strength that means I need to get up from the living room floor by way of a half-assed downward dog, wondering how I translate that awkwardness on a board.

In the interests of complete disclosure, let me add that my right shoulder chose to freeze just before they took a bone saw to my leg, so don’t @ me about the benefits of swimming for recovery, it will only lead to ugly crying as I complete another ‘knees high’ walking lap of the pool. I bitterly regret not getting a ‘Thames Marathon Finisher’ tattoo so that everyone can be quite clear the person doing gentle knee bends in the shallow end is a temporary version of me.

I’m over correctly having to say that I'm ‘taking my time’ and ‘not overdoing it’. There is an internal timetable - the annual trip to North Wales, caves that can only be reached by a long-ish paddle, the Henley Classic swim that will get me my five-year t-shirt, (I’m cheap, bite me), the overdue bike date with friends. But… but… but… I’m also not brave enough to risk breaking myself again. So I’m cautiously pushing it. Climbing more stairs, pulling on the fins to kick lengths (enjoying the quad burn maybe a little too much) and breaking out season five of Dawson’s Creek as I fasten the ankle weights for one more set.

Don’t judge me, this is good advice. Have trouble getting going with your yoga practice? Put Dawson’s Creek on. You’ll listen for the first few poses but as you get into your flow you’ll tune out and focus on the moves. By the time you’re done everyone will have swapped partners one more time and you’ll have been spared much angst. Sure it’s not very zen but it works and happily it also works for one more physio set. (FYI team Pacey EVERY DAMN TIME.) Do not confuse this with the Gilmore Girls effect, it’s not the same. And you’re welcome.

*Known in the trade as a femoral osteotomy. The rumour that I agreed to the surgery because the consultant told me I was too young and active to have to live with the long-term effects of my knee problem is entirely true.

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