Halfway through the walk, I thought to myself that my biggest fault seemed to be the fact that I keep squandering my potential by giving into impulses. After all, I had spent all summer intensely working out. I was swimming more than a 1000 yards every other day and weight training on other days. Late night ice creams did not fit into the plan, for you see, I had a plan.
Instead, I decided to walk towards the gym. It was about 9:00 PM and I thought I could take the late night shuttle back home that would drop me at my doorstep. With new pink shoes, new pink shirt and teal shorts, I felt empowered. I was walking towards the university and I told myself that how my life worked itself out and how nice it was to be where I was. I told myself that I should never drive myself crazy and think about how happy I felt at that moment on what was a beautiful Friday night in Pittsburgh. I am not making this up to build this into a story. I was truly happy and in a weird way, what happened after this makes me worried about feeling happy about anything, ever again. I am forever going to be haunted about how I jinxed myself.
Ten minutes later, at the gym, I had 10 pounds in each hand and was doing lunges. After three lunges, a voice popped in my head and told me that I ought to be doing reverse lunges because the forward ones were too easy. I happily stuck my leg back and as I bent my knee, I realized I was losing balance for my other leg was tripping over what was a free weight on the floor. I had just broken what I now know as the golden rule for lunges - never stick your leg in an unknown direction assuming that no one would leave a free weight lying around. Along with these rules, I had also broken a whole bunch of things in my knee.
Since my knee was in a bent position, when I lost balance and fell down, my knee cap (patella) was slingshot out of its groove as the ligament that holds it in place tore. My patella also managed to tear a piece of cartilage and break a chunk of bone on its path of destruction. For more details and an animated explanation see here.
It took a couple of days to understand that this was more serious than it initially appeared to be. It was a week before I saw an orthopedic doctor, two more days to get an MRI and get a diagnosis.
Two weeks later, the surgeon patiently explained my options to me - I had to get the torn cartilage re-attached to the bone and get my medial patellofemoral ligament reconstructed. I could also get the torn cartilage taken out and get my knee closed up without doing anything about reattaching it. He told me that this would leave my bone unprotected and I would almost certainly get arthritis in ten years and strongly discouraged this. He told me that I was going to get a surgery one way or another.
In short, I was in for a long ordeal. Sometimes it is so difficult to acknowledge accidents. I had a carefully prepared plan for what was going to be crucial two months and all my plans smoldered when I was gasping on the gym floor holding my knee. I keep trying to understand what made me change my mind from getting that ice-cream - I could have been safe. Why did I have to go to gym on a Friday night when the rest of the world was taking a break. And even if I did go to the gym, wasn't it a good thing? Wasn't I honoring my body with my commitment?