melissa i strong

rock climber, writer, photographer, working on life daily

Not the Summer Fun I was Planning On....


I cannot tell you how difficult it is missing out on these amazing beautiful weather days in the park—today for example is a high of 65 with a 30% chance of rain and a breeze.  Usually, this time of year is sweltering with mosquitoes swarming but it is close to perfect—a bit rainier but the cooler summer temperature makes perfect climbing days in Rocky.  And instead of being up there on my day off, I sit here, much to my chagrin, and type.


Remember that MRI I did not get after Switzerland?  The one after my right knee made the loud popping sound—well I finally got it thanks to the fact I developed elbow tendinitis in my left elbow.  Why are these two aliments connected?  Well after the tendinitis flared up to a point where it was unmanageable to climb or train I decided to take a break—instead I ran.  Because of this knee injury I took it easy and did most of my runs on the monstrous elliptical machine that takes up half of our guest room running outside only once a week.  Despite my caution it blew up in my face – my knee so to speak.  Thankfully it did not literally blow up—but the MRI revealed what did happen.  Two separate injuries occurred one in Switzerland climbing (moral of the story—never use heel-toe cams) which was a second degree tear to the LCL.  The other trauma occurred thirteen days ago during what felt like a great run around Lake Estes, major tearing to the popliteus tendon combined with some long term ware and tear of fraying and fissuring of the patella facet.   This is all good news and I try to remind myself of that daily—no surgery is needed which is great because LCL repairs involve open knee surgery with tendon grafting.


One would optimistically think that with a knee injury at least I can train my upper body but … remember the elbow tendinitis.  It got to the point that the elbow was screaming at me even while I was doing absolutely noting.  While I was at the doctor getting my knee diagnosis I threw in the elbow too—“yes tendinitis”—“do you want a cortisone shot,” he asked.  I could hear Adam advising me not to because of the damaging effects cortisone shots can have but I also clearly remember his pain and struggle for two years as he wrestled with his elbow tendinosis.  And pretty quickly I answered “yes”—if I am out for my knee and cannot train I at least have to get a jump on this elbow I thought.  One week later I am close to pain free in the elbow.  I went from a constant pain to a little when I try to make it hurt.  But what now—when do I start back and at what level?  And here’s hoping the shot will not come back to haunt me.


I have started PT for both. I feel like I am on the road to recovery.  It is good to know the degree of my knee injury rather than living in the dark worrying and guessing, unsure of every move I make.  Today was my first day easing back into climbing since the cortisone shot eight days ago.  I did my exercises to start and basically just warmed up on our wall and then climbed one mid level problem where I had to try.  I climbed very carefully, controlled and full of worry but it did not hurt—that small session made me so happy!  It was hard to stop there but that was it.  After I did a small hand board session again being very cautious followed by eccentric loading exercises and ice and a bike ride in my living room.  Surprisingly enough that little climbing and activity left me beaming!



Tried golfing Sunday--a bit swollen after but no pain while golfing.  A good distraction.  That ball did not make it but the next one was a beauty!

New Berewery in town-- Lumpy Ridge Brewing Company!