Saturday, October 12, 2013

Heart Walk Was a Good Test for the Bionic Knee

On the six-month anniversary of my total knee replacement, I walked the full 3.3-mile course of the 20th annual Waccamaw Area Heart Walk today. The contrast with last year's walk was stark.

Last year, I walked only a one-mile loop of the course, and the pain in my left knee was excruciating. It drained much of the joy out of the experience.

Today, I walked triple last year's distance with no pain whatever in the bionic knee, or in the non-surgical knee or leg. It felt good to be able to keep up with most of the 2,000 walkers, many of them high school or college students, and to walk through a corridor formed by local collegiate bands and cheerleaders. I felt like a schoolboy football player born again.

The event highlighted heart health, and rightly so. But to me, it was partly about knee health, too. Of course, it all ties together. Being able to use the knee and other joints to keep active has a profound positive impact on the cardiovascular system.

Memo to self: Don't stop doing the knee exercises your physical therapist gave you last May.

Our Grand Strand Mended Hearts team met its goals for numbers of walkers and funds raised for American Heart Association initiatives.

The day was absolutely gorgeous -- partly cloudy, temperatures in the 70s, with some refreshing sea breezes.  Part of the course went around a huge lake featuring geese, swans, and ducks at the Grand Park of The Market Common.

Just in case the course was shorter than advertised (and due to some finish-line confusion it might have been, by a tenth of a mile or so), Superdawg greeted me as soon as I got home with a demand to take her on her on walk. So I did, for another mile.

Next up will be the Walk to End Alzheimer's later this October.

It is good for body and spirit always to have challenges, and to meet them. I am tired tonight, but happy.

                                              © Robert G. Holland  2013

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