New runners often make the mistake of running too fast too soon. I was certainly not an exemption. Imagine, I forced myself to run as long as 15 minutes at a time without any previous running experience. I hadn’t felt any pain so I thought, hell yeah, my body can take it, let’s go for more!
By mid-december (mind you, that’s just a week after I embarked on running as a sport), I was hearing tiny little clickety-clacks in my left knee every single time I bent it. Argh. It wasn’t painful but it was bothersome.
Emotionally, I was a nervous wreck. I had just found THE sport for me and I could see myself running till the day I died. If I was told to stop running because of a “silly little” knee problem, I didn’t know what I would do. (Although I’m pretty sure I would’ve instantly gained 10 lbs. due to depression and lack of activity.)
So, I consulted one of the most distinguished orthopedic surgeons in the country, Dr. Antonio Rivera. After a brief examination—bend your knee in and out, a twist to the left and the right, and questions on my history—he tells me I’ve got DISCOID LATERAL MENISCUS. Basically, I was born with a circular miniscus instead of a C-shaped miniscus so my knee cap doesn’t fit into its socket. Then he says “Now for the big question: can you still run?”
Wait a minute. How did he know what I was thinking? Was the anxiety in my face THAT obvious? With bated breath I awaited his answer.
“Continue running,” he says. Worst case would be surgery if it becomes too painful, but that’s a simple procedure that is almost always successful. I could’ve given him a giant hug at that very instant—only my husband was beside me.
Leaving the clinic, I was bursting with excitement for my bright future in running. Quoting from Dr. Seuss, “Oh the places you will go! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” But in my case it would be “Oh the many many races I could join…and perhaps someday win.”