Knees and Inspiration Point
This past weekend, I had three major goals, some of which may seem contradictory:
1. Sleep/relax/don’t do anything.
2. Test out my shitty, long-time misbehaving knee using KT Tape + recent physical therapy + a new and improved stretching routine.
3. Get out and see some mountains and do the 10.5 mile hike to inspiration point in the Angeles National Forest.
On all accounts, it was a success. While I’ve done the shorter trip to the Echo Mountain hotel, I’ve been very tentative to try anything longer than roughly 8 miles with the shitty knee. This past summer, in July 2014 I completed an amazing and gorgeous hike of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne in Yosemite National Park (seriously, DO THIS HIKE, and I will soon do a nice write-up of the experience). While it was worth it, I paid dearly in knee pain for weeks after. So, after starting physical therapy and having my knee tapped the week before, I decided to see how far I was comfortable going this past weekend, fully intending to turn back when I felt like things were taking a turn for the worse. Amazing, I never reached this point, and did the entire loop, all 2740 feet of elevation gain, with very little pain, and I was rewarded with a lovely rainy and misty hike all the way up to inspiration point. While I definitely have a long way to go with physical therapy, I’m finally feeling hopeful that this is something I can improve as time goes on.
I’ve been a naysayer when it comes to taping over the years, a belief I’ve based off of things I’ve made up in my head (how can tape fix anything??). Well, turns out tape does help, and it helps a lot. So, looks like KT Tape is my new best friend for long hikes.
By the way, if you’ve been thinking about doing this hike, it’s a wonderful trip, taking around 4.5 hours. You see a lot of different environments all in one hike, including pines, yucca/cactus and unfortunately, lots of poodle dog bush near the site of the Station Fire. Also, I noticed a considerable thinning of the crowds once we got past the hotel, so don’t be scared after the first 3 miles!
On Sunday, I was also super successful in my first goal: to not do ANYTHING. Well, I did something: laundry. So I guess that counts as something.