Since my last 4K, also Tecumseh on Flags on the 48 in 2014, I some problems with my knee. It just wouldn't cooperate with any type of treatment or medications. I spent 5 months in PT stretching and strengthening. I was also fitted for a medial decompression brace, which is designed to force open the inside of the knee joint and relieve pain. Where has that been all my life! After spending years of walking incorrectly to compensate for pain, I had to learn to walk correctly wearing the brace. There was a lot of tripping as I kept trying to walk the "old" way and the brace forced me to go the "new" way." But I finally figured it out and was on my way.
I did a few small hikes and a lot of walking. But I didn't have the confidence in the knee or the brace to go back up North. I recently decided that it was time to find out if the knee and brace were able to handle me, a backpack, and the ups and downs of hiking. To my surprise, everything worked out well - except for the fact that I really need to get back into hiking condition-yikes! There was no major knee pains but I could feel the smaller muscles, especially in the hips, that haven't been worked in a while. It was good pain, knowing that everything was working the way is should.
Going up was fine. Down was even better. The frozen trail from early morning gave way to a slushy mess but I had no issues. As I neared the parking lot I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment, even being on Tecumseh. I was back doing something I thought I would never be able to do again. 5 miles and 2200' feet in about 3:30. There is still more work to do to get ready for some of the bigger hikes, but I'm looking forward to getting there.