First Hike After ACL Surgery

Posted by Genevieve

Just when I thought my recovery was going well, I had a post-op (ACL reconstruction) Dr.’s appointment, which ended in diminished confidence.  I am now required to wear a new “fancy” brace during any activity for the next year, which includes training for this Xtreme hike in the hottest, most humid months of the year.  Joy!  I’m trying to think positively and tell myself that this ugly, stinking, hot brace will protect my new knee and I guess that is important.

Closest trails to DC - Potomac Overlook Regional Park

Closest trails to DC – Potomac Overlook Regional Park

So, to test out the new brace, I headed out to Potomac Overlook Regional Park  in Arlington, which has some easy nature trails near DC (trails: Blue Jay Way > Marcey Creek > Red Maple Trail > White Oak Way > Tree of Heaven Trail).

I’m not sure exactly how many miles I hiked (best guess is 3 miles), but the good news was that my knee held up, in general, so the training continues.  I was a little sore at the end, but I made it!  One thing I noticed that I suppose will improve with time, was hesitation going downhill.  For some reason my brain told my right leg to second guess every step when there was a “nearby” rock a few feet below.

Just a few comments on Potomac Overlook Regional Park: Pros – very close to DC, nicely marked shady trails with lots of educational signs (e.g.,  I learned about microbursts, which are a very localized column of sinking air, producing damaged divergent and straightline winds at the surface that are similar to, but distinguishable from tornadoes; a microburst occurred in this area in July ’11) and  Cons – the difficulty level does not vary – only easy trails; limited amount of trails.  One additional comment: although there aren’t too many trails (in terms of distance) within the park, some of the park’s trails lead to trails outside the boundary of the park such as Military Road, Donaldson Run Trail and Potomac Heritage Trail).

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