Most of us are familiar with the two major personality types.
Type A: Intense. Ambitious. Goal-oriented. Competitive.
Type B: Laid back. Less rigid. More reflective.
I’m definitely more Type A than B (though I consider myself to be reflective and creative too, so there’s some bleed-over between the categories).
One thing I found interesting during my knee pain recovery was that knowing which “type” you are is actually useful.
Well, it suggests which kind of traps you have to be particularly careful about.
For instance, take a Type B personality. You are more likely to make one of these mistakes:
* Not faithfully sticking to the movement program, that involves slowly building intensity over many weeks, that is the best way to heal (or so I found).
* Not observing closely enough (through a knee journal or otherwise) the condition of your knees, day to day, with the aim of figuring out what they like and don’t like, and how fast to proceed with a program to heal.
The Type A personality must guard against different risks, I found out (as a mainly Type A’er).
* Always wanting to push harder, to scoop up gains faster, often with the goal of returning to a much-missed athletic lifestyle. A typical Type A comment would go like this: “My knees were definitely getting better, so on Saturday, I ran four miles, even though I haven’t run that far in eight months. Judging from the way my knees feel today, I think it was a mistake.”
* Not being able to take a day off. Or maybe even several days off. Or admit that (for reasons that aren’t maybe even understood), your knees have suffered a setback and you need to hit the reset button. Sure, you’ve been walking two miles a day for the past month, but for now you have to reduce that to one mile for a while.
* Making knee pain recovery a joyless drudgery. I know I was occasionally guilty of this. Counting steps, taking notes -- it’s all good, but don’t forget to smell the flowers. Don’t become a prisoner of your “my plan to heal” spreadsheet.
Healing knees is a long, challenging process. There will be pitfalls along the way. Knowing which personality type you are -- A or B -- can help you avoid some of those pitfalls.