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Long story short: I managed to injure myself two years ago while coaching. My condition was misdiagnosed two times before my PT pointed out (in December last year) that I probably had a torn meniscus. He was right. I went under the knife in September 2009 and everything now checks out fine with my doctor. Skiing should be a go. 

The problem is that I have always gained weight very easily when living a sedentary lifestyle and I have missed the entirety of last season and the season before was hell: I couldn't ski at 50% of my ability... and the last time I could exercise meaningfully without pain was in December 2007. I have thus gained a lot of weight. A LOT (40 lbs easily). So my knee might be fine now, but I'm in no shape to be skiing, wich, for an ex-racer and someone who has always been an avid fan of the sport, is truly sad. I went skiing today and altough the knee felt fine, everything else burned and ached. I was out of breath constantly and since I'm in my mid-twenties, that's just wrong. I know it's the first time in a long time I have touched snow, but I seriously felt very much out of shape (altough according to my ski buddies, I still ski pretty much the same though, wich is a good sign). 

So what should I do now ? I guess "exercizing" is the stupid answer but any ressource or specific routines I might want to check ? Before my injury, I always felt invincible: I didn't need a whole lot of conditionning since I was already in shape when December came due to my powerlifting hobby and participation in the university's racing team. But I don't feel that doing plyometrics while being an out-of-shape slob will get me there without reinjuring my knee. I have tought about taking up swimming again, logging a lot of miles on the bike and consulting with a PT, but anything else ? My goal is to be in shape for NEXT WINTER to get back into the coaching/teaching game and maybe make 2-3 spring outings this year. Money/time is tight in the foreseeable future anyway so I'm not in any hurry, I just wanted to sollicit opinions from people who might have experienced what I'm experiencing now.