So I’m still on vacay. Hip hip hooray 🙂
And another amazing and talented runner has written a post for me to share: Lacey from Common Object and Everyday Events. I’ve actually run races and training runs with her before and she’s kicked my butt a lot. Check her out because she’s awesome 🙂
Guest post coming atcha today from Lacey of Objects and Events. You can check me out at http://objectsevents.wordpress.com.
Today I am talking about the comeback.
Athletes and fitness buffs tend to let injuries get them down. All the can’ts come crashing down. I can’t play basketball! I can’t run! I can’t… ___(fill in the blank).
We’ve probably all been there at some point. And if you haven’t ever been injured- wow! Bottle up whatever you are drinking and sell it, seriously. Then knock on some wood for good measure.
But what about what we CAN do?! That’s where the comeback comes in.
Already at 26 years old (and I’ll be 27 on August 15th!!) I have had surgery on my left knee twice.
First Surgery, February 2005
I tore my ACL my junior basketball season in college- the first week of January. Interestingly enough, the injury happened when my team was playing at the college both of my sisters attended!!! That college was infamous for its rubber court which makes it more likely to be “sticky.” My ACL tear was non-impact. Translation: All that happened was I planted my left foot, dribbling the ball, changed directions, and BAM. I was yelling in pain before I hit the floor. The rubber court has since been remade with wood.
At the time the lateral meniscus had minor damage, but not enough to warrant repair. I had surgery in February 2005 to reconstruct my ACL using a hamstring from the same leg.
Second Surgery, June 2010
Fast forward, five years later (this past spring), and if you read my blog you know that I tore the lateral meniscus of that same knee. Basketball again! Gah! Another non impact tear. I simply twisted in a way and felt a catch and some buckling and pain.
I had surgery on June 11, 2010 to cut off the offending piece of meniscus that was flapping in and out of the joint.
SO WHAT’S THE POINT?!
The point is not the actual injury. The point is your recovery from it. I like to call it a comeback.
The comeback is an interesting thing for me. My mind completely clears. My priorities crystallize.
I pursue rehab and recovery with a sense of purpose and I am intensely inspired to be my very best and treat myself as well as I can.
[PAUSE for Thought: Shouldn’t we do this all the time?!?! Answer: ABSO-f’ing-LUTELY].
Here are my top tips for Making a Comeback. You don’t even have to be injured to go through the comeback process. It’s a great way to recharge yourself anytime. But you have to be willing to take the time to rest. I know, it sounds risky.
ONE—Make a list of things you CAN do that will make you FEEL GREAT.
Here is what mine looked like immediately after my second surgery-
- Drink lots of water
- Focus on protein intake
- Take anti-inflammatory meds
- “Clean” eating (for me this means nutrient dense and monitoring my caloric intake- never going hungry, but never overeating).
TWO—Embrace the opportunity to take some time to really REST.
I was lucky and spent about a week resting at my parents’ house in NH. No demands, just quiet. I reclined on the couch and iced on and off all day. I slept a lot. I drank water and tea. I read books. I slowly worked my way to walking and by the end of 7 days I was walking around almost normally. I felt fantastic. Relaxed and Recharged. JUST by prioritizing all the things on the above list.
THREE—Build activity… STRATEGICALLY.
As soon as I was able to incorporate some activity into my day, I did. Complete rest will revitalize your interest in working out, I promise. For me, at first my activity was just walking. Then I added core (something I rarely did when I was running all the time- but now I was FOCUSED).
And build away, but be smart about it. I didn’t overextend myself and I saw my surgeon twice to check-in. I also went to physical therapy. If you have the option- take it. For me physical therapy wasn’t ground shaking. But it was a solid hour of time to focus on strengthening. Also you get things like trainer assisted exercises and stretching, stim, and big bags of ice. You also get ideas for things you can do on your own.
Here’s my activity building progression:
- I was ONLY able to bike for awhile, so I did that most days.
- I added lifting. I continued doing core.
- I added the stair climber. I built my time on the stair climber.
- I added the elliptical. I built time on the elliptical.
- I added yoga.
- And finally, I started running again. I thought running would be the ultimate goal, but as it turns out it is just a piece of a bigger puzzle.
You better believe BUILDING is AWESOME. When you start with 10 minutes on the elliptical, eventually achieving an HOUR on it feels magical. And all of this cross-training and lifting will make every single day feel like the possibilities for activity are endless. Do what you want and challenge yourself. Try further, try faster. Try something new.
And then you realize…
…you’ve made your comeback.
Thanks for reading!!!!