Monday, January 28, 2013

Learning to Walk Again

Yesterday marked one month since I had surgery to repair my ACL.  I've been reflecting on the past 30 days and how it has affected me, how I feel, successes and stresses. Coincidentally I put finishing writing this little blog on hold and in the mean time found a poll trending on Facebook, "What's the worst thing about being injured?" Instead of just gathering my "worst things" I've decided to view them as challenges and my anticipated reward having overcome the challenge.

1. The Complainers/Excuse makers

Challenge:  Holding back the urge to point out they are complaining and making excuses.

It's really hard to hear other people complaining about little things. (Am I complaining about complainers?) I have a new perspective about injuries.  There is always, ALWAYS someone who has it worse off than you.  It's even harder to hear people use those complaints as excuses on WHY they don't want to go do something that I would KILL to be doing.  I specifically remember this driving me crazy when I broke my hand in high school during volleyball season.

Result: A renewed sense of passion and drive.

Having the opportunity to see and hear what others, in my perception, are taking for granted only makes me more hungry to get back to those activities and more passionate about the activity itself. I know injuries typically make me more driven than ever to do what I love.  It's not uncommon for athletes to come back from injuries ready to just GET AFTER IT.

2. The Hurries.

Challenge:  Living in a rabbit world when you're a turtle.

I needed to go grab a few items at Target and stop by Safeway.  (I usually say after this "right quick"  Nothing happens for me "right quick" anymore.  And when I used to not worry about planning out my trips now every stop I make is calculated.  I planned out my meals for the next week and a half or so because I REALLY don't want to have to go back.  It's a waste of my time and energy.

Reward:  Slowing down, being selective of how I spend my time and finding comfort in the no-rush.

I hate wasting time and it's crazy how much time (and money)  I waste when I get super busy.  I don't have a chance to think through everything and plan somethings that would help me to ease a bit of my stress.  When life forces you to slow down, sometimes it's for the better.

3.) Physical Therapy

Challenge: Leg Curls.  Ouch.

The gym can be a challenge to go to anyway, let alone when you know you'll hobble around, do your few mundane exercises that take you FOREVER and then at the end you'll be rewarded by swelling and stiffness.  A bit opposite than working out really hard and feeling super proud of yourself.

Reward:  The Return.

If that's not enough, it's a chance to do SOMETHING, and you can practice the virtue of faith.  This will get better.

4.) Rude people.

 Challenge: Not letting comments and looks get to me.  I got this at work the other day, "You'll be back in no time until you hurt your other knee."  I asked a girl for some options of things to do in Ouray that weren't physical  a guy overheard and purposely said, "Go for a run, climb at the park, go ice skating."  No, he didn't  hear wrong.  She pointed it out to him.  He just laughed.

Reward:  The comfort in knowing at the end of the day I'm me and that guy will always be "that guy." Rude people are jerks, period. Be glad for your life that you can find the good in bad, and move on.

5.) Walking.

Challenge:  Dropping the limp

Sure, limping is gangsta but it doesn't do me any good.  It takes a concentrated effort for me to walk without a limp and it's very important that I do so.  It takes time and patience, two things I don't have a ton of.

Reward:  Dropping the limp.  Walking the walk.  A chance to practice that patience stuff.

6.) Mental Games

Challenge:  Not knowing.

I don't know if I'm doing a great job or if I'm behind schedule or if my limp is getting better.  It's not like college athletics where I got constructive criticism every ten seconds.  To some extent, I'm my own coach and I've never played this game before.

Reward: Thinking positively, practicing it, and truly believing in myself.

I will heal.

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