So it happens- an injury, a setback, rock bottom. What’s the hardest thing about hitting this low? It’s not the climb back up; no the climb is what we yearn for, the ability to push, to be in control. The hardest thing is the unknown, the uncertainty, the fear of what if this isn’t temporary, what if tomorrow doesn’t bring improvement, what if the best is in the rear view mirror?
That was me last Tuesday. I was scared, not nervous, down right terrified! What was I doing, was I making the right decision, was this smart, was this really going to make things better, or was I making things worse? I did not have pain in my knee despite a significant tear to my meniscus; a tear that happened over 6 months ago, allowed me to race four 20k’s, one 10k, two 5k’s, and one mile. So was this surgery really necessary? Was this surgery going to make me stronger?
Ever wish you could go back and tell your former self don’t worry, it all worked out fine, in fact it worked out better than fine, you rocked it? Of course we all have! But life doesn’t work that way. And so we drive forward, buying into the potential of tomorrow and optimistic for the progress it will bring.
In one week I went from race walking 15km in warm lingering summer weather, to meniscal surgery and limp walking with a cane. Today marks 5 days post operation and 5 days of being humbled in the most basic ways. I cannot drive a car, I walk down the stairs both feet on each step one at a time, I’m only allowed to bend my knee 100 or so degrees, and today at PT the NuStep congratulated me on my cardio session…10min, level 2, 70 calories burned! But you know what each day I have been blessed by continual progress.
I can sit more comfortably in the car, I can walk up the steps alternating feet, I achieved 10,000 steps going about my day, I have added ankle weights to my leg lifts, and I can do calf raises now too. And guess what tomorrow it gets even better; I can elliptical for 15min on level 2!
So remember to give yourself a break. Celebrate those small steps of forward progress. Always focus on the progress, never on the length of the journey that still remains ahead. You will get there, I promise and if you don’t it’s because life took you in a different direction. Or better yet, you chose to go in a different direction. But in the end this, this struggle right now will only make you stronger, more appreciative, and that future victory even sweeter!
So make a list of all that you can do, draw a line under it with the date. And then watch the list continually grow, and with it your confidence too! And before you know it all that patience, all that perseverance, and all that stored up potential energy will be ready to be converted into kinetic energy. And when it does you’re going to soar!
Head up, wings out!