A scar is a sign of strength... A sign of a survivor.
I wouldn't exactly picture a welcoming party to a club associated with four wounds, a knee splint, crutches and prescription medication, but I think that's what you get when you join a club that nobody wants to be a part of.
And as a welcoming present you are given the gift of a new ACL. Or maybe the initial gift would be the loss of the ACL in the first place, but who's keeping score.
When you hear the words ACL from a doctor nothing is more terrifying as an athlete. In my mind that has always been an injury associated with the graveyard of athletic careers. Tell anyone you've torn your ACL, and the reactions on their faces show the exact same sentiment.
I refuse to let that be my reality.
Surgery today isn't what it used to be. Recoveries today are quicker. The tools we are able to use in therapy are more advanced. And the likelihood of recovering from the dreaded ACL injury is high. Recovering from any injury for that matter. Thank goodness.
Luckily for me, this isn't my first rodeo in this department. I prefer to do things back to back, like winning championships, so it's only fitting that I celebrate my previous victories with back to back surgeries right? Back to back recoveries of 8 months give or take.
Having gone through the process once before I learned a thing or two about a thing or two. Like the fact that anesthesia makes me nauseous. That my pain tolerance is high but pain meds are necessary. That sleep is both friend and foe, and there is also a thing such as too much Netflix. And that bathing post surgery is a mountain of a task that cannot be conquered without help.
I also learned that I cannot overcome my adversities alone. Yes, I physically have to put in the work, but I need a team of people right there with me. I need my physiotherapist to guide me. My strength trainer to push me. My family and friends to nurture me. My community to support me.
It's crazy for me to see the number of women who have torn their ACL's this year, or suffered other major injuries. Who are post surgery, or awaiting surgery. Those who have reached out to share their stories, offer advice, or seek comfort.
You all rock.
The long road of injury and recovery can be daunting. But, it's been refreshing to share a collective bond through our injuries and have a guide to compare recoveries with, and even compare scars.
So, for any of you finding yourselves in similar shoes as mine, you probably know the basics of what you need to do so I'm not going to tell you any of that (If you need tips/advice I'm here for it though). But, I will say this.
Let the day of your injury be the worst day of your life. From there realize that it's not over. Never give up on those day 1 dreams. Adversity, should you choose to welcome it, will fortify your resolve, push your limits and make you the best version of yourself for years to come.
For all my injured friends out there, realize that you are given the gift of so much more than an undesirable situation. You are given the gift of time.
Time to heal your body. Time to reflect upon your purpose and interests. Time to refresh and recharge. Time to build yourself into a total badass.
Welcome to the club.