Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

I always knew when I came back into this whole rugby thing, my nemesis - injuries - might prop up again. Because of that, and becuase of the sacrifices I've given up in order to come back, I had to prepare myself mentally for that one injury possibility that might take me out. This is no different than how I prepare prior to tournaments, except the expectation is quite negative. 

That's the challenge, in sports psych sessions I'm supposed to accept the negative thoughts, but combat them with positive reinforcements. For example, the inner voice says, "I'm too old and I've lost a step." That Negative thought meets a positive reinforcement, "I'm older, but I'm far more intelligent and that makes up for any physical decrements."

So throughout my training, I've prepared myself in the same way with injuries, whether small or big and I can't tell you how much it has helped. 

Going into our third tournament, in Wellington, I was thinking to myself, wow my body feels good. Wow, I'm truly enjoying this. And then the unfortunate happens. In the last match of the tournament, I step to go right, but my body stays left and my knee gives out. I knew instantly that I had done some major damage. I felt the bones separate in my knee capsule, then felt/heard a pop (ligament tearing), and then the troubling sensation of two bones clashing together. After laying on the field for about two minutes, and the shock of knowing what just happens still quite prevalent, all I wanted was to get off the field. So I popped up, with the trainers assisting, and we hobbled off. 

Fast forward two weeks and I just completed my surgery to reconstruct my ACL and MCL. I had a bone bruise, which caused swelling in the joint, hence the decision to wait two weeks to do the surgery. All and all it went well and I am happy. I knew this could be a possibility, but this is life. What is life without risks? What is the point of jumping into things when there is complete certainty? You grow the most when you overcome situations that have doubt. When you achieve goals that may not be attainable. Once again a challenge has come before me and I hope to meet it with grace, courage and strength for myself and those around me.

I have every intent to come back in time to at least complete for an Olympic spot. That gives me 4 1/2 months or so. 5 1/2 months before they select the team. If nothing else, I will grow from this. I will be a better, stronger man becuase of it and for that I will still be thankful. 

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