Tuesday, May 17, 2016
I can't compare the mental challenges of this injury to anything else. I've yet to come across this type of a mind-game, whether in life or my sporting career.
Initially it was about getting through the surgery, 'let's see how that goes.' Then I had to get my range of motion back and decrease the swelling. Start building some strength and functionality back into the knee/leg. Lots and lots of balance work. At about 9 weeks the strength feels pretty great, but then you start running on the treadmill and it doesn't feel as good. At 12 weeks we're running on grass and within a couple weeks we'll be changing directions and swerving on the field.
At every stage, there's a new hurdle to overcome. And sometimes these hurdles are happening daily, one after another. And at times I'm standing there, listening to what is being asked of me, thinking, "there's no f#%$ing way!" I of course try it, and so far have succeeded at completing each of these "hurdles." Only one day was I unable to complete the new task given to me on that day (it was the first day of squatting and I couldn't finish my last set of 5 reps at 40kg).
Simply put, the further down the road to recovery I get, the harder things become. But it's not the physical actions that are difficult...it's the mental strength to let go of the fear and just do it. And therein lies the challenge of keeping that mental strength going everyday so as to keep progressing on the "road to recovery." What got me through the first 8 weeks quite easily was the fact that I took everyday, one day at a time, and wasn't thinking about the long term goal. Now that we're just under 5 weeks from the beginning of our Olympic camp, that long term goal isn't so far away anymore.
And so that reminder to just think and do work, one day at a time, has come full circle. The only way to get through all this, while staying as positive as I have been, is to produce results one day at a time. And just like with this injury, in life, it's important to compartmentalize your emotions, stay positive and approach your goals one day at a time! I'm thankful for this challenge and the growth as a man that it's given me. I'm thankful for all the support thus far as well. Today is 80 days out from the Olympics and 34 days away from the beginning of camp. But remember, all that matters right now is tomorrow!