Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Pain is only temporary!"

(Photo credit Sarah Sall)

Okay, so we've all heard the quote, 'pain is only temporary.' Well, I happen to wonder the other day if that's true?? 

Typically it's referring to the 'pain' during a grueling training session, which is more a matter of mental pain. But in my case, it's mental and physical, everyday. 

We're beginning our 3rd full week of camp and it's been massive volumes of running, contact, and technical work. Twice a week at least of our yakayard/combat fitness sessions that are meant to break you both ohysically and mentally, as well as weights and running rugby of course. 

Beyond the physical struggle of completing the sessions, there's this damn knee reminding me everyday that it hasn't even been 5 months...asking me, "what are you doing!?"

Pain is only temporary, right!? Well, let's be honest, this type of pain may not be short lived, and definitely adds to the struggle of what we're currently going through...but it's all worth it! Every moment, every day I wake up wondering how I'm going to feel, and every day I have to battle by recovering in between our three session a day, refueling enough to replenish the 5,000 calories we burn,  but again, it's all worth it! 

This opportunity will never come again and I'm trying to enjoy the little moments of success. Appreciate the simple fact that I'm here, training, competing and in some small or big way, part of the US Olympic Rugby team. Appreciate the moments in life you'll never get back, and in reality, that's every day! Stay positive and love the process!  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

On the Eve of our Olympic camp

Well, whether I was playing with the team this whole time, or doing what I was with my rehab, all the preparation comes to a head tomorrow. Our training camp for Rio begins on 6/20/2016, as well as our pursuit of an Olympic medal. 

I woke up nervous this morning. It's been a loooooonng time since that's happened for camp. I mean, I was feeling similar thoughts in October when I first came back, but this is different. I don't know what I'm cable of yet. Each week there should only be more upside if I can keep my knee healthy. And so, my nervousness comes from not being able to handle the volume of the training load with my "new knee." 

But my sport psychologist would say, "that's not something you can worry about becuase it's out of your control."

Since he's right, I have to use my self talk to make sure I continue to take one day at a time. If I wake up and I'm just too sore to compete, that's okay. But if i keep going as I have been, and things continue to get better, then what a relief that'll be. But either way it starts with tomorrow and I can only control that much right now.  How I prepare for tomorrow is all I can think about. 

Haha Nice pep talk Kev! I'm basically thinking out loud by writing this blog post right now:) 

My biggest goal of this camp is to stay healthy. Which means I need to take care of my body. Rehydrate, eat well, stretch, show up early and roll out, prehab work, recovery, rehab, video analysis, journal and reading. 

You hear coaches during half time / motivational speeches say, "it's the next 40 minutes for the rest of our lives" (originally from varsity blues if my memory serves me right). Well we've got 6 weeks to prepare for the Olympics, and that is truly "for the rest of our lives." As a team we can come together and do something incredibly special. It'll be interesting how this all and out in the end. But for now, the only focus is on tomorrow;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

They're back!

The team finished the season 6th overall by taking 3rd place in the last tournament of the season. The guys earned some much needed time off and the majority have been away from the training center for the past couple weeks. 

We started back training together as a team on Monday (6/13) and I was able to do everything on the field with the group. It was my first run around with the team since my injury and I thought I'd be more excited; definitely more emotional about it. 

Either way, it did feel really really good! I felt empowered by the incredible amount of work Brett and I have put in (Brett is the other player who tore his ACL at the same time I did and we've been rehabbing together). The feeling of empowerment breeds confidence. I've been fearless in most of my rehab, but there's still doubt in my ability to be/feel healthy. So any little gain in confidence is huge at this point. I hope that each day it grows and grows so I don't have to worry about the injury or being healthy, and can focus on worrying about making the team for the Olympics!! :) 

But seriously, it's a matter of keeping that fearlessness as we move into the next final steps of our rehab, whilst building confidence in everything new I do. Our official Olympic camp starts next week and although I have some leeway, I hope to participate in everything, including contact, by July 1 at the latest. This is it, the last four months of rehab come down to the next 4 weeks when the team will be selected on July 17th. 

Make or break time (no pun intended). #WinTheDay