Week 18: Dodgeball and Fuel

It has been a minute since I have written about my progress with my injury. I have been going through a lot of personal stuff that has knocked me around a little but I am at a better place in which I can get back on the horse with updating on where I am. The good news is with all the things I have going on, my knee is actually a consistent good thing.

I was able to get off crutches for good when I went to Vegas during Memorial Day weekend. Since then, I have been focused on rebuilding strength and working on my walking ability. We are now sitting just past the 4 month mark from my surgery. My walking has gotten slightly better each day. I now only wear my brace when I know I’m going to be more active or walking for a long duration.

My last ortho appointment was positive. I now have a clearer timeline of goals to meet. The goal at 5 months is to start jogging exercises in a pool. At 6 months the goal is to jog straight on land. At 8 months, the goal is to do small side-to-side drills. At 10 months the goal is to return to play with a brace. This will put me right at my goal of January so essentially I am right on track.

I have been cleared to leg press and squat up to 70 degrees of flexion. This has been awesome for my confidence. I go to the gym probably 4 times a week. I get on the stationary bike, leg press, and single leg press. At home I work on PT exercises and light squats.

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I can feel my leg getting strength back. It was kind of depressing the first time I got on the leg press machine because I can normally leg press close to 300 without much build up but I had to start very low on the weight. I am now slowly building on that weight. I can feel the difference in how I walk. It is slightly less labored.

It is weird to explain but there also more feeling and flexion in the knee as I get stronger. It kind of feels like your knee is this ice block and it breaks apart slowly to regain more and more feeling.

I am currently at 125 degrees of flexion. The strides in that area have been slower as my quad is getting stronger but according to my PT people, I need to focus on stretching my quad more as it is still a bit tight. I am also dealing with the fact that when working on flexion, when I get to a certain point I have a pain on the inside of my knee where one of the fractures occurred. The ortho said this will eventually work itself out.

The LCL feels strong though. I never have any pain there. If I do have pain it is in that fracture spot or sometimes I get sore in my hamstring where they had also worked on. Sometimes I get soreness in my leg like shin splints if I am walking in my dress shoes so I try to limit wearing them much.

My scars are healing nicely as well. Here are some progress pictures to view.

My team has had some optional workouts this off season. I went to couple of them before I started having car issues that I’m trying to resolve. I basically did PT exercises on the sideline and then came onto the field to assist with drills. I can stand in place and throw and catch. I just can’t actually move to get anything.

Just being on the field again was a big deal to me. I don’t think I understood how much that I not only miss playing, but the connection and bond I get with my teammates. When you are playing together, after a game, you get to discuss what you went through together. Not being able to play for an entire season, I no longer had that connection to people and it truly broke my heart to be completely honest. It was very lonely. It taught me an subconscious reason that I have loved playing football that I didn’t realize existed.

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Being on the field again and not just holding up a sideline, made me feel part of the team again. It made me feel more complete as that structure has been in my life for 10 years. It has been there no matter what crazy things were happening in my personal life. It has always been my outlet. To not have that was devastating to me.

This last month, I’m not going to lie to you, has been very tough on me due to personal things going on. Life has a way of having trouble come out you in multiples. It is kind of like dodgeball only sometimes one hits you so hard in the heart that you stumble back wondering where the hell you are. And then several others come at you down the hill trying to trip you up. That has been the last month for me.

The only thing constant in life is change itself. Once I realized that I am in an transition stage in my life and accepted that that is why these things are happening, I was able to see that the breaking apart of these things was leading to new beginnings in other areas.

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If it is one thing I am good at, it is getting back up. No matter how many times I fall, I always get back up. I am stubborn as hell. I am feeling now like I have my footing again and will update more regularly on my progress. The beauty of pain is that it makes for excellent fuel.

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Peaceful Warrior about a gymnast who sustains heavy injuries in a car accident and meets a mentor who teaches him how to use his mind to overcome adversity. This is pretty relevant to what I have been going through.

 

Needless to say, I am taking out the trash and focusing on this moment.

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Till next time.

 

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