2016, the year of endurance. Longer events, epic adventures, and making myself known in the endurance community. Little did I know ... 2016 would be the year of recovery. Longer rest, still some epic adventures, and making myself known for a Badass comeback.
On January 22, it was a normal day. Taught cycle, met with friends, worked out and then decided to head out to Top Out, the closest climbing gym, to practice my climbs for an upcoming event. I was starting to hit climbs that I normally couldn't and getting stronger each time I went, and by this time I was going around twice a week. After a couple hours I wanted to do this V2 I was super proud of doing early on in the session before we left. I start climbing and of course after 90 minutes of climbing you are fatigued and things feel a little harder. I noticed a lot more swing with each grab and by the time I reached the last two holds I swung out and my grip slipped and was on my way down. In any normal situation this is common and I would just land in a squat and roll back. Well, this was not a normal situation. I landed and my right knee buckled in and from what I felt, I felt as if my knee was backwards. I heard snaps that I care not to remember and for some reason can't seem to forget.
As I was lying there on the floor I screamed out a few times and was convinced I couldn't move. I instantly broke out in a sweat and my body did what it would naturally do. The medics were called and I was told not to move my leg. Within minutes I was saying, "But I have a race next weekend." It was certain I would NOT be participating in any events. The medics arrive and I was able to move my leg and declined the $1500 ride to the hospital. We head back to Lancaster and get to the hospital to do Xray, get meds and some crutches. I knew I wasn't going to know for sure what happened till Monday when getting an MRI, and I was not ready to think the worst. Over the next two days I stayed on the pullout couch whenever possible. I still taught my classes and had help from everyone. I even had clients food prep for me! I guess they didn't want me to let myself go!
Monday arrives and I get the MRI results back. After I get off the phone with the doctor I immediately sat out back and sobbed for about 10 minutes straight. "The ACL and MCL are both torn and will need surgery to reconstruct the ACL." Surgery was the last thing I wanted to hear and worst of all, "Recovery is usually 9 months to a year." Mentally I was not ready for such a thing. I went to the dark side real quick. For those that don't know, I have been sober for over 5 years, and my life revolves around fitness of some sort, from my job to my hobbies. So the dark side took me to thinking that getting pain meds is going to be easy, drinking compliments those pain med and I wonder what other kind of meds will let me function the best. Note to self: I never even liked popping pills. In less than a minute I felt like hundreds of negative thoughts were crossing my mind. I was instantly shaken out of it once I stopped sobbing and made a phone call to a close friend.
I woke up the next morning with what seemed to be a new pair of glasses. Yes, I might be hobbling around on crutches but you better believe I was going to get shit done. I made it a point to put myself back in my own bed, no napping, and use this time to really focus on my recovery. Mentally, physically and emotionally I was going to grow throughout this time and I was going to comeback stronger than before. Not AS strong as before, but STRONGER. I was not where I wanted to be at that time and I was going to still strive to get there.
Although this obstacle is in my life, I am taking every step to get over it. I am taking advantage of this time to work on my business, my clients, my spirituality and my recovery (physically and emotionally). Oh and not to mention my upper body is going to be pretty buff. New goals are set and I had to realize that the saying was true, "Obstacles are put in your way to see if what you really want is worth fighting for."
I am questioned constantly. "Why are you in the gym" Well because my upper body is fine and this is where I feel at home. "Where are your crutches?" I don't need them. "Shouldn't you be taking it easy?" Well, the physical therapist said I was babying my leg. So I'll show him. "You're still teaching cycle?" Fuck yah I am. Im off the bike, but you better believe you're going to get a killer workout, because I am sending you all my energy to ride!
Yesterday (Monday February 8th) I had a follow up with the doctor and was told I have more than an ACL and MCL tear, and that there is also a complex tear in my meniscus. No big deal! I do have a tendency to go big or go home, so I guess it applies to injuries as well. Surgery will be in about four weeks. I plan to take this four weeks and focus on my physical therapy and nutrition. I want to go into this surgery feeling healthy and ready to take on this year of recovery and be known for a Badass Comeback.
I will be posting, blogging and using this experience to show others that things happen. We can overcome them. What felt like an end to a world is now a chance for huge growth.
Make sure to follow along my journey