Let’s get right to it – Unfortunately, I have gone through this process a lot. Fortunately, I have become exceedingly efficient at it.
Strength is the product of struggle – It is in the very nature of pushing our physical limits that we may one day reach those limits. And when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, there will always be damage of a collateral nature.
Remember 2 things:
- The limits and plateaus we reach are not permanent, or impassable.
- A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence.
I divide my rehab into 4 separate stages:
- Accepting it
- Fixing it
- Insuring it
- Learning from it
Speaking from experience which includes everything from surgery on both my knees, my collar bone broken and popped out, then stitched back in, broken both legs, right ankle, both wrists, torn my thumb off, torn middle finger off – both sewed back on, given myself multiple concussions, suffered brain injuries which still challenge me today, I can no longer smell anything, nor taste much. I’m blind in my left eye and deaf in my left ear. I’ve broken most of my left rib cage, torn my MCL, PCL and partial ACL in my knees, sliced my patella tendon in two, severed the nerves and tendons in my right forearm, dislocated shoulders likes its in fashion, and the list goes on. Ironically, thanks to the nature of how one gets concussions, I don’t have much in the way of memory of actually receiving most of these injuries, but I most definitely remember the recovery process.
During some serious rehab programs its common for some to be mentally and physically drained and consider giving up. DO NOT WORRY! This signifies only that you are human, and sane. Our down times fuel the up times. There would be no sweet without sour, or pleasure without pain. The balance of the yin-yang opposites lets us attain perspective. And, eventually after some time, motivation to get us back up and be happy again like before – to build yourself back up. ‘Rock bottom’, as it’s known, either makes or breaks people.
It might sound anticlimactic, but the ‘secret’ to my each and every one of my rehabilitations was my mindset. From a life time of experience, every time I started this rehab process, before I could even get past Step 1 of accepting my situation and condition, I had to tell myself yet again that I CANNOT and WILL NOT win PHYSICALLY if I am losing MENTALLY. Then I was ready for step 1.
Everyone’s different, as are our injuries. Take 2 similar build/age/sport people who have both suffered for e.g. an ACL tear. Same injury, right? Almost guaranteed when we look in detail that the nature of the damage is not IDENTICAL. This example should be able to provide us a metaphorical lesson that regardless of what or how you injured yourself, you are now walking your own path of struggle that leads back to the light. Just because some other guy got better in 6 weeks etc doesn’t mean you will. Maybe twice as long, maybe half. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. You can build a beautiful house, but if its build on a poor foundation, one day you may be homeless.
1. It’s normal to feel down and unmotivated after a set-back. The sooner you tell yourself you are just going to get the hell on with it regardless of the pain is time it will take, the sooner the process will be done. This accepting phase before the plan gets rolling into action is like a limbo period made longer by the thought of how long and frustrating a rehab can take. THAT RIGHT THERE just simply isn’t logical.. to shy away from a goal only due to the time it will take to achieve it? The time is going to pass anyway. And unlike money, once you spend it, you can’t get it back. Get on with it.
2. Fix it. Do what it takes and do it smart. See professionals if needs be, use google, anything to become more aware of your condition and progression. It’s not all good news: Yes it will hurt. No it’s not fair.
3. Build an unbreakable foundation – this is how we insure ourselves against repeat injuries of the same nature. Be smart, but not afraid.DANGER is very real. However FEAR is a product of our own creation we make up due to a range of ‘what if’ negative situational outcomes if we were to go for another attempt at our goal. You’re smarter this time. You know what not to do. This foundation provides our mental strength – confidence.
4. Mentally, you can be stronger after than you had ever been before. This increase in mentality can lead to an increase in physicality if you apply your new knowledge to your craft. “Talent comes naturally, but skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft”.
So a closing thought: For an arrow to be fired at a target, first it must be pulled back as far as possible.