I played soccer competitively up until High School, when I suffered a bunch of knee injuries…ACL and cartilage tears. I remember how it felt when I was injured for the first time during try-outs sophomore year. I was hopeful I would make Varsity since I had been pulled up to play with them for many games my Freshman year. I was determined to earn my permanent spot on the team. Then, in one fateful moment when I was dribbling up the field, a defender attacked, and in an effort to redirect the ball, I rolled my foot in a funky direction and SNAP…I tore cartilage and my ACL in my left knee. I had emergency surgery to repair the cartilage that had been lodged into my knee joint and once that was rehabbed, surgery to repair my ACL. My dreams were crushed and I pictured my whole life falling apart (just a little teenage drama!).
I worked hard in rehab, because I wanted back into sports but REHAB SUCKS...it's a slow go process. Laying on the hospital bed post-surgery, with fresh incisions, pain and swelling...it's had to believe that anything will get better. I felt the same way when I had an un-expected c-section for the birth of my first child and had a ton of issues with the incision healing. As friends and family came to visit and sauntered in the room on their two good knees and their fully intact abdomens, I felt jealous and hopeless. I wanted to just fast-forward and be better.
I'm sure we all wish we could flip a switch and have what we desire now, it's far easier than enduring the pain, second-guessing and growth that comes along with the journey.
Take getting fit for example. It's hard to feel badly about ourselves walking into the gym ready to get our plan started to only be accosted by beautiful, muscular Gods that seem to be effortlessly moving through their workouts. Seeing them either fuels us because we want to be like them, or it makes us want to give up because we have such a long way to go. Likely, it's a mix of the two, depending on what else is pulling at our limited supply of willpower on a particular day.
The important thing to remember is that big change happens in small increments until one day you realize you've arrived! To recover from knee surgery, you have to keep up with the pain, ice to reduce swelling and strengthen all the supporting muscles to avoid atrophy and increase blood supply to promote healing. None of that happens overnight and you sure as hell can't see it happening inside your joint. You just wake up two weeks later and, "OMG, I can put full body weight on my injured leg! YES!" or you get out of bed to pick up your infant and you stand up without any abdominal pain and "Hallelujah! I might be able to actually leave the house today!". I remember celebrating those victories like I had just won the lottery!
What positive choice you could make today and every day that you can't see changing you now, but could get you to somewhere special over time? What does "arriving" to that goal feel like to you? Crystalize it and choose to dial into it every day. A 15 minute workout every day is a great start. Join Be PowerFULL here and receive a few 15 minute workouts for free!