Thursday, November 17, 2011

A week of Thanksgiving-Day 2

Be thankful for ability to adapt
Roughly 2 months ago I fell and fractured my knee cap. My goals of heavy Olympic lifting and muscle gain were indefinitely put on hold. I was told I must wear an immobile knee brace for 6-8 weeks and hopefully no surgery would be needed. Cut to 7 weeks later, the brace came off, the bone had healed, and I could walk again…barely. Tight atrophied muscles and ligaments made everything but the most basic of hobbling impossible. I started physical therapy somewhere halfway between a foolish positive hope that I’d be instantly cured and back to my precious heavy lifts again, and terrified that I’d never be “normal” again.
What I’ve come to realize in the last few weeks of PT is that life is rarely all or nothing. It is a spectrum of ability and our bodies are amazing at adapting. I was able to hobble around for almost 2 months without the use of my knee. In less than a month of therapy I’ve more than doubled my range of motion. When I get discouraged that I still can’t lift heavy shit or do a squat without severe pain, I remind myself how far I’ve come each week, and the fact that this spectrum will shift some day soon as well, and I’ll begin to decrease pain and increase strength. And the amazing thing is, my body will adapt to each step change so efficiently that I’ll forget how incapable I was the day before. Never underestimate your body’s wondrous ability to adapt. Be it a crippling injury, a goal that always seems just out of reach, or a personal trauma that has slammed down on your life. We're a hearty breed capable of surviving some pretty gnarly extremes. And have hope, because one day soon you'll rise out of survival mode to find you're actually thriving again.

Be good to your body, and it will be good to you! Now get out there and adapt to some crisp fall air!

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