Hey all, happy third day of Thanksgiving! Today I am thankful for the power of recovery. Be it from injury, a hard-fought workout, a tough week at the office, or a personal tragedy, the ability to recover and achieve what we thought was lost forever is a priceless gift.
A little over 2 months ago, I fell during a run and landed directly on my knee. This resulted in a fully fractured knee cap. (Picture below for your enjoyment!) I was put into an immobile leg brace and told that with luck and strict adherence to keeping my leg straight, the pieces hopefully wouldn’t move apart and surgery might be avoided. I was out for 6-8 weeks and I was devastated. I had reached a point where I had significant strength goals I wanted to achieve, and now I was told pretty much any exercise from the waist down was out.
7 weeks later, my bone had healed but my leg still had a long way to go. Significant muscle atrophy and shrunken ligaments had left it difficult even to walk, and I was tempted to put the brace back on at times to alleviate the pain and move in a way that I was more confident in (even though I would be limited my recovery). I resisted the urge to crawl back into my safety boot, and pushed forward. Within a week I was walking normally. Within 3 weeks I’d regained most of my flexibility. If you saw me on the street, you may not even know I’d ever had an injury (unless you saw my sad little atrophied leg!) And whenever I get discouraged about the exercises I can’t do yet (squat, push anything with heavy weights, running or jumping), I remind myself how far I’ve come in just 3 weeks, and how I can hardly recall what it felt like when I wasn’t able to perform normal, natural movements like walking and sitting. Our bodies WANT to heal and be strong. They are built to overcome, to adapt, and to recover better, bigger and stronger (after all, the very process of muscle building involves the tearing down and rebuilding of tissue). I know that someday soon I’ll recover the rest of what I’ve lost. And once I’ve adapted to that level, you’d better believe I’ll be pushing onward to the next challenge, because if you don’t get back on the bar, you’ll never get to experience the wonder of recovery.