We have already learned what an amazing individual Austin Seelbach is by reading about her in her first post and second post as she tells us about her experiences with tearing and rehabbing her ACL. Three weeks and two days post surgery, Austin has more experiences to share about her story. Austin is a fabulous role model for other athletes and what they are going through and I hope other coaches and parents are sharing this enlightening story of overcoming injury with others. Austin constructed the rest of this well written post. ENJOY!!!
It has been exactly 3 weeks and 2 days since my surgery. In a way it seems like the surgery was forever ago, but it also feels like these have been the longest 3 weeks of my life. I thought that if I immersed myself with physical therapy, school and working out, that I wouldn’t even think about playing. But how could I forget about missing games and practices when it’s my favorite thing to do in the world.
What has really gotten me through these last few weeks is the support around me. If I didn’t have all these amazing people helping me through this, I honestly don’t know what I would do. My close friends have been such an amazing help. They have been through every step with me and are always encouraging me. Last year I played varsity basketball as an 8th grader. That was a really cool experience and I was excited to play again this year, but, unfortunately I was going to have 2 really big national soccer tournaments in December and February. And now obviously I can’t go to those either. So, my winter was going to be pretty boring. But, the basketball team got together, and decided to make me an honorary member of the team. I’m on the roster and everything. I’m so incredibly appreciative of them. That just didn’t give me something to do this winter, but they also gave me so much support by being there for me, even when I wasn’t planning on playing this season. I also have started working out with the strength coach at the high school. I worked out with her all summer. She has and will always be one of my greatest supporters. As soon as I tore it, she was one of the first people I told. The first thing she said to me was, “You can do this. You’ll get through it.” My physical therapist has also been a huge help. Not just him, but the whole staff at Drayer. No matter what, they never cease to put a smile on my face when I walk in there. It’s a pretty amazing place to get rehabilitated.
But even with all the amazing support, it’s hard to just sit there on the bench and watch your team play. All I want to be able to do is get out on that field or court and shoot a basketball, or kick a soccer ball. The other day at basketball practice, the girls were running sprints, and one of the coaches said, “I bet your glad not to have to be running those right now.” to which I replied, “I would give anything to be running those right now.” People think they understand what you are going through just sitting there, being able to do nothing. In my opinion, unless you have gone through such an injury, you have no idea. It’s honestly the worst thing to do. If your reading this, and you are going through something like this, and you think no one else is, I promise you I feel the same way. People can say they’re sorry, or that you will come back even stronger, or work hard in rehab so many times before you feel smothered in pity. Even though they are just trying to be nice, it’s the last thing you want to hear. Of course when you feel your lowest, that’s when you turn to the Lord. No matter what he will be there to comfort you. Giving you that extra ounce of strength that you didn’t think you had to get through the day.
I know that when I look back on this experience, that I will have come out stronger in the end, and I will be more grateful for even being able to step out on the field or court. Currently, that seems like such a long time away. As the weeks go on, it will not get easier, but this is what makes or breaks people (sorry for the cheesy saying), but it’s true. As much as I would like to just give up sometimes or just stay in my room and forget about everything, that’s surely not going to get my knee better. One of my favorite quotes is from Anson Dorance who is the head coach for the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team. The UNC women’s soccer program is the best collegiate women’s soccer programs ever. They have won 21 National Championships out of 31. Many of the soccer greats have played there including Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Cindy Parlow, Tish Venturini and so many more. But enough of boring you with my weirdly advanced soccer knowledge. Anson once said, “The vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.” And even now, when I can’t technically run or really work out, I want to leave my physical therapy knowing that I put in everything I could to my rehab that day. That’s something I strive for every day.
Now for the medical updates, my knee is progressing very fast, and I’m about a week ahead of schedule. I went to my doctor 2 weeks ago, and he said that the graft from the hamstring feels good and sturdy which you always want. I get my brace off in a week, and I’m so excited! I can’t wait to not have to wear it anymore, but now I usually don’t even notice it. I am also able to do more things at physical therapy. I am riding a bike, walking backwards on a treadmill, doing squats, normal things that people can do, but amazing things when you’ve torn your ACL. I’m almost a month post-surgery, and then just 5 more months to go!
As always, thank you so much for reading. I truly appreciate and enjoy sharing my experience with you.