ACL Injury · Development · Guest Posts

My New Sport is Recovery

Austin has been doing an amazing job letting all of the EducatedCoaches.com readers know how she is recovering from her ACL tear.  Her story continues below.  To read the other sections of her inspirational pieces click on the following links:

photoThis blog is going to be a little different than the others. It’s more for the people that read this, that are going through the same thing as I am. I want to be able to connect with people that have had an injury like this. Because unless you have experienced it, you have no idea how awful it is. It has been 8 weeks since my surgery, and all I want to do is be able to run, and play something. That’s all I think about. I miss the feeling of running so much you want to puke (which I never thought I would say). I miss being drenched in sweat because you just worked so hard. After your surgery for the next few weeks, you’re still kind of on an adrenaline rush from your surgery, and are willing to do pretty much anything because you’ve been in your bed for a week. But around this time, you get tired of doing the same thing at physical therapy, and having the same routine everyday. Go to school, go to physical therapy, work out, then go home and do homework. Even just talking about my ACL, and the recovery and wanting to play to people, and writing about it makes me long to play that much more. That’s what people don’t understand. People can say they’re sorry, and how it’ll get better, and you want to believe that the more people say that it will be okay, the more time it takes away from your recovery. But, it doesn’t, and it’s so frustrating.

When ACL tears started to become more popular about 20ish years ago, doctors weren’t sure how long it would take for the ACL to heal. A lot of high level athletes felt perfectly fine at about 4 and a half months. So, the doctors would clear them, and a few weeks later they would come back with it ruptured again. After that kept happening, they kept lengthening the time frame for them to come back. 6 months seemed like the magic number. Now why did the athletes feel strong, but kept rupturing it? That’s because at about 4 and a half months, you are strong and your muscles are ready, but you new ACL is not totally healed yet. Your body does not realize that, and tells you that you’re fine and can go run and jump and cut, but the ACL is not fully developed yet. So, you can work hard to get your body back into great physical shape, but there is no way to really speed up your healing.

With 4 and a half more months left in my recovery, it may seem like only 4 months, but these past 6 weeks have felt like a year. This past week has been particularly hard for me. I have just been thinking why me? Why does this have to be me? It’s just depressing. Pretty much all day at school I’ve been thinking about training, and playing, and all the things I’m going to be missing. A few days ago, I had a really bad night, and everything just came spilling out. I had been trying to hold everything in and be happy and smiley, and not think about it. But it all came out. I felt pretty awful, but it was good to get it all out. My mom and dad were talking to me, trying to get me to think of the experience as positive as I could. My mom said that I am not competing in a team sport anymore. It’s all me. And it’s scary, but a totally different ball game. I have to motivate myself, and push myself. I don’t have my teammates around to push me. My new sport is recovery, and I have to put as much into it as I would training for soccer or basketball.

I do wonder where God is in all of this. Why’d he let this happen to me? That’s a running question that I frequently ask him. I stumbled across a picture on instagram that one of my friends put up, and it said, “When you are going through difficulty, and wondering where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during the test.” At first I thought well this is the longest test that I have ever taken. But, then I reminded myself that God is always here for me, even if it doesn’t seem like it. He is quite right now and letting me figure it out for myself. I know that when I do get back on the field, I’m going to appreciate the game so much more, and love so much more than I ever did. It’s amazing what we take for granted when we have it whenever we want. So, I’m trying to set small goals fro myself each week to have something to work towards. This week it was just taking this recovery week by week, and making the best of it.

As always, thank you for reading. I truly appreciate it,

Austin Seelbach

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