Austin Seelbach has an amazing story of recovery, perseverance, and determination to overcome her ACL tear. She is almost ready to come back to full contact and she talks about it below in her post. Thanks for the continued support of Austin and the EducatedCoaches.com blog. We are all so excited about seeing Austin on the field very soon!!!
April 25th, that is the day that I finally get cleared to play. It has been almost 5 months and I’m so ready to get back now more than ever. I have about a week left of physical therapy, which I’m so excited about. I have to pass some strength tests so that I can be cleared from PT, and just start working on my fitness and hopefully a little bit of ball work. The reason that I can’t come back fully at the end of this week is because the actual ligament in my knee still isn’t as strong as it should be. So, April 25th is exactly 6 months from my surgery and I am counting down the days because once April 25th hits, all bets are off and I will be playing full contact. I honestly can’t believe that I am so close to getting cleared. It seems like just yesterday that I was in my knee brace and I couldn’t even bend my knee to 90 degrees. Now I am running, jumping, and hopefully will be starting some sprinting and ball work soon.
On April 2nd, I will have my next doctors appointment to get fitted for my brace, and my doctor will be giving me more details on the dates I can start doing more complex things with my knee. As for the knee brace, there is some controversy as to if it actually helps a player when they come back. My parents and I have done a lot of research looking into wearing a knee brace, because my first choice would be to not wear one when I play because I want to come back as normal as possible. We have looked at medical sites, talked to doctors, and physical therapists, and even coaches, and most of them say the same thing. No one has really proven that a brace really prevents another tear from happening, it’s more of a psychological thing for the player. They have the brace on, so therefore they feel more protected and don’t shy away from contact as much, and it also makes them more aware of their surroundings and the things happening with their knee. So, there are pros and cons to the brace, and I’m not quite sure if I am going to wear it yet. I would like to practice in it and just see how it feels, and then decide whether or not I would wear it in a game. To me it’s just all about how it feels and if I feel comfortable in it.
As I end physical therapy, I start what I think will be the hardest part of my recovery, getting back in shape. I have been swimming and riding the bike as well as running to get back in shape, but the fact that I did no cardiovascular exercise for about 4 months really puts you back. It’s so frustrating because it seems like no matter what I do, I will never be able to get back into the shape that I was in. Running is also not my favorite thing to do, so it’s that much harder for me to get motivated to get up and workout. But, it’s just another obstacle that I have to climb over in order to be healthy and completely ready when I come back. I came across a bible verse one day on an instagram account that I follow and it said “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. And even if you are not a christian, the verse should still speak to you. Everything happens for a reason, and even though most of the time the reasons are unbeknownst to us, they will make you stronger in the end.
Thanks for reading my blog post.