Disclaimer: I know that I blog A LOT about injuries, particularly my most recent one. I do so because it has taught me so much that I am not sure I would have learned or appreciated otherwise. I choose to share this with you all as well, so I can perhaps save you from being sidelined or worse, surgery.
This past week at Crossfit I had 3 quite impressive PR’s if I do say so myself. They were all PR’s that took me by surprise as I was not actively working towards them. Rather, I was not consciously working towards them. The week before I also did walking lunges (with overhead weight) without any pain in my knee for the first time since being injured.
My first PR of the week was a power snatch which has been historically one of my ugliest and weakest movements. I rarely do them as I resigned to not caring if I ever could snatch more than 65 pounds. Then, on Monday at Concourse, the strength was to work up to a new 1 RM. Imagine my astonishment when I snatched 70 and then 75 and boom! I snatched 80 lbs! That’ a 15 pound PR. I was elated to say the least.
Along with determination and hard work, the key element to these PR’s and accomplishments is trust. Trust in my coach, Adan, and his programming. Trust in my trainer, BJ. Trust in the amazing ability to heal. Trust in my own judgement to listen to my body. Trust in the process.
I had plenty of moments where I doubted I would ever fully recover from tearing my knee. It is very discouraging to experience pain in very simple movements like lunges. I remember one physical therapy session (post surgery) where BJ programmed walking weighted lunges. After taking a few steps, I had to stop due to pain. We thought perhaps it was the weights so I ditched the dumbbells. I took another step lunging forward. No dice. Feeling pretty pissed off, I had to resign to not being able to do them.
Of course because I am more determined than I am a quitter, I put that moment (and other similar moments) out of my mind. I continued to train and trust that when the time was right, I could reclaim lunges and other movements. As I mentioned, I trusted both BJ and Adan to program smartly. I surrendered to their visions in hopes that I could get past this knee shit.
The concept of recovery is much like that of losing weight. You may not notice losing 1 pound or maybe even five. Then at that 6th pound, you start seeing more definition in your arms or notice that your waist has slimmed. When I started the road to knee recovery, the first few months the pain was there relentlessly. I was always aware of it. Then it slowly dissipated until one day I would find that I was suddenly performing a movement pain free.
Until something is taken from you, you do not always truly appreciate the value of it. When I (temporarily) lost the ability to maximize the use of my legs (as my knee injury forced me to not bear impact to my legs), it was a domino effect to my body. It was crushing to me physically and mentally to regress physically. I am grateful for the support and talent of those around me to get me back to where I was. Actually, in many ways I have surpassed where I started from. I do not for a second take for granted any of my accomplishments anymore. To be able to conquer a small feat like running 200 meters actually makes me emotional.
I wanted to jump around the box on Tuesday when (on my 2nd attempt) I successfully push pressed the same weight that was (is) the same as my push jerk PR. (I didn’t because it was 6:30 in the morning and I probably would have freaked out my boxmates). As I said earlier, I had not been actively working towards that PR. And it was not a freak thing nor did I just have a stroke of luck. Over the last four months, I have trusted, followed and quite frankly pushing myself. A lot. It has paid off and I know it will continue to.
I must give credit to where credit is due to one more person. I recently received advice from someone I respect greatly. I went to her feeling stressed and overwhelmed by working for a company that was acquired by another. Working day in and day out in an environment that is constantly changing and unknown is taxing. She gave me very simple and powerful advice. HAVE TRUST. Which is now my mantra when it comes to my work and career. It also caused a light bulb go off when I had my 3rd PR this week (three times a charm huh?) and realized the same is ever so applicable and relevant when it comes to my recovery.