You Don't Have To Start From ZERO
Updated: Aug 3
"You will lose all your muscles in a few weeks after the surgery."
"You will have to start from scratch... unfortunately.."
"You will lose all the hard work from the last years..."
... so I had been told months walking into my 2nd knee surgery in 8 years. Only this time, other than re-ruptured my ACL, I had an extra ruptured ligament, MCL. This operation repaired my ACL, partially MCL, while ADDING an ALL, the anterolateral ligament as an enhancement for my sport. 😈
Sounds badass enough!
But before I get to put my awesome enhanced turbo knee to full action flying kicks with twirls and a back flip, it will take a little time...
"... But I know you will find a way to get 'moving'." added my doctor.
The journey of “recovery” is often long, painful, and discouraging.
Be it a physical injury, surgeries, pregnancies (Yes! 100% comparable to a serious physical injury), and/or an emotional/physical burn-out, the amount of patience and understanding, balance of grieving and hoping, knowing when to push and when to give yourself grace, is the toughest element that goes on every day, down to the minutes, in the daily grind.
Yes, it has been a GRIND.
Second time around is no charm. Far from it, adding complications (hey, now I have an “extra” ligament despite 2 pre-ruptured ones 🤪 how many people can say they have 5 ligaments on a knee other than the PROs? 💪🏻💪🏻).
8 weeks after another complex surgery on my much-needed left knee, I got the nods from surgeons and therapists I could “do what I want”. They only trusted my professional discretion.
Taking a break from karate… for now…
In fact I went “back to work”earlier than 8 weeks. I knew my own strength training could only benefit my muscles and regain hypertrophy as quickly as possible.
Although this time it did take me full 8 weeks to be completely off crutches (compared to 6 weeks 8 years ago), my left leg muscle loss (ie. atrophy) is barely visible (stark contrast at last surgery!)
I did NOT start from square one like I did for the single ACL reconstruction, after which I had complete muscle atrophy. 😢 Shocking how fast I lost it all within 4 weeks!
This time rehab started DAY ONE after my surgery. 🔪
💪🏻 I was determined to “do it differently” this time around.
The “grind” was no walk in the park. The often unbearable pain, the sleepless nights, the ENDLESS painful treatments through the weeks till even today… the missed goals, the “new” goals and aspirations, timing and possibilities all needed new “adjustments”.
🤚🏻 Breaking it down.
Things one takes for granted daily did not come easy for a while. But every (other) day, one small victory at a time! 💪🏻
From “One Day at a Time”, to “One Week at a Time”, now I’m at “One month at a time”.
👆🏻 At times, it goes back to “one day at a time” with pain, but overall it’s a progression. Understand this and I’m working hard to not let any little regression discourage me. 👊🏻
🙌🏻 Now at 12 weeks post-op, the “worst” is absolutely over and I’m 💯 back to training with my incredible clients. But “out of the tunnel” is still 9 months away.
💫 At least I see the light. Celebrate every small victory! The ONLY way to keep going!
💡The same principles apply to everything we want to do: regain health/strength/fitness/weight loss journey (also jobs, parenthood, LIFE!)
Nothing should come easy. The harder we have to work for it the more we cherish what we eventually get.
So keep going. Don’t give up on yourself. Because it’s all so worth it!
You’re so worth it! 👊🏻