Somebody (part) That I Used To Know

Since tearing my ACL and meniscus, I’ve been really torn (punning) when it comes to topics of conversations. On the one hand, all I want to talk about is my knee. That’s all I think about right now, so naturally it’s all I want to talk about. But then I start talking about it, get frustrated and don’t want to talk about it anymore… until I want to talk about it again. My friends and family, bless their hearts, are some of the best people around. They’ve been really awesome when it comes to talking about what I want to talk about, and that makes things a lot easier.

I kind of expected that. It’s like getting cheated on. And you don’t want to know anything about the other girl. But you want to know everything about her.

What I didn’t expect was how easy it would be to talk about it with so many people that have been through it. It’s like a gang. Like, I had no idea. A good gang though. With gang lingo and an understanding that outsiders (me last month) don’t know anything about. They don’t steal or kill. I am currently just in my 100 level classes. Like learning the anatomy and trying to keep my stomach during discussions. Let’s put it this way, I liked my knee better when I didn’t really know it that well.

Now that I have some lingo down and I’ve been ushered into the gang (thank you to all members, you’ve been incredible) I’m starting to get a sense of this journey.

Here’s what I got so far…

I suck on crutches. (better on crutches than riding a bike though)

I’m not always good at asking for help. Except when it’s stuff I don’t normally want to do. (I just hate washing dishes, sorry)

I’ve come to basically stalking my own team and sending them love notes. <3

My brain is over-processing every single thing.

And the worst one so far.

Call it what you will, but every single night before I go to sleep I have a little of what seems like anxiety. “Did I forget to do something on my list today?” “Did so and so take their birthday off of Facebook?” Is someone standing outside my door? If so, do they have snacks? JK “What drills should I do with my players?” “Should I be running more?” You get the idea. I have a million thoughts.

There’s only one way to clear my mind before bed. I visualize myself doing the most magical stuff with the ball. Chipping goalkeepers from half field. Nutmegs on nutmegs. Breakaway rainbows. Everything. And I can see them in slow motion and with the roar of the crowd and all the celebrations I never think to do after I score.

Falling asleep is usually really easy for me because I taught myself to do this. It took a long time. But it has made a huge difference in my life.

Unfortunately, now, when I go to visualize, all I see is my knee giving out. I see fall after fall after fall. And it brings me straight to tears. I’m frustrated I can’t get that image out of my head and I’m terrified that when I step on the field again that’s what it will be like.

I know that to get out of my 100 level classes, I’ll have to get past this point. And obviously, it’s really early on and this process isn’t an easy one, or else they would probably call it –a party. Or something.

Regardless, there’s a part of me that enjoys the challenge. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one necessarily (I’m more of a bowling kind of girl) but hey, I’m taking what’s been graciously placed on my lap. Here’s to taking baby steps until I die. (Thanks Carmelina) Because I won’t be broad jumping to the finish line (like literally right now) I’ll have to take it slow, process it well and be much much stronger than I’ve ever had to be in the past.

If this was a bit too emotional, read this funny interview I did. K. Thanks.

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5 thoughts on “Somebody (part) That I Used To Know

  1. I’ve been following you on twitter and on here when I heard the news. I was pretty upset when I read that you were going to be out for the season, I literally got mad and I couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of that day. Oh the poor people that I talked to that day haha.

    I’ve had several knee problems and I can say with 100% that it not only crushed my dreams, but it ruined them. I know this isn’t the case for but it is for me. Every day for years, it broke my heart. So I decided that I had to make new dreams that were more attainable because at some point you have to move on from playing out the what ifs in your head. I believe everything happens for a reason. Now I can help people who are going through what I went through because I’ve been there. One day you’ll be that person for someone.

    A little advice:
    1. The best thing you have is your attitude. This applies to everything! When you’re in physical therapy and you think an exercise is stupid and isn’t helpful, do it anyway and be happy that you can.
    2. Laugh as much as you can. Humor was and still is my best friend. P.S. I know you’ve got this one down :)
    3. Let people help you. Ask for help. I always have a hard time doing this because I like to take care of myself. But guess what? Other people get joy out of helping you, so don’t deny them of that. Someone once told me that it’s selfish to say no to someone trying to help you. It took me awhile to fully get it.
    4. JOURNAL! Not like blog journal, a personal journal. Write down your hard days so you can see how far you’ve come and also your fantastic days. Even the tiniest improvement is a big win and it should be celebrated! One of my favorites is being able to shower standing up haha. Sit down showers suck. Non weight bearing for 6 weeks has its challenges.
    4. Appreciate the journey! You’ll have a lot of personal growth this next year so be prepared to get awesomer

    Alright that’s all for now. Can’t wait for the next update! I’m here if your kneed me :)

    PS~ When you don’t have helpers…Ice cream is easier to transport in a mug when on crutches. Also, put food or items in a plastic bag to carry from room to room.

  2. Enforced sitting-around-time is going to mess with your brain. It’s unavoidable. I have no qualifications for advice-giving, other than a lifetime of dealing with anxiety and depression. There are only two things that work for me.
    1) As soon as activity is possible, include working in a productive garden as part of your rehab program. Grow some vegetables, and eat them.
    2) Meditation. A Google search will give your many sources of information and advice on methods and practices. Christen Press is someone in your karass who could offer advice and inspiration, I think.

    Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4 by Richard Brautigan
    Get enough food to eat,
    and eat it.

    Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
    and sleep there.

    Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
    until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
    and listen to it.


  3. I am a physical therapist and I have been telling all of my ACL patients to start reading your blog. It’s amazing how well you are able to put into words the thoughts and emotions that these girls are trying to express to me everyday in my clinic. So keep these blog entries coming because I am witnessing first hand how much you are inspiring these girls to push a little harder during their rehab. I know you are gaining a whole new group of fans that are going to be cheering like crazy next season when they witness you throw down your first ‘meg!

  4. I’ve played soccer for roughly 34 years. The longest break I ever took was a year while getting settled into college. Mind you, I’ve never played professionally, but I’ve played on competitive recreational teams for all of my adult life.

    Then I tore my ACL when I was 40 when I recklessly collided with a goalkeeper, trying to score the go ahead goal. I instantly knew what had happened and became depressed even before I was helped off the field by my teammates.

    The thought of not playing again made me sad. Mad, even. But I controlled what I could control, listening to my doctor and PT. Doing prescribed treatments and exercises religiously and thinking hard about the things I did have: A great little son, a loving partner, I could still mountain bike…

    After four years of triumphs and setbacks, I’m playing again. Recreation teams and pick up games. I’m so happy and thankful to have that part of me back and I know it shows on the pitch.

    So join the club. Or class. We are the ones who are intimately aware of what can go wrong with our bodies playing the sport we love. I think we are also the ones that when we make it back, love it more, play it harder (and smarter!) and remember there are so many other things in our lives other than winning and losing a game.

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