How I Returned From Injury
2013 started off like the last 3 years had started. I was excited to continue my fitness journey and determined to meet new fitness goals. See after years of fighting to get and keep weight off I was finally in the zone, dialed into the programs and the community. Nothing was going to stop me.
I stayed focused on my new Beachbody program Body Beast and continued to eat like I had on the Ultimate Reset. I was playing Ice Hockey multiple times a week in preparation for a national tournament. I had always known that if I was goingto perform on the ice at a higher level I was going to need to be in the best shape I had been in all year. I would continue to work towards getting stronger and building my “on-ice” stamina so I was ready to go.
April 4, 2013 I participate in the USA Woman’s National Ice Hockey tournament, where players from all over the country competed. Many of them former collegiate players. This was our 4th year attending as a team in hopes to improve our results.
April 6, 2013 after a disappointing first 2 games of the tournament we were scheduled to play what most likely was going to be our last game of the weekend. The game was like every other game that weekend, competitive, and a huge challenge and by then we were pretty exhausted. No different until….
I was purposely “lined-up” for a hit by an opposing player. See, there is no checking in woman’s hockey but there is certainly physical play. This however was “revenge” for a previous play. Earlier my stick creeped up a little too high on a play so I knew this girl was gunning for me. I turned to brace myself for the hit by facing her like I would normally do and “BAM” there it was. I went down on the ice and instantly knew this was not the normal “tweak” of the leg. I tried to get up with no luck. I knew the my leg was broken.
I had seen this happen numerous times over the years in hockey games and tournaments I played in but always said to myself “glad that wasn’t me”. Except this time it was ME.
After a visit to the Emergency Room in an unfamiliar city and a flight home receiving special boarding treatment it was time to face the Orthopedic doctor to see what the course of action would be. SURGERY he said! I knew as an old Operating Room nurse that surgery would definitely fix this Fibula Fracture, but I was pretty frightened of the recovery. I had no idea what to expect and only heard horror stories about being in rehab and physical therapy for months.
So the surgery was not scary, nor was the night in the hospital I spent. But I continued to fear the unknown. I figured since I had been working out in the past consistently I would be able to do the same and just work on the Upper Body.
I finally had to be real with myself and my situation and recover. So, I recovered on my couch for five weeks before returning back to work. I worked out one time in those five weeks. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and emotionally eat, I knew I could and would at least control my nutrition. I knew I could get up with my crutches and hobble to the kitchen and blend. I knew that if I could be consistent with at least that I would be fine and that is what I focused on for five weeks. So I drank my Shakeology EVERY DAY!
During that five weeks I had a walking boot on my leg but could not put any pressure on it. I did not attend any physical therapy or see any doctor as it was not ordered. The only activity I could do is take the boot off while I sat on the couch and flex and relax my foot and ankle. Once I went back to work I was able to slowly put pressure on it. As I progressed I started to walk with the boot on. At that point I told myself it’s time to get back into the gym. So I started to push play again and started Body Beast for the second time (I had gotten today 54 when I broke my leg). I was determined just to do my best to not get frustrated.
I was able to attend our annual Beachbody Coach Summit and attend some of the live workouts but wore a brace and absolutely modified my moves accordingly. This event was approximately 2 1/2 months after my surgery.
Since then I have continued to work hard, not perfect, but hard. I have removed the brace and have focused on getting back on the ice. I knew that if I was going to do that I could not use any supportive equipment, Because they wouldn’t fit in the food.
About four months after my surgery I took the leap of faith and decided to join my husband on the ice in a “pick up” hockey game, where there was no pressure and I could quit whenever I wanted to. Turns out I lasted the whole “pick up”game and just walked away sore.
This weekend, however, was a milestone for me. I took a deep breath and committed to playing in a woman’s hockey tournament. I knew this would be a mix of skill levels so of all times to test the leg out, now was the time. What was the worst that could happen? I would stop in and the weekend early. After the first game back I sat and replayed the game in my head. I sat and thought about how my ankle felt. “Hey it feels great!” I thought to myself I shouldn’t have any problem getting through a second game, a third, a fourth and yes a fifth game. When I finish the fourth game I thought “Heck yeah I am back!”
Game number five was the Championship game and I was prepared. About halfway through the game a woman on the other team fell on the leg forcing it to rotate in the wrong direction. I thought “Oh crap that hurt, just great”. I continue to monitor it in my head, searching for real pain, but there really was only a twinge the rest of the game. As I sat in the locker room after that last game, I thought to myself “I can’t believe it has been 5 and a half months and I was back on the ice let alone played five games in a span of three days.”
Then I thought how blessed I was to return from injury for 5 different reasons:
1-I had an excellent surgeon who put me back into one piece.
2-I’m glad I broke my leg when I was probably the strongest I had ever been, thanks to being consistent with my Beachbody workouts for almost 4 years.
3-My body was at optimal with nutrition since drinking Shakeology for the last three years and every day during my recovery.
4-I surrounded myself by a community that pulled me through mentally I found this community in August 2009 when I lost significant weight for the very last time.
5-Family that supported me in continuing my passion human after such a traumatic event.
I was frightened that this would affect me forever, this would set me back, this would take away all the hard work I had already done. I will say my ankle is always sore, it is always swollen, it is always sensitive. also know there is no way I am going to waste my time feeling sorry for myself and wait until There is zero pain or soreness. It is stable and therefore I need to be stable.
Have you been sidelined by life? Was it physical or emotional or financial? Have you “Gotten back in the game”? If not, why? Why not? What’s holding you back? Remember there’s always hope. Just believe! If I can do it, you can too..