These past couple weeks, I have been trying to slowly wean of crutches and begin to walk. Definitely a full time job and mentally challenging. Walking after 4 weeks of not standing on, lifting, or using your leg is extremely difficult and painful. One might think it would all come back quickly, but it surely takes time and has been a surprising and humbling week. That being said, I have also been to the pool to swim and bumping up time and resistance on the spin bike! I have been able to make full meals in the kitchen (kale and black bean tacos!) reaching and grabbing for spices and cookware with more intention and natural movement without the crutches under me. I even did a little booty shake dance with the dog to some great holiday tunes! Oh, yes. I was also able to get out and drive with husband yesterday and today on my own to run errands and grab a latte; most definitely feeling like a new driver since the muscles and nerves are not used to the finesse of the pedal! But it felt oh, so wonderful. My kind produce man who knows me as "avocado girl" was very thrilled to see me and I in return. I was in for, you guessed it, avocados, but it was great to see a friendly face and get out of the house.
As my year of 28 years old is wrapping up, as well as 2013, I can't help but feel overcome with love for those in my life (old and new) for all I have been given, and for the opportunity to nurture new dreams. This surgery has and continues to teach me new things daily and I realize I am about only a quarter of the way up the mountain, but man-oh-man, I have a new and rich understanding of myself as a woman, athlete, and fitness professional. I also see how this experience will continue to give me depth and insight into those I work with; a stronger level of empathy and motivation (my current clients may argue I am plenty pushy!) as well as an understanding of just how hard working with our bodies can be no matter where we are at; recovering from surgery, making good eating choices, self-acceptance, getting in shape, watching your fitness slip away, being at the top of your game, or just planning to get into the game.
I have also found that some of the things that are getting me through this surgery & recovery also apply to what dictates the success of sticking to your fitness and wellness goals, which can be just plain hard and also presents it's mountains to climb.
...For example, friends and family. I could not have gotten through my surgery without the care of love of both my husband and mother, but my friends have also played a healing role; cards, visits, meals prepared for me, e-mails and just checking in from my closest friends have not only made me smile but realize how much I depend on them for reminding me who I am and why they are apart of my life. I believe the same goes for sticking to your fitness and health goals. If your family and friends are not on board, you lose that base of support under you! If you are trying to eat well, yet a friend brings you fast food-well, you get the idea. Same also goes for family. If you're ultimately aiming to exercise more and eat better, half of the success is determined by your environment. Just like I needed someone to take me through my exercises and drive me to appointments, you need people in your life to see your goals, take them seriously and support them.
...Patience. For those who really know me, they would not necessary describe me as patient or sedentary. My typical day consists of training 5-6 clients back to back, teaching Pilates class, walking the dog, spin, and running, running, running! Needless to say, this whole being inactive thing for 4-6 weeks was a deep ache in my heart and more than once left me feeling unlike myself...but at some point....you suck it up buttercup! The only way I had a fighting chance to do what I love was to try surgery, and there is so much to be said for trusting your choices. Although it takes daily patience to wait and get cleared to do more, you find the victories throughout the day, and like the first blooms of Spring you realize that small changes happen, time is not standing still, and full blooms are weeks away. Same for implementing changes as you get fit or healthy; it cannot and will not happen over night. Patience is the key when, day-to-day, your goals seem far away or unreachable. Small changes happen when you make an effort, not giving up is the hardest part, yet the reward is so worth it.
I believe being the best version of you is all you can do. For me, the best Amy is the one that does not have torn cartilage dictate what she will or will not do in the future; thus I made a choice to be MY best version and make the last year of my 20's the strongest and happiest yet!
I wish you all the same,