Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for Change (Week 8!)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

When I hurt my knee in July, I started working with a lady I called my “emergency sports psychologist,” Wendy Borlabi.  She’s fabulous, and is now just my normal sports psychologist (since it’s not an emergency anymore).  Before I had surgery, she gave me a book to read called Who Moved My Cheese.  It talks about how to best deal with change, and is very straightforward (like how dealing with change should be).  Not only is Wendy awesome, but her book recommendations are, too, and while I like to think that I knew what to do before I read the cheese book, it helped me calm down even more about all of the changes in my life recently!

I’m moving to Colorado in one week.  I had major knee surgery 8 weeks ago (I ran on Tuesday (at decreased body weight) for the first time since then!).  I will be living in a dorm room again instead of an apartment or house.  I’ll be working with a new athletic trainer.  I won’t see Dr. Rintala twice a week anymore, so I’ll have to work extra hard on my own at DNS stuff.  I’ll have to make new friends.  I will now be working with both of my coaches in a satellite situation (Ty in New Orleans and Jamie in Chula Vista).  I’m starting grad school in January (YAY!).

That seems like a lot of new stuff to me!  But, instead of resisting the change and just wishing that things could stay the same, I’m embracing new opportunities and keeping a grateful attitude for the chance to experience more of the world.  Whenever things change in my life, I do my best to try and keep the good things from the past in some capacity (realize that I can come back to Chula Vista and visit, know how often I can call or text Britney to chat, look forward to facetiming with the Waltz clan, get so excited to meet Lil’ Miss Whoozit for the first time), but let go of the things that aren’t working and move forward.

It’s okay to feel like I’m a bit lost in a maze when it comes to adapting to change, but sooner or later I’ll find my way, and I might just be rewarded with positive experiences.  I’m excited about moving to Colorado because I’ll get to wear big comfy warm coats and boots, hot coffee will actually taste good instead of making me sweat, the aquatic center and sports med at the Colorado Springs Training Center will be amazing, I already know I work well with Eric Lawson in the weight room, I’ve found a photography club I can maybe join, and grad school at DeVry University (thanks, USOC, for the scholarship!!!!!) will afford me the opportunity to make new friends.  Also, living in the same city as Russ’s family is exciting; even if they’re not my family, they feel that way.  And since Russ’s family is in the Springs, my family gets me for all the holidays. :)

Has something changed in your life recently?  What can you do to make a seemingly negative change, positive?  If things always stayed the same, we wouldn’t have a chance to adapt and improve.  Use change to propel yourself to be better.  That’s my plan!

On this Thanksgiving day, I'm also so very grateful for the chance to be with my family (in Washington with Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Brother's Girlfriend, and Russ), for my parents' amazingly good and soft dogs, and the fact that I'm already 8 weeks out of surgery and doing great!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 5.5

Rehab has gotten so much more fun since my last blog!
I thought that walking over hurdles, doing glute bridges, and not being in horrible pain during passive flexion was fun, but I've come so far in three weeks!  I got to start swimming at four weeks.  I'm not on crutches at all anymore (I need to get that one out of my car so I don't have to see it every day).  I get to walk backwards on the treadmill now (try that; it's really weird).

Week six post-op starts on Wednesday, and apparently that means even more new exercises, so I'm really excited.  For the first few weeks after surgery, I was thinking I wouldn't lose too much mass from my left leg, but I was wrong.  I now have "Little Leg," "Big Leg," "Little Butt," and, "Big Butt."  I've never experienced muscle atrophy like this before, as I only had a splint when I broke my arm in 2004, not a cast!  It's really, really strange.  Maggie and I dubbed my left leg, "Model Leg," because celebrities usually have knobby knees, and only since seeing my quad diminish like crazy have I realized that their knees always look knobby because they have minimal muscle above them.  Now, I can relate!  (Just ignore the fact that my leg is still 15 pounds heavier than any actual model leg.)  I know it could be much, much worse, and I've been told often that I will spring right back once I get to do more resistance stuff.  Yay!

My Mom came to visit for a weekend two weeks ago, and Russ just left yesterday after a 10-day stay, so I've had lots of company and lots to do!  I wanted to share my typical daily schedule, just so you get an idea of what I'm up to.  Between rehab, swimming, seated training, and recovery stuff, the weeks are flying by!
-Hand bike for 20 minutes.
-Throw medballs; seated on the ground with my back against a swiss ball.
-Upper body lift (bench press, pullovers, back pulls) with a core circuit.
-Bike for 10 minutes.
-Rehab: soft tissue work and stretching followed by an hour-hour and a half of various strength exercises.
-Recovery: NormaTec, followed by Game Ready/stim.

-Swim: step-ups, four-way hips, bicycles, walking, deep water jogging, actual swimming (without kicking).
-AlterG for 20-30 minutes at 50% body weight.
-Bike for 10 minutes.
-Rehab: soft tissue and a few exercises (these are my rest days).
-Recover: NormaTec, followed by Game Ready/stim.

Gotta go get on the hand bike!  That thing is way more difficult that you would think.