When I tore my ACL my freshmen year of college, I was lucky enough to get training from Chris Hirth over the summer while the club athletic trainer was away. I paid literally $80 bucks to get training from the head athletic trainer for UNC’s men’s basketball team. I credit not re-tearing my ACL and continuing to be as active as I am to his guidance and to that summer. The biggest lesson I learned from him was personal though.
“Anne – what you can do today may not be what you did yesterday and may not be what you can do tomorrow. Listen to your body, be patient, and adjust to that day. You can’t expect yourself to feel the same way and to be able to do the same level of intensity day in and day out”
When he said it, I probably threw back two “I know”s like I would to my mom telling me I need to wear my hear down more. I’m stubborn and my intensity can get in my own head. I was foolishly and painfully forcing my body to endure day after day of painful rehab without once thinking about how I felt that day. I wasn’t in tune and I didn’t adjust my expectations. His whole point was that I may end up losing out on days when rest is more beneficial than activity and days when I might be able to do way more than I ever could have imagined. In an athletic sense, I think it’s an easy analogy for people to relate to. Some days your shot is just a little off and other days you feel like the run you just went on was a breeze. It changes day to day and you need to adjust.
I say this was a personal lesson because I have begun to carry this into my own life. In the mornings, I typically wake up and make a list of things I want to accomplish that day. Sometimes I actually write it up whereas sometimes I internally carry it around with me. These goals and lists are very rarely accomplishable. I always add just oneee more thing that probably won’t get done. Being away from sports competitively, I have forgotten this lesson:
What you can do today may not be what you did yesterday and may not be what you can do tomorrow.
I lost patience with myself. I gave in to the type A side and let myself be deluded by false control. “If I can just do these 4 things, everything will be okay and I will have accomplished something”. When you take this lesson away from being centered on an athletic setting and you realize it’s simply about recovery from whatever injury it might be (physical or emotional), it hits home. Some days, I can only manage to get the basics done – feed myself, clean up my room, exercise. Other days, my productivity is ridiculous and I can get more things done in one day than some weeks. The point is to recognize this and to adjust.
Chris ended telling me that if I don’t adjust, I won’t recover as well because I will make myself miserable fighting against an ideal. He was right. I began to adjust and I was better for it. I chose a slow burning persistence rather than a quick fix. I feel like I’m in recovery again while I’m dealing with heartbreak. I find myself going back to these words knowing that if I want to make it through I need to adjust and I need to find a slow burning persistence that will carry me through the days and months ahead.
On a more lighthearted note, I present you with today’s theme: