“There is value in learning to accept gracefully those things that cannot be changed.”
This were the first words that I read in my son’s psychology text on the weekend. He had rushed off to work and left his book on the kitchen table, open to a section on anger and frustration. Being a psych major, I couldn’t help but look at what he was studying and, somewhat appropriately, these words jumped out at me.
The past few months have been a test of my mental strength. How much frustration and disappointment of being injured (July), re-injured (October) and learning that it was way worse than anyone originally thought (January) can I handle? I like to think of myself as a positive person, one who looks for an upside, thinks happy thoughts and believes that “things happen for a reason.” The upside of my hamstring tear is it has given me more time at home with my 13 year old and let me watch him grow as a student, an athlete, and a person. But I am now in my sixth month of healing, almost 3 seasons later, and while I have accepted my injury, my frustration is still there.
I had a glimmer of hope that my weeks of being side-lined are coming to an end when I finally got an appointment date for a PRP injection: April 16th @ 12:00PM DURING HIS LUNCH. I had no idea what was meant by “during his lunch.” Am I suppose to feel extra grateful that he is seeing me at 12:00 rather than make me wait another week or two? Is this a underlying message that I better not be late? Or he is so busy that he is likely to be behind and I better not dare complain because he is seeing me “during his lunch.” Or maybe, just maybe, it is a subtle hint to bring him a coffee, a snack or even a lunch. Well, I am grateful that he is seeing me at this time rather than have me wait for another appointment at a later date so I happily confirmed it, I won’t complain if he is behind and maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop at Tim’s to bring him a snack. I could only laugh.
However, when I called to confirm, I learned that this is not my appointment for the injection; it is a consultation. Since 1 in 10 people are turned away, I have to meet with the doctor first and go in later for the actual injection. I wanted to cry. If my injection is at the end of April, I can assume that I will be off for another 6 to 8 weeks, which means that I still won’t be running until the end of June. And that is only if I need one PRP shot. If I need another, it will obviously be even longer.
This whole process has been frustrating beyond belief and it is now being overshadowed but the occasional fear. What if I am that one in ten? What if I can’t run again. What if? What if? I hate the “what if?” game. “Stay positive. Look for the upside,” I tell myself.
Last night after yoga, I spoke my about thoughts with Kelly-Lynne and I found the positive again. I realized how much fitter I have become in the past 6 months. My leg strength is coming back; I can feel it when I cycle, and I can sit for longer periods of time without being in pain. My core is firm, I can do a lowboat again and my upper body is stronger than it has been in years. I threw myself back into the deep end when I came out of my comfort zone and started swimming. When all things are said and done, I feel like I am in better shape than I have been in years. So even though I still am not running and am quite unhappy about it, I can accept the delay. If it means that my hamstrings are going to be that much stronger and I am going to be that much healthier, then I can absolutely wait a few more weeks.
Many years ago, when making a group decision at work, we voted for acceptance. “Can you live with it?” was the question asked. At school, I teach my students that you don’t have to always like something, but you have to be able to accept it; my Grade 7’s understand that. Well, I do not like this time to heal and this waiting game one little bit, but I can live with it. I have accepted it and, one day, I hope, that will make me a better athlete.