Persist.

In my last post, I tried to convey my desire to be positive and thankful for all that I have and those around me who have helped. And while I need to continue to do that, I’m also in a place right now where mentally I need to persist. I’ve achieved some little milestones but I’m not where I want to be. My surgery was 38 days ago and I thought I would be worlds ahead of where I am now but I have to get the image of where I think I should be out of my head and work on being better as I am. That should word can be really damaging.

I keep wishing to wake up and my leg be normal and be able to get around and to the bathroom without hesitation but that’s not my reality. But in reality, it is constantly improving. I started some new therapies, e-stim, laser and new physical therapy altogether. I’ve also started taking this stuff called theracurmin which is a supplement from Integrative and can be bought locally at our amazing chiropractors office!

That picture above shows my leg during estim and what happens is that those little touch pads send signals to the muscles and sort of re-educates them to do that their supposed to do. I’ve spent so much time in this robo leg brace (and with my old physical therapy place not following doctor instructions/protocols) that I have significant atrophy and it’s really difficult to improve that while still in the brace. My therapist who began these treatments said in her experience, for injured athletes, they would have began estim on them almost immediately after surgery. 🤦🏼‍♀️ So at over a month post op, and six weeks this week, I’m super behind. But, I’m also going on the right direction.

This is Casey (one of the rehab gurus at Great Lakes Chiropractic) and me in our fancy smancy glasses that you have to wear during laser. Yeah, be jealous! You can kind of see the laser being done in addition to the estim in the other photo. It’s the little metal gun like thing and red light beaming from it. But don’t worry, it’s not painful or doing any damage, in fact, it does a lot to help with swelling and healing those damaged tissues. I guess to some people they might feel a little warming sensation as if sitting in sunshine but to me I felt nothing. I felt nothing at all other than the desire to laugh as we wore these galactic space goggles and she waved this thing over my knee for just a few minutes.

I think these new treatments have already helped a lot with the inflammation which I believe I really needed some progress with. In the next picture you can see marks in my leg from a brace, and it’s not from roboleg. I put on my old neoprene brace from before surgery which used to actually be too big on me. But with so much swelling, even in the too big brace it can be painful. I’ll have to get some good photos after I take off my roboleg brace because the indents that it causes are quite painful and pronounced.

As far as exercises go, I am now doing mini squats and if I remember right I was achieving almost a 65 degree angle! I’ll do some more tonight and get some photos to share. I’m also doing the hanging table thing where I dangle my leg but now I use my other leg to really get some pull on that. One thing that’s quite different about switching therapies, is that at the old one I never held the exercise. And now each one I do is more deliberate and held for 10 seconds. It’s less about speed and getting the ten done quickly and I really feel more action in my muscles. I actually feel like I should do some of these on both legs long after I’m recovered. I also do the straight leg raises, but three different ways now as well as calf raises and heel slides. The heel slides are different in that I can use my hands to help achieve the movement and then again on the holding for ten seconds.

What I need to do now is to really get this diet under control and start working out in some way. I think that as much as I’m putting it off, if I start to do that and see some results, it will help continue to motivate me with that sense of accomplishment. And I know what I’m eating now and I know cleaning up my diet will help immensely. I’m going to have a membership at Great Lakes, which is the super nice 24 hour gym in town and I’m going to start using that even if it’s upper body and abs. Having that to add to my day and check off as successful, whether it was uncomfortable or now, will still be progress and mentally I need that. I need to persist.

A huge milestone I need to be thankful for though that CANNOT go unmentioned is that I began to drive! I don’t officially have the okay from my doctor, but I’ve been practicing my movements at home and Bryan encouraged me to try and it went well. I couldn’t get myself to get up to speed but I still did it! It’s a huge freedom to finally have regained. I definitely have a new appreciation for this.

Choose Joy,

Liz


It’s always hard to deal with injuries mentally, but I like to think about it as a new beginning. I can’t change what happened, so the focus needs to go toward healing and coming back stronger than before. Carli Lloyd

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Gratitude

It’s beginning to feel like my acl surgery was so long ago. It’s been twenty four days, and I’m nearing the four week mark AND it was last month so that further solidifies that feeling.

I’m to the point in my therapy where I really need to be bending my leg more and doing a lot more than I am. I think it’s just my fear holding me back. It’s not that I feel pain but that I’m scared to. I’m going to try to get over that mental barrier. In the meantime, I’ve been able to enjoy some sunshine!

My fiancé’s moms pool is so nice and I can’t use it! But she has these awesome chairs and a mister thing and I went over there and she even hooked me up with a grown style juice box. And by grown up style I mean something with alcohol in it that was meant to be enjoyed poolside. I did take off my brace and relax in her chairs and enjoy the mister so that was nice. A good way to get out of the house and feel almost normal.

My handsome man also thought I needed some encouragement and motivation. I’ve been eyeing a new Garmin for awhile now and he said we were going big and getting the Garmin of my dreams for BOTH of us. It definitely helps seeing it on my wrist every day and just getting me to walk.

I’ve never had a watch so nice or with all these features and it’s pretty amazing. I can’t wait to use it for a race. On the first night, he took me for a short neighborhood walk, and we discovered our block is exactly .75 of a mile.

This Garmin Fenix 5s lasts a week before needing a charge and I am so impressed with it. We went on an adventure to Angola on Tuesday and came across this amazing running store. It’s called Legends and it’s owned by an avid runner who has his marathon accomplishments all over, including Boston. It was nice to chat with him and see all of their amazing things. I can’t wait to go back and have Bryan get a fitting and also take Stephanie, my friend who is an incredible runner and named her baby Legend.

I’ve been able to enjoy some porch sitting with my love despite the robo leg. I’m so lucky to have Bryan through all of this. I can’t imagine enduring this on my own. It’s not only all the care he gives me, but just sitting with me and encouraging me and kicking me in the butt when I need it.

And I even got to go see him play softball. That’s a lot of getting out and about for me! I’m not saying I move quickly or anything but I’m getting there. Tortoise or not, I’ve been able to do more things.

I can’t drive myself anywhere, but luckily for me, I have a team of Uber drivers, aka Bryan and his family. I can’t wait until I can drive myself! But one thing at a time and I think I’ll do two more sets of exercises tonight. I need to mentally get my head in the game and push through these fears and not hold my own self back. I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement I’ve received.

It seems like a good night to porch sit so stay tuned at what adventures me and roboleg get into next.

Choose Joy,

Liz


How do you stay motivated? What is your idea of a relaxing evening?

Gravity Helps, Sitting Doesn’t.

Tuesday’s post op appointment was very exciting and literally freeing. My amazing surgeon said he gave the okay to be free of my brace while at home and that I could bend my knee as much as I wanted. Not only could I, but that I should. He encouraged me to bend as much as possible and do as many of my four at home exercises as possible. He told me to stick with my brace on for walking and not to put any weight on my leg without the brace but even said I could take a shower without it. Which is amazing and terrifying all at the same time. How does one get in the shower naked and without a brace, without putting weight on their right foot? Very carefully I tell you, and with the help of a handsome ginger to hoist me in and out.

My doc was proud of my progress and said that typically they like to see patients achieve a 70-90 degree range of motion in the knee, and I was at least at 70. I wish he would’ve said I was at 110 but that’s the overachiever in me. He also freed me of my wrap and said my incisions looked wonderful and they gave me some new steristrips, but said those would just fall off soon and to let them go.

They also sent me home with some sweet inside the knee photos of my surgery. You can see the shredded ACL, new ACL, as well as the torn and repaired meniscus and where they did the micro fracture.

As far as pain goes, I am sticking with my morning and evening dose of magnesium and aspirin as well as Tylenol as needed and my beloved ice machine as much as freaking possible.

I am doing my walking without crutches and was told to keep my brace locked at zero degrees and use a crutch until I could walk without a limp. But seriously, how do you walk without a limp when the brace is locked straight and you have absolutely no give in your right leg? umm…  ya don’t. So, this rebel decided to try brace unlocked to ten degrees, and with great success I ventured to 20 degrees. Easy peasy. It may not be the best or fastest walk, but it feels better to be getting a little bit of movement with that knee. He DID say that as for my sad, little, baby quad, it wouldn’t really matter how many quad sets I did each day, that it wouldn’t truly improve until I could walk more. So, while I may not be looking like I am catwalk, fashion week worthy, it is still an improvement that causes me no pain. It just feels weird.

Physical therapy was yesterday and it was quite painful. He used elastic bands and got lots of range of motion with my knee. We definitely achieved 90 degrees and without the brace and with me pulling my knee back. He began by making my knee do that, and that sucked, but when I did it on my own it was tolerable. I tried it today by using my dining room table, and it was awesome! So much better than trying to use my couch. My dining room table allows my leg to just hang and gravity really helps. It is just really scary to me to make my knee do what it needs to do, and it is SO scary to be without the brace. However, I need to do this, I know I do, and I don’t want to keep sleeping with this god awful thing that makes it impossible to wear anything but shorts and can you imagine trying to sleep? Good freaking luck.

Today, I added some turmeric curcumin to my regimen and I am really disappointed I didn’t think of that sooner. I know how well my fresh turmeric tea would help after long runs, because it is amazing for inflammation! There is definitely some fluid around my knee and some swelling still and I really think this will help. A lot of what I experience isn’t so much pain as it is just “weirdness” due to the swelling, and not to mention being cooped up and not using it. While it sounds all good to relax and lay around on the couch, it isn’t actually that fun and it isn’t good for my body either. Trust me, my booty is gonna need some serious squats after all this couch sitting.

Tomorrow brings another day of physical therapy, and I am excited to hopefully progress more. I have some exciting opportunities on the horizon, and summer is just around the corner. I need to get to work on this body and I want to be in the pool! It’s almost time to go hop on the dining room table and do some more work. Oh, and some sit ups too because that part of me isn’t getting better sitting on the couch either.

I am going to attempt a shower again tonight and we will see what I can do. Thanks to my loves mother, I have a fancy shower chair so that is pretty cool and humbling all at the same time. Either way, it helped me to take a razor to this leg and boy oh boy, did it ever need it. 

Choose Joy,

Liz


What are you excited for this summer? What daily task do you think you would really struggle with if you couldn’t walk?

Inside and Out

I have been putting off my health and fitness since the day I got injured. Obviously being sidelined, fitness wasn’t an option but the way I let my nutrition and water intake go wasn’t necessary. Multiple times I said that I would refocus my nutrition and do what I could on that end, but let’s face it, I ate my feelings instead. For as long as I can remember, I have been an emotional eater and I already had a pretty rough year. Running had really been the thing that was my therapy. It’s how I sorted out every thought and emotion and I firmly believe that I could do that in an hour with the sunrise and pavement. And then one day in the middle of some rec volleyball, I felt a pop. I winced a lot and went to the sideline and after a few minutes with ice, figured I was good and ready to tough it out. BIG MISTAKE. Expensive, painful mistake. After another block and a twist to assist, it popped again, except this time, it DROPPED me. Like, Liz is done on the floor, took five other people to get me off the court, dropped me.

Check out me in my fancy pants at U of M. During the time between my diagnosis and actual surgery, I was unable to do any sort of work out or anything that involved twisting, bending, squatting, pulling, lifting, etc. So what does that leave? Pretty much nothing. I half attempted some yoga, which I NEED to get back into. What held me back from surgery, was fear of losing my job, and with my job being as physical as it is, I was scared to hurt myself and be unable to work and be totally screwed. So the babying of my leg continued and so did the emotional eating. Sometimes I could be really good, and I didn’t really eat a lot, but it is what I ate that was not good. I mean a person cannot consume the food that fueled them for 30 miles a week and not run those 30 miles and think that it won’t affect the waistline. I assure you, 20ish pounds in a year later, it will.

So that brings us to some of my healthy plans. I am working on me inside and out. Post-surgery, I am limited to the exercises simply for the rehab and repair of my knee as well as working on my hip and calf. I can do the same and other similar exercises for the other leg and then basically sit ups. I am resolving to do those every day.

I also purchased a juicer, and am going to incorporate as much of that in my daily life as possible. I follow this one chick on Instagram and I bought her e-book as well as purchased the juicer she recommended. Well, the download never worked and she never replied back to me, but the juicer is here, so I am just sort of winging it. You can check it out here.

Another goal is to start my day with shakeology, and while everyone might differ on different shakes and companies, that is one I believe in and I LOVE the flavors. If you haven’t tried strawberry and used lemonade with it and some ice, oh snap, you are missing out. It may not be the recommended way to drink it, but it’s better than a pop right? Oh yeah, I am a Michigan girl, so I said POP, not soda.

I used to be really fantastic at “meal prepping” and I am going to force myself to get back into that. I always preach to others about taking baby steps and I know how to do that and it is time I take my own advice. Stay tuned for more on that, as I will be sure to post recipes and pictures of how I do it! I can’t say that I won’t still want for a half loaf of sourdough bread with butter, but that probably will never change.

I think once I ditch this brace, I will happily share photos and stats of my new starting point.  Accountability really helps me. Until next time…

Choose Joy,

Liz


What are some of your health/fitness goals? What are you doing or have done to achieve those?

Rock the 11

I’m nearing my third week post surgery and it has been a whirlwind. Planning my surgery date itself was difficult because we have a busy life and I felt so guilty. I wanted to cancel and reschedule numerous times, more than the times I already did. It’s hard as a parent because having this done made me so needy, and more dependent than I could have ever imagined, and how can I ask that of those I love around me when there’s so much they need? My little girl was about to dance in her first ever dance recital, and rehearsal was on Friday and there was so much to be done and so many things she needed! It not like this is a regular thing, it’s only an annual thing and since I’m new to the dance mom realm, there was a lot to ask and learn to help my girl the best way I could. That means my needs, and my pain, were just not relevant and it was time to suck it up and push through.

Luckily for us, my girl has a dance bestie and just when I thought I’d be solo in the dance mom adventure, I finally made a friend on picture day and she sure saved the day. There were so many little things I was unprepared for and the logistics of it all was insane when I can’t walk normally.

I look forward to being able to do more next year for her without my injury holding me back. I did the best I could though and did A LOT of one crutch walking and when my cumbersome crutch might disturb someone else in the auditorium, I left that behind and walked on my own. It wasn’t easy but it was necessary and it was also very freeing. It gave me some confidence for my at home recovery that if I could do that, then I could certainly push more at home.

Yesterday, day 11, was a big day for me. Let’s say I rocked 11! (My ginger will get it.) My friend, The Flash, made the hour trek to my house with her kids just to sit on the couch with me and visit. And then two of my newer fr-amily members came for a visit and it was good to see Melissa and my gingers mom as well. There were lots of kids and gossip and laughter! Any friend that will pack up their kids and make the hike to visit an injured pal is a true one and someone to hold onto. I’d rather meet in the middle or travel for a race with her but hey, I’ll take it.

I did really good with all of my exercises and was so please to see noticeable progress in my baby quad. I didn’t use my ice machine at all, but I was able to be free of the brace AND wrap for awhile which was liberating. I also did some newer stretches with my unlocked brace which is not as easy to do at home as it is with pt. My couch just isn’t the right height for that.

Nonetheless, I laughed my way through several times of bending my knee as far as I could and then using my other foot to bring it back up. I plan to do this twice more today but I can’t adjust the degrees on my brace without help and unlocking it is very scary to me. Since I can barely see/reach it, it scares me to try to do that on my own and then what if I don’t securely lock it before standing? That would be NO GOOD.

Even with the arrival of my new juicer (more on that later), the highlight of my day was taking a shower. Oh wait, did that sound insignificant? I GOT TO TAKE A SHOWER!

That’s right, in 11 days I hadn’t taken a real, in the hot water, soapy loofah and all shower. Yeah, you’re thinking I sound gross now, but I did sponge bath sort of. Bryan would bring a dining chair into the bathroom for me and using a sink and a cloth and moving very carefully I did the best I could. For my hair, I would have to use the kitchen sink. Those moments do not help a person mentally at all, instead reinforces all the things I cannot do. Here’s the thing: taking a shower is not only a slip hazard, but it’s difficult to get into being a bathtub style. AND I am not supposed to get my brace or the bandage over my incisions wet, so how is one to protect that? Well, after much time to think, I decided a trash bag would be better than plastic wrap considering that this thing takes up nearly my entire leg. It won’t get me on any best-dressed lists but it worked and was amazing!

Stay tuned for more on how I’m getting healthier!

Choose Joy,

Liz


It’s not a marathon, it’s Wal-Mart.

Yesterday was the first day since having ACL surgery that I felt a little bit successful and accomplished and like I was returning to my positive self. I was careful to protect those feelings going into my torture session physical therapy today because I didn’t want the pain to get me down, or lack of ENOUGH progress make me feel defeated.

I took both crutches with me because I was worried that after PT the pain would have me wanting them both and my goal was to go to the store afterwards. I figured if I only had one crutch and was in immense amounts of pain, I would call it a day and go home.

Remember those unmet expectations? Well, I blew those out of the water and exceeded my expectations! I laughed at physical therapy and learned a lot about my procedure and was able to get a bend in my knee of almost ninety degrees. If I could jump and clap, I would in celebration! I got some knee stretches to do at home, and I’m flexing that baby quad as I type this! Calling it a baby quad is being generous because that muscle is so weak and tired that it’s hard to see any movement, but it’s there and I’m still doing the exercise. I also learned a better way to be using my one crutch that unfortunately hadn’t been that obvious to this blonde girl but made it even better.

Afterwards, my love treated me to some El Cerritos Mexican food which is some of my favorite and I was able to comfortably sit across from him with my leg propped. We’re that couple that usually sits side by side and kicks our leg up on the opposite booth, but this worked. Besides physical therapy, this was my first outing anywhere since surgery so it felt like a momentous time. I just wanted to walk up to each server and be like “I’m here, I’m back, first time out!” They probably would have thought it was my first day out of the nuthouse but maybe the terminator brace would’ve saved me from getting sent back. 😂

With a baby margarita in my belly and feeling victorious, we adventured to Walmart and I skipped the scooter. We were going to use the manual store-provided wheel chairs but I would have struggled to hold up my leg some how so I stuck with my one crutch. The list was small but included both sides of the store so I took my time and made a conscious effort to make a loop around the building. Surprisingly, everyone I encountered was kind and patient and didn’t rush me. I apologized to many as I slowed them down behind me but I didn’t get any rudeness back and let’s face it, that’s a miracle for a regular day at the local Walmart. It was probably the longest shopping trip ever and especially for the amount of stuff we had, but hey you read the title.

By the time we got home, I was tired and ready to prop my leg back up and we had a driveway full of family visitors that arrived. I shakily but proudly climbed up the steps and everyone but me brought in groceries. Now if that’s not a successful day, I don’t know what is! It was nice just to random chit chat and Bryans Aunt also helped me remove some more of my bandaging that I herd been scared to say bye too. It needed to go and the doctor said it was fine but it stuck to the one layer he said not to mess with so fear crept in and I was just putting it off until post-op. I am so glad she got it off though! Just some light soaking and a literally weight was lifted off of my knee and it was like a little bit of freedom!

I missed out on another of my loves softball games but it’s 2018 so a picture of him in baseball pants is just a snap away. I’m going to cap this day of victory with some porch sitting, which if you know me at all, know it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do. Just sit back and relax on the porch. Next week will bring my post op, and two more physical therapy appointments but until then I’ll be busy with at-home exercises and my daughters recital and I get to see my Dad and Mama Shelly that day!

Choose Joy,

Liz


Ice Machine and Chill

This time last week I was still very loopy from surgery and it’s time to put some of these thoughts together. I woke up with some weird ice pack inside my leg wrapping and a machine that seemed to be straight from heaven with its instant relief. This week really hasn’t been very kind to me. Not just because of the pain, but I think also because of my expectations and how those were definitely not my reality. I didn’t expect to spend a week with an ice machine being my favorite thing and literally chilling this much.

So, let’s get down to the gritty of what happened. The incredible teaching doctors of U of M did an ACL reconstruction. I had what they called epic, but also a complete rupture of the ACL and it appeared to be like two wet soggy mops. So they used some of my patella, after removing the shredded parts, and reworked it to make me a new ACL or anterior cruciate ligament. They also did a meniscus debridement after realizing how bad that was and for me and the healing process, it was better to just cut out the torn pieces rather than sew them all up. The other thing they did was to inject platelet-rich plasma into some spots after some drilling, in order to grow scar tissue where I was lacking tissue and cartilage. This is a newer, innovative thing they are still all learning on. They have discovered that this has some serious benefits for the surrounding tissues and the healing as well as for future use. (I’ve read that Tiger Woods had this done recently. Tiger, Tiger Woods, y’all!)

Even with that kind of description, the procedure went super fast and the recovery was very quick as well. I can’t believe how fast I was home. I mean, I was pretty out of it so the drive seemed to be nonexistent but I think Bryan would tell you otherwise! While in recovery, I expected to see him right away and when I didn’t, I was very emotional. I was in more pain than I was prepared for and was able to see a learning anesthesiologist put a block for pain into my upper thigh. Seeing my veins and tissues on the ultra sound was pretty cool, and I am very impressed at how well her instructing anesthesiologist was with her as she figured it out. I am not sure I was as patient! I kept asking for Bryan but they wanted me to compose myself before getting him back to me, and I, in my emotional, medicated state, just wanted to see him, so the crying continued. After a while, the pain subsided and I was disappointed with every move of the curtain until the one where he arrived. Boy, was I relieved! My medicated self thought he just dropped he off and left me there. While in surgery, he was able to fill my prescriptions and that was super amazing to have that done and he also bought me a Michigan sign with my name on it. Just like my grandma, getting me personalized stuff, and I love it!

Here we are a week later, and if you thought my mental state was depleted with being unable to run, you’d be in for a REAL treat now. I was not made for all of this sitting. Being unable to do simple things for others in my home and for myself is very frustrating. It’s hard to imagine running when I can’t even sit on the toilet without immense amounts of pain and the struggle to sit down with a terminator style brace keeping my entire right leg straight. And no, I am not exaggerating. I’m not graceful and in the bathroom, I am at my worst. I can’t shower in the shower, and just transitioning is so awkward and difficult and filled with pain. The list of things I physically can’t do is so long and annoying and if I could stomp my feet and throw a fit, I probably would have done that once a day by now. The brace is bulky and uncomfortable and currently every part of my leg is itching and I cannot itch it; oh my goodness, that alone will drive a person crazy. Itching means healing, I hope, but that knowledge doesn’t make it go away and not only can I not reach the itching, but I can’t get through the brace to itch it when it IS in a spot I can reach. Don’t let me fool ya, I have a grabber thing and it rocks! BUT even with all the complaining, both the brace and crutches are like a safety net for me, giving me peace about pain and my fear of pain and falling. I don’t want to unhook them and seeing my leg unwrapped and scrawny is kind of odd. There is an insane amount of bruising and it’s so misshapen. During those few brace-less moments of rapid itching heaven, I still am quick to want the brace on for fear of my knee moving and the dreaded pain!

The ice machine, which could actually be a cooler, was something I didn’t expect and what I pictured was not what we discovered under my wrap. When I woke up, there was a weird dual hose come through my brace and under the wrap. One of the wraps I wasn’t able to remove until this past Sunday, and so I didn’t really know what things looked like. Still to this day, I haven’t seen the incisions or my actual knee, but don’t worry, Tuesday after post op, I’ll share a photo! Basically the ice machine is just a cool pad that lays over my knee under the wrap and circulates cold water and whoooooweeeee let me tell ya, I love it. Everyone has helped me so much at keeping the machine stocked with frozen water bottles or ice and it’s such an instant relief, and I had it on basically 24/7 until at physical therapy they said probably 3-4 times a day was enough. WHOOPS! Physical therapy was yesterday, day 7, and so I didn’t use my beloved margarita maker, ice machine last night and just a few times today.

My brain wasn’t prepared to still be in pain a week later. I really thought I was tougher than this and not that I am not, but I just thought I would be limping and working through it. I am down to just using one crutch and have survived one physical therapy torture session. I wasn’t prepared for that pain, or to still be struggling. Being a mom, it’s difficult to not be able to help myself let alone those I care for. C’mon people, I have kids and bonus kids here, I gotta be able to put on my own socks let alone, get their outfits around. We all know what happens when my daughter, Cadence, can’t find her underwear. (If you don’t, that’s a story for another day.)

Still, with all that I’ve read and followed about others through similar surgeries online, I thought I would be doing better than I am. And that’s where those unmet expectations really destroy a person mentally. I think we can do this to ourselves in all areas of our life. We picture things going a certain way or having a certain outcome and allow disappointment when that’s not the case. I can’t actually think I’ll have a flat stomach after one day of lemon water and planks but rest assured, I check for the abs. I am going to try and focus less on where I could be and more on what I am working towards. I mean I had been in constant pain every day for over a year and the pain worsened after a long day at work. My severed ACL impacted my life by eliminating my ability to run even a mile which affected my happiness but also put me in pain. I gained weight from being inactive which affected me in more than one way. I had to stop running for my buddy Will, who is a huge motivator for me and a conqueror in his own life. So this surgery, which hurt more then I expected and came with a recovery that hasn’t gone like I envisioned, is still the necessary gateway to my future goals. It’s still the thing I needed and I am thankful for being able to have it and be so well taken care of by my love and our family.

The positive side of things is that I came through it well! Seriously! It went faster than expected and I am here! A week later and I’m only on Tylenol and vitamins doing my stretches and blogging. That means this isn’t THAT bad of a recovery. I’m also in the market for a new garmin to document my running and goals from day 1. When I started running before, I didn’t have a garmin, until about two years in. So this will be cool to have to start fresh with and really compare my stats (to myself). And let’s face it, I have time to online shop, even if I don’t have the budget for the garmin of my dreams. This time around, I’m starting off as a certified RRCA running coach and I’m looking forward to using that knowledge through this injury. While every injury is unique, this is one I can relate to! I also get to restart my running journey with my guy. He has pledged to do a half marathon with me as soon as I am able and that means we’re both starting from square one and we can put my knowledge and coaching training to use and do this together. Another positive is that I have the best family and support system. My love has been so good to me and taken such good care of me and how I’m feeling and our kids are amazing and helpful in getting mom things for a change! Bryans family has been visiting as well as some of my friends and family and I even had biggby delivered, twice! And don’t forget that Jimmy Johns delivers; can I get an AMEN?

Another thing I can’t forget is that I am strong. I can do this. I became a runner at a lot heavier than I am now simply because I wanted to. I have been victorious in both weight loss and finish lines and personal victories as well. 2016 was an interesting year for me and 2017 was a year that tested my inner strength. Having this surgery really sort of put some of the awfulness of 2016 to rest. I have some new opportunities on the horizon and have gained a lot of new loved ones. My family and heart has grown so much and I really am so thankful. Running became my therapy and my journey evolved so much because of that and I am eager to get back to a run while the sun comes up to melt all the stresses away. For now, I will work on learning to find the sunshine in the fact that I have a repaired right leg that is now fully connected and walking to the bathroom with only one crutch instead of two. 😀

This picture is something I reminded myself today, while one-crutching it around the house. It gives me chills when I think of it and it really fires me up. I am still here, persevering, and I am not going to let unmet expectations or pain or fear or anything else hold me back from pursuing happiness, and finish lines.

Remind me of this after physical therapy tomorrow, ok?

Choose joy,

Liz