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I broke my pack... (Part 3/3 - Recovery)

Last section here gives you the insight of how your mind can be stronger than your body often, however at this time I HAD to understand that my body was so much stronger than I thought.

The first day I had to shuffle with my walker for 5 minute intervals, up and down the hallways of the hospital. The next day, the physio came by to tell me I didn't need the walker anymore. She walked with me and told me I was ready to try stairs.

So, we went to the fire escape and I slowly got up and down 1 flight. Win!

I practiced up to 20 times a day in hospital getting up and sitting down. The amount of strength you lose in a few days after being bed ridden is insane. I used a toilet seat frame over the toilet for the first 2 days, and eventually was able to sit down the whole way.

Getting out of bed was painful, it was painful sitting up straight - I mostly spent my time on a 45 degree angle, watching the food network.

It was almost instant, I practiced walking every hour, before I knew it was doing laps of the corridors. I came home 4 days after operation, 3 days after operation I was only on painkillers then the 4th day nothing - I was KEEN to get home and start recovery.

It was baby steps of course, the Physio gave me a plan of rehab that older patients get after back and hip surgeries, I was encouraged to do at least 1x 3 minute walk within the first week, At first I needed a computer chair in the kitchen so I could use it to sit on and put food in the microwave. Then I was able to test squatting, then it progressed to lunges around the house.

The first week I walked around the house, literally around the kitchen, to the front door and back. It's all I could do. Then 1 week passed, it was evident I needed some more human contact, so I went to the gym with Justin to see everyone and be surrounded by positivity at our gym. There was a treadmill there, I could walk, so here began my recovery.

Recovery step 1, was tracking my progress:

There of course was many bumps in the road which many didn't see, it all of a sudden hit me, how close I was to not walking. It was about 3 weeks later I actually felt like I had for the first time let the event and injury take over my emotions and hit rock bottom. It was SO hard to still have a niggling pain and discomforting feeling every time I got up and sat down, that getting in and out of bed had now become a chore. How I was only able to walk, squat and lunge.

It's here, that the massive rock in my life, my husband, actually helped me realise and see that it was time to focus on how far I had come - not how far I had to go.

I had completely forgot only 1 week prior, I had come out of surgery, had pieces of metal in me, had spent 5 days in bed - and was already walking, squatting and lunging.

It was then I became more determined, happier and refocused on what laid ahead.

From my walks, I progressed to lunges, I set myself a challenge to keep me accountable and motivated everyday. I was going to do 100 lunges everyday.

I continued to go to the gym, to surround myself with people and to get out of the house.

I would warm up with a walk then do lunges.

Once they became easier I added weight, a 2kg medicine ball, then 4kg, 6kg. The challenge lasted me the whole of August. I had started trialling body weight squats by the end of the month, each day they got easier and easier.

Now it was September.

I needed something else to keep me going - squats.

I developed "Squat-tember", and continued tracking this everyday. (I missed about 4 days that month) I had to set a goal, what was I going to try and do. I thought to myself, I would love to be back under the barbell by the end of the month.... well that lasted 1 day, on September second, I got the barbell off the rack and did front squats - as it seemed better back position. And did 10 sets of 10. No pain. But the next day my legs were sore - it was a huge amount of weight to move around after 2 months of nothing! I continued everyday, varying between barbells, goblet squats, front squats and air squats. The options were literally endless.

I progressed daily, I recorded it as some may have seen on instagram but also in my 'fitnotes' app.

It took months of consistent training, up until November to get back to about 80% of where I was pre-injury. Tracking workouts has a way of becoming self-motivating tools, that when you feel like progress is slow, you can look back to see how far you have come.

It has been a very long 7 months now, the message here though is to remain positive when things aren't going right. There is always a positive in every situation. For me, my consistently re-evaluating, continuous training and starting from the start has improved my strength, form and fitness. In another 5 months, I will have my screws removed and then starts another journey!

The important note for this is goals are important to get us to where we want to be, often a large goal can look too great and be overwhelming. You must keep your mind active, by creating new tasks, new goals sometimes every day. Small goals which you can check off frequently are more helpful than you realise.

There is still many things behind the scenes with recovery, for me I still get anxious thinking about the injury itself, trying to get back into some light Olympic Lifting to overcome my fear ended up in tears on an occasion but the rest have ended up in absolute happiness and feeling of accomplishment.

There is a portion of mental damage that still will take some time to recover from, but physically and the better part of 80% mentality there is nothing better than overcoming something like this. Now, 1 week ago, I have done a 77.5kg squat which is 2.5kg below my previous 1 rep squat of 80kg - I still have a 100kg squat goal. I will get there!

Any injury is just a set back - you will have a come back. It's just how much you dedicate yourself to achieving it. The one thing I have learnt is that our minds really are stronger than our bodies, you can achieve anything once your mind believes you can.

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