Injury comeback stories are like reading the introduction and the conclusion to a book. I remember the day it happened, how it happened, and the thoughts and emotions the first few days...then...I fast-forward to months later and I remember my first day back on the court.
I often steer away from the LOW and focus on the conclusion of the story, remembering that HIGH I felt when I laced up my shoes and began bouncing around the court again,
But what about the body of the story? What about all the hours, days, weeks, and months in between? The day-in and day-out grind of mundane exercises? The mental toughness, countless lessons, and unmeasurable growth that come as a result of the ebb and flow of the rehab process?
Being through the process several times throughout my career and specifically the surgery/rehab process 4 times, I reflect back and appreciate the time spent in the body of my story.
I learned to celebrate the little victories of each day. I can remember being excited about advancing to a 3 lb ankle weight for straight leg raises. Sure, I wasn't "bearing" weight on that injured leg or squatting 90 lbs, but lifting a 3 lb ankle weight was further along than I was a week ago.......and that was worth getting excited about........
OR......what about this angle. What if the little victories weren't only based on progress relating to the body part injured? What about an improvement in attitude, approach, or maybe progress in strengthening the upper body if the lower is injured? Those are worth celebrating too.
Sure, sometimes the rehab process is 3 steps back and 1 step forward, and no doubt those can be discouraging...but think about where you were 3 weeks ago or a month ago. Look at all the progress you made and celebrate that. Sometimes it's not just about "better than yesterday," it's that you are "better than 2 weeks ago". If you don't believe you made progress, keep a journal. You can look back and see the mental, emotional, and physical growth you made throughout and when the time comes for you to start bouncing around the court again, you will appreciate all the body of work you put into your comeback story.