I'm almost at the 4 year anniversary of the day I ruptured my pectoral tendon attempting to show off my prowess at the "Iron Cross". Many of you were actually there that day - Super Bowl Sunday.
I was training for the Ragnar Ultra Relay; a race in which 5 team mates and myself would run from Madison, Wisconsin, to Chicago, Illinois. It would require that I would have to run about 35 miles in 3 separate intervals. At the time, this was something much greater than I had ever attempted.
I was in prime physical shape and the race was about 3 months away, when I suffered the pectoral injury. I awoke from the surgery to have the doctor tell me that in 6 weeks I could take my sling off and BEGIN physical therapy. Until then, I was told to do NOTHING! I was crushed. I realized that the race was not going to happen for me. How could I train in that small amount of time for such a large task? I would have 6 weeks to get ready for the hardest race of my life.
At my follow-up appointment, I brought a sheet of paper to my doctor’s office. On that sheet of paper, I had written down all of the things that I thought I could do in the six weeks in the sling. After presenting my exhaustive list, the doctor told me the following, "You can walk, that's it!"
Well, if figured if that is all that I could do, then I would become the greatest f#@king walker of all time. I was not going to let the stuff I could not do get in the way of the stuff that I could do. So, I walked. Outside. In the snow. In the rain. I walked on the treadmill. I worked up to the highest incline, at the fastest speed that I could "walk" at. By the way, I HATE the treadmill, but it was what I could do.
In addition to walking, I ate. I ate better, cleaner, and leaner than I had in my life. Much to my surprise and amazement, in the six weeks of walking and PERFECT eating, I was in better shape than even before the injury. In fact, on my first day of physical therapy, the therapist said, "Let's see where we are at. Lift your arm as high as you can." According to him, most people, at this point in the rehab process, could ALMOST lift their arm to parallel to the floor with a little pain. My arm kept going higher and higher. I could actually lift it entirely over my head with ZERO pain or struggle.
Fast forward to six weeks later. WE RAN THAT RACE! In fact, we ran fast enough to come in 4th place and only finished 7 SECONDS from third place, which would have gotten us an award! My proudest moment came when a teammate, who was not feeling well enough to run, needed someone else to run in his place. I happily volunteered to run an EXTRA leg of that race, because, damn it, THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT I COULD DO!
It is easy to sit around and mope about what is wrong and what you can't do. F#@K that! Get a sheet of paper, write down what you CAN do, and get to work.