I’m now just about 4 weeks post-surgery, and the process of adequately rehabbing an injury is something I find both fascinating and frustrating.
At any given moment, you’ve got two sides of your brain chattering at you at the same time:
The left and more analytic side is warning you to not push too hard, stay safe, and asking “What do you think that little tiny ‘twinge’ means?”… The left brain looks for reason, justification, and something in the DATA to prove that improvement is taking place.
The right and more emotional side is egging you on, getting wrapped up in the enthusiasm of FINALLY TRAINING AGAIN, and also lamenting your loss of fitness, your slow lumbering progress, and overall lameness. The right brain also swells with delight when a session goes well, and the iso-lateral movements are getting easier on the weaker side.
It’s a push/pull with every day. The one thing I’m attempting to keep in center-focus is that REST will never hurt, nor set you back. Much of my time these last couple of weeks has been strengthening the left (affected) side, bringing it into balance with the stronger side. Too much too soon will result in other injury as the pelvic imbalance is significant.
It’s a mind game. So often we view “mental toughness” as kicking in on mile 85 of the bike, or mile 20 of the run, when all the matches are just about gone. I’m looking at mental toughness these days as the practice of staying positive, having fun throughout the process. Mental toughness tells you that the discomfort you feel is normal, and that “Rome wasn’t build in a day”, and “Put down that cookie”. So much of any rehab plan – or any RACE PLAN for that matter – is rooted in “trust the process”. It has to be, as at the end of the day “the process” is the only thing that is proven to work over the long haul.
In short – “Trust the Process”.