The Power of Breaking Through Your Limits

October 4, 2012 · 27 comments

For those of you who don’t know this, I had a severe skiing accident about a year ago while ski race training in Colorado.

I had a nasty fall and was out for the ski season.

Needless to say, I was devastated. Skiing is everything to me.

I had torn my ACL and my Meniscus ligaments in BOTH of my knees. Yes. That’s right – both of my knees.

Not having had any sort of injury like this before – I had no idea what I was in for. After the first few visits to physical therapy for ‘pre-surgery” preparation – I got a sense that my road to recovery would be no “walk in the park.”

Over the first few days with tons of icing and medication and not being able to walk around – it began to sink in.

In essence, what had been established was a new “limit” of what I could do and accomplish – physically.

Having always been a very active and physical kid growing up and even today as an adult – my idea of being limited by my physical condition was very disappointing.

How would I actually breakthrough this limit? I knew I wanted to be 100% healed and ready for the following ski season. Could I do it?

The prospect of a full recovery in 6-9 months seemed very bleak for just one knee. I had TWO surgeries and recoveries to handle.

Thus, started my journey. Shortly after surgery I was on my path to recovery.

After about 3 months post my first knee surgery and just starting my recovery, I had surgery number two.

The recovery period included a grueling and often painful 90-minute session at physical therapy, three times a week at a minimum. Walking in on crutches at 6am and being “worked on” until I could bend a knee, stand again without crutches, walk, run, sit – you name it. I had my work cut out for me.

I quickly learned that physical therapy, or “PT” as it’s commonly referred to, has a different meaning when you’re actually the one doing it: “Pain & Torture.”

There would be countless visits to therapy where I would literally be lying on the workout table holding back painful tears as I was being stretched, pulled, pushed, extended, flexed – trying to get back to a normal condition where I was not limited by my physical condition.

If this is what it took, so be it.

And yet, I still had doubts.

As the tears rolled down my cheeks one session, I contemplated to myself – is this really worth it? I mean, it’s only skiing, right???

I needed to find a source of inspiration and motivation to keep me going – to break through the edge of that personal and physical limit that was now in front of me.

I kept going. I didn’t let up. I was steadfast on breaking through that limit no matter how much time and effort it required.

I was often very quiet with my thoughts, thinking of the feeling of skiing again and the joy it brings to me. I had amassed a tremendous sense of perseverance and determination to get through this. Nothing was going to stop me.

Then one day in July, just after the 4th of July holiday, I had finished yet another session and heard the words I had been dreaming of for over 8 months.

“You’re all set. I don’t need to see you anymore.”

At first I paused and thought – “huh, what does that mean? “Am I really done?! I’m recovered?!”

He said… “Yep, this is one of the fastest and best knee recoveries I have ever seen. You’re in the best shape and condition you can be in. You did it!”

I had realized I had done it.

I began to cry in the car driving back home – feeling an overwhelming sense of joy, accomplishment and happiness.

I did it… I broke through my limit.

I share this not to boast or impress you (if you know me well you know I’m nothing like that.)

But, I wanted to share this story because we ALL have limits. Some we’ve set intentionally – or others have manifested over time by our beliefs and thoughts. They are all self-imposed in some way.

Physical or mental – we can always breakthrough whatever limit exists in front of us. We’ve done it over and over again during our lives – and we can continue to do it.

The point is we should be working towards breaking through these limits each and every day. It’s what inspires us to do better in the world. Achieving more by being a better person and doing well for others.

What’s my limit now? Well, I’m not sure yet.

I am back on skis in early November and I will soon find out.

I’ve challenged myself with the fact that my first day back on skis will be the exact same day a year ago when I got injured.

And, my first run will be down the same run where I had my accident.

It’s kind of eery – the scene and timing can’t be more alike from a year ago.

I’ll be testing my next limit about how well good karma works in this world.  ;-)

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

p.s. What does this have to do with marketing? Well, as I was writing this post I went out and bought the URL breakthroughyourlimits.com. Don’t click it yet – nothing is there. It’s part of my next challenge of what I’m capable of – my next limit

I’m sure I’ll rise to the occasion and have a good use for it in the future…

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

KimberlyNo Gravatar October 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

What an inspiring and timely post, Derek! Thank you for sharing your story, I’ve been following you and Fabienne for a few years now and saw your FB post the day of or day after the accident. So happy you’re back and ready to ski! Blessings on your first run, I’m sure it will be one of the happiest of your life.

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

Thanks so much, Kimberly for your comment good words! Glad we’ve connected here and Fabienne and I are thrilled to know you…

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Kelly AzevedoNo Gravatar October 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I remember seeing you in Stamford the day before that accident and then on crutches in February! It’s so great to hear that you’re back to 100% and excited to get on the slopes. Thank you for sharing and reminding me that limits are self imposed!

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

I remember that oh so well, Kelly! Thanks for keeping my spirits up and checking in on me when we see each other…

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EvanNo Gravatar October 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I have some problems with testing limits – you may end up permanently injured next time.

And if you are very invested in physical activity; my father was like this and has lead to a fairly permanent mild depression for the last few years (he’s 87). The limit he needed to face was his limiting himself so much to the physical.

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

Evan – I hear your point of view. However, the alternative is to not push your limits and stay where you are? I don’t subscribe to that… It’s not about being reckless. And, the moral here is the lesson learned in working “towards” breaking through that limit. What one does after that is their choice. So appreciate the comment!

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LynneNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

Derek….. you’ll do your best. You ALWAYS do!! I’m not surprised you recovered in record time.

Hugs.. Lynne

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

Thanks so much, Lynne – really appreciate the comment and good vibes!

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AnnaNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

Congratulations! We all have our challenges and it’s always encouraging to hear of a win and a breakthrough. I love Froma Walsh’s work regarding resistance, she talks about how challenges and working through them with the support of those we love actually makes us stronger and more able to help others.
Take care!
Anna

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

So true, Anna. We all have challenges and working through them is one of the lessons of life. And, the encouragement and support of those around us matters so much. Thanks for the book recommendation – will definitely check it out!

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Sue PainterNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

Derek, I’m so happy for you! Having been through that same torturous rehab, and facing it all over again now in just a few weeks, I know well that it is no walk in the park. Most people just won’t do it to the extent that you did. I’m extremely happy for you that all your tough hard work has paid off, and I hope your first run down the slope is amazing and joyful. My hat’s off to you.
Sue

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Sue – thank you so much for the comment and encouragement. Best of luck for you as well – it’s no walk in the park but with the same commitment and dedication you can do it! All the best…

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Michelle @ Following Your JoyNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

Hi Derek!

Thanks so much for sharing your story here and reminding us that we each totally have the power to decide how we will show up in our individual journeys. It’s a choice. I love that you live by example and ‘chose’ to break through the limit…rather than allow the limit to decide for you what is possible.

I appreciate your inspiration here. We’re all cheering you on!

With love and admiration,
Michelle

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Thank you, Michelle! Love what you said here and so appreciate your encouragement and heart-felt words of appreciation. Looking forward to seeing you again soon…

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Araceli GonzalezNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Thank you for sharing that! I am glad you are back to normal. I could only imagine how hard it was at home, with 3 little ones and not being able to run around with them. Now the have Daddy back 100% :)

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Thanks, Araceli. It was a hard recovery but well worth it. The family (wife and kids) definitely provided a ton of support and help. Appreciate your comment – thank you!

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FondaNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thank you for posting this! Your authenticity shines here. I appreciate you pulling back the veil for others to glean and lean on your experience to apply in any area of life. Great job, well written I felt like I was in the scene’. Bravo for facing your fears and going down the same trail. I will hold Fabienne in light as she maybe freaking out (itz a wife thing), hope not thought. In wholeness and freedom, Fonda

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Fonda – so appreciate your comments here. Thank you for what you’ve said – it means so much to me. I love to hear feedback from my subscribers about how they “feel” the story as they were reading it. Wishing you the best… Derek

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Christine GallagherNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Hi Derek, thank you for sharing and being so real. I am so glad to hear you will be back doing what you love in November. I remember seeing you just a few short weeks after at your home last November for Fabienne’s livestream! Here’s to a great ski season!! See you soon :-)

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Thank you, Christine! I remember that day as well and feeling like it was a long road ahead of me! Thanks to you and so many others to believe in me. So appreciate your comment and see you soon!

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Donna ThomasNo Gravatar October 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Hey Derek -
Of course it was fast a fast recovery – you had ton of Gold, Platinum, Sapphire
and Diamonds supporting you! Congratulations on breaking through your limit!
Aloha…Donna

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

Thanks, Donna! So true… support is everything! Thanks for posting here.

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LanaNo Gravatar October 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

How inspiring Derek. Yesterday I set an intention to break free from a limit “now” that’s been holding me back. Before going to bed actually. Reading your post is a confirmation. Thanks. And…you just strike me as a boaster. Congrats.

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

Love to hear the timing, Lana! Here’s to you breaking through your own limit! Thanks so much for posting here…

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Jenn Kemper | Blue Goose CelebrationsNo Gravatar October 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I’ll be eager to hear how it feels to be back on the slopes after so much hard work. I bet you’ll love it even more, even if it’s harder – perhaps because it could be harder.

Memories of skiing (and snowboarding) with family comprise many of my husband’s fondest experiences as a child. We went last year and it was a first for me. Absolutely terrified, I went down the bunny slopes time after time because I knew it was something my sweet husband wanted to share with me, even if bunny slopes weren’t his idea of “skiing.” The feeling of accomplishment when I graduated to the green runs was as much as I’ve felt toward anything and it totally translated into my business as soon as I got home. I got hungry for that feeling again and started tackling the things I’d been putting off. Fun how it works.

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Jenn – loved hearing your story… thanks so much for sharing! It’s an exhilarating experience for anyone no matter what level – and it’s all about stepping up and out of our comfort zone to experience it. Thanks for posting!

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