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…