Episode 101 | Overcoming Barriers in ACL Rehab

Show Notes:

In this episode, we dive into the one thing that is standing in the way of your ACL rehab. We discuss what your barriers might be and how we can create an action plan to overcome these specific barriers. It’s an honest reset to allow you to move the needle like you want in your ACL rehab. Time to get after it.

What is up team? Welcome back to another episode on the ACL Athlete Podcast. Happy New Year to all of you! It is 2023 now. Or, if you’re listening later on, it might be the middle of 2023 or it might be 2024 or later. But hope you guys are doing well, hope you had a great holiday, New Year. We are in full focus, full speed with 2023. And I could not be more excited, 2022 felt like I blinked and it was over. It was just so fast from a professional standpoint, from a personal standpoint, so it was just good to slow down to be able to reflect, to be able to set the tone for the new year. And as you guys have probably listened to the past two episodes. If you haven’t, go and check them out. They’ve been huge on that whole reflecting and planning around goals. I love to be in the micro, but I love so much more to be in the macro, to be able to zoom out, to be able to look at the big picture, and to be able to look at your north star. Do some planning around it. Make sure you’re reflecting around what has happened previously.

I am just super pumped to come into this episode. We have a lot of things planned for 2023, that I think a lot of you are going to be super interested in. And we cannot wait to reveal these things to you, so stay tuned for what’s ahead. But today, I want to talk about our topic: Overcoming barriers in ACL rehab. And this was a topic that came up as I was doing, reflecting as I was writing goals. I wanted to talk about barriers today and set the tone for 2023. And I want today to be a hard reset for you. Even if you’re listening to this later, it might be later in 2023, but if you’re listening to this now, at the beginning of the year, this is going to be a hard reset for you. This is going to be something that is going to ask you to do some things, to be able to look at them, to be able to really dissect it, and then be able to put things in play.

Today is where you get to just clean the slate a little bit, be like, okay, like let me focus on this, and let’s create a plan around it. It’s a hard reset. And the reason I’m bringing this up is because, maybe you’re entering this new year or this day, this month with some new goals. I’m sure a lot of you are. Maybe you’re entering this new year or day or month with just getting some things figured out with your knee. Things haven’t been going as well with your ACL rehab. Maybe you’re having some issues with it and your goal is to get some things squared away with that, or maybe you’re feeling lost or burnt out. You don’t know what are the next steps on what to do. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re going around in circles a little bit. 

Today is that hard reset and we’re going to change that. Today we’re talking about barriers. And the reason I’m bringing this up is because I reflected hard on my barriers for 2022. In 2022, my biggest barrier, my number one barrier was planning. I tend to operate life pretty fast as you guys can tell. There’s a lot of moving pieces which I enjoy and it allows me to show up and to be able to make decisions and to be able to create, and I just love it. But with that said, being also a very organized person, as soon as planning goes out the window, that creates a lot of chaos for me and for anyone who is that type of personality.

And I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this when things move fast or feel chaotic, planning becomes even that much more important. And when I have conversations with ACLers, especially the ACLers we are working with, the biggest differences we see in those who really do crush it, who meet goals, who are moving the needle, and those who simply don’t, are those who plan, those who look ahead, who get super realistic about what their schedule looks like, what they can do, what they can access, what time they have. They are those who plan and they execute and they get it done and they communicate really well. But the biggest thing was that people planned. They planned, they adjusted if the plan didn’t work out as well. And this goes to the month, to the week, to the day, to the time. 

And I hope if you’re listening to this, you did some reflecting from your 2022. The reason I’m bringing this up is because I want you to be able to answer the question: What was your number one barrier in your ACL rehab? A lot of you here are trying to get to the next thing. Basically, you don’t want to be in ACL rehab anymore. And you’re like, how can I get out of this? I want to help you overcome your number one barrier in your ACL rehab. And that’s going to help you set the tone from today and for this year or for when you’re listening to this, to be able to move the needle and to move forward in your ACL rehab.

What was your number one barrier? Was it planning? Was it prioritizing? Was it execution? Maybe it was the guidance that you had, the specific planning or lack of specific planning, maybe it’s the time, or maybe you don’t estimate your time very well. I can definitely overshoot my time for sure. We think we can accomplish a lot more than we think in a given amount of time. I had to get real with the amount of time along with my planning. What I want you to do is write this down. If you’re serious about wanting to make a change on this, if you want to actually make sure that this doesn’t repeat again, write it down. And then let’s talk about how can we overcome this barrier. What’s going to be the solution? And we can’t just say like, okay, here’s this blanket. I’m going to just plan better. All right, let’s work on this. A better question that I want you to basically answer is, are you going to be okay saying at the end of 2023, that the reason you didn’t get to your goal was because of blank. If that same barrier was the same barrier that stood in your way for the rest of this year, do not let that be. 

And I’m telling you guys, I’m not going to let planning be my barrier this year. Sure, there are going to be times where I’m going to have to pivot and it’s not going to go according to plan. But that’s why we review, we reflect and we want to make sure that we plan for the day ahead. The previous podcast episode I did, forward-thinking and backward planning, I’m putting that into play for the month, for the week, for the year. And if you guys want to join me on it, I really hope you do. I am going to have designated time blocks to review the previous week and plan for the next. And these are going to be anchored to my one-year goals, so from now till 2024, personally, and professionally, all the things that mattered to me. I’ve written those down and I’ve broken those down into quarterly and monthly goals. 

And of course, nothing goes according to plan. Same thing with ACL rehab, right? It very rarely ever goes perfectly to plan. But that’s why we also make sure we have an adaptable plan to be able to make sure we continue to keep moving forward and it’s adjusted based on the feedback that we’re getting. The only way we get that feedback is if we stop and reflect and review. Otherwise, we’re just going to blindly move forward and not realize what is the true barrier or the issue that’s at hand. And then I’m going to take this a step further, and each day I’m going to do a brief review and plan for the next day using that forward thinking and backward planning by Nick Bare that I had heard.

The lack of planning created so much really unnecessary overwhelm for me last year. This year I’m going to create systems and accountability to make sure I don’t repeat that habit. And that doesn’t stand in the way of a barrier for me to be able to move forward toward the things that I really care about. My action item to you, list your number one barrier. Figure out a specific action plan to make sure you overcome it. If it’s prioritizing, what’s the problem? Is it just not important enough to you? I think that’s the thing you have to dive into. Maybe you need to figure out why ACL rehab is important outside of just knee health or exercises. This ACL rehab is standing in the way for you to be able to do something you love. That’s something you love, brings you some sort of emotion and feel. I want you to dive into that. Then, be able to see, okay, why am I not prioritizing it? 

If it’s execution, why? Is it the program you’re doing? Is it a lack of drive from that prioritizing? Is it the goal? Is it hard to maybe just access your equipment? You’d be surprised how many people, they get a program or they’re like, okay, I’m going to do this. They’ve been given that program and somehow the execution slacks. And it might be because they have 20 or 30 exercises that they need to do, which is absolutely insane. But guys, that happens, I had an athlete a few weeks ago, who showed me a list of 20 exercises they needed to do in a single session. And they all were four sets of 10 or something like that. And I was like, you’re going to be here all day. This is also not productive, there’s no organization or anything. And they just were demotivated to do anything so that impacted their execution. So that’s something I suggest you guys dive into. 

Is it your guidance? And you guys know exactly what I think here, and I’m going to be completely transparent. Too many options exist for this, to be really an excuse anymore. Plenty of remote options, and plenty of local options, and I know that location can have some limitations. But my suggestion is to find something that is better quality. And it might be something that might stretch you. It might stretch you financially, it might stretch you from a time standpoint, but is it worth it for that stretch? And to find better guidance and to just feel at peace of mind, knowing you’re working with somebody that you trust. Don’t settle. 

Is it time? This is going back to your planning for your week. What’s realistic? Going back to that list of exercises. If it takes you an hour and a half to do those exercises and all you have is 30 minutes because you’re a busy mom with twins, or maybe you have a high-stress job that only allows maybe a 30 window somewhere and you’re supposed to do an hour and a half worth of work, you might not just do any of it. What’s going to be realistic from a time standpoint? I had to get real with myself about this on certain projects or certain things I needed to do with training or with life, or with certain items I was working on and being realistic about the timeframe. 

What we use with a lot of our athletes and within the company is something called an MVP. What is the minimum viable program/product? We usually say program because that’s something that we use with a lot of our athletes, a minimum viable program(MVP). What is the bare minimum you need to do to move the needle? Sure, there might be some additional things you can work on, but let’s say you only have 20 or 30 minutes. What is going to move the needle right now for you in your ACL rehab? This has to be a conversation with your physical therapist, and your coach, to make sure that this is fitting within your week, within the equipment you have, and the days that you have set for this. And then do yourself a favor and block your rehab into your schedule, like the most important meeting you have for that day. That’s what we tell all of our ACLers, instead of finding a window of time, use it as a job interview window. Take it that seriously. So then that way you don’t miss it and you’re prioritizing it because you’re likely to make every single job interview that you have. Let’s take this the extra step and block this into your schedule to make sure that you have it there in your schedule.

And the last suggestion on this is don’t miss twice. You might miss one here or you might have to skip something. But don’t repeat that twice because that starts to change a habit. And instead, make sure that if you’re going to miss, only miss once. And to wrap this episode up, figure out what your barrier is. Put a plan in place. Execute it. Revisit weekly, if it’s not working or if it is working. Adjust accordingly. Don’t be that person sitting at the end of 2023 or wherever you’re listening to this now and just saying, next year, I’ll do it next year. This is your call to action to do it now. This is just as much a call to action to you guys as it is for me because I have things that I care about and that I have set for this year and I want to accomplish. And a lot of this stuff is for ACLers, for our team, for our life, for me and my wife. These are things that are very meaningful to me. And I hope that we can push this forward and we are so excited to be able to do that. But for me, it starts with making sure that I plan and execute and making sure that I continue to review and adjust the plan as I need to.

Go and make it happen. Make 2023 a year where you’re like, “All right, I’m doing the freaking thing because I’m here with you.” And if you need some help, we got you. Send us a message, whether it’s an email at ravi@theaclathlete.com. Send me a message on Instagram at ravipatel.dpt. Send me a message. We are here to help, we are here to support you. If you’re like, hey, this is my barrier. Maybe it’s execution or maybe it’s your guidance. Maybe it’s just dividing up your schedule and your time to be more actionable and feasible in your life. Shoot us a message if you need some help on that. Go and take action and I will catch you next week. Stay tuned for some of the releases that we have for you guys. Lots of what we are saying value that we are going to be providing for our ACLers, our clinicians, our coaches, and everyone in our ecosystem. We are so pumped to release it. Stay tuned. 

Until next time, team. I hope that you have a kick-ass start to the day, to the week, to your 2023, and let’s get after it.

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