Episode 105 | Taking Action in ACL Rehab

Show Notes:

In this episode, we dive into the ACL Mindset and discuss a helpful framework on taking action and how that’s been helpful for me and our ACLers.

What is up team, and welcome back to another episode on the ACL Athlete Podcast. Today is episode number 105, and it’s all about taking action in ACL rehab. If you’ve been listening to the recent episodes, especially the ones at the beginning of the year, we talked a lot about mindset. As you all know, I’m very big on mindset, especially in this ACL rehab process, just because that’s going to drive a lot of our actions. And it’s important, especially in ACL rehab because it’s arguably more difficult mentally than it is physically. 

And I know all you ACLers who are listening, are shaking your heads, agreeing. It’s really tough. It’s hard to stay in this rhythm of just positivity and all of these wins and whatnot. It can get you whenever you have a setback, or maybe just the energy is feeling low or you’re feeling like you’ve been in this purgatory of ACL rehab for so long. And today, I want to talk a little bit more about the mindset things and so then that way that can help you in your actions. What helps me a lot is getting into these frameworks for us to help think about the way we do things. So what’s been important, at least from my side, is reflecting, planning, taking action, getting feedback, and repeating that.

And when you think about your ACL rehab process, there’s a lot of that going on, whether it’s directly or indirectly. And hopefully, the physical therapist you’re working with, or maybe you are the PT or coach working with ACLer, this is also in your head as you’re going through this process, there’s reflecting on how things have gone, there is planning in your programming or the guidance that you’re getting. There’s taking the action and then there’s getting the feedback, and then you’re reiterating that and constantly adapting based on that process. I think to simplify this, we all have goals, right? And if you’re listening to this, it’s likely that you want to get to the end of your ACL rehab and get back to the things that you love to do. We need a plan to get there. 

Then there’s taking action– execution in that plan. Of course, the initial plan doesn’t always work or oftentimes goes the way we planned. We have to make adjustments based on the feedback of that action that you take. And there’s not a single ACLer that I have worked with, their programming, or anything that we do that we haven’t had to truly adjust at some point in the process. Usually, it’s multiple times, so if you’re listening and you’re like, man, things aren’t going as planned. You ask most people, and most people will say that things typically don’t go as planned, especially in this ACL rehab process. Because we have to deal with a knee that isn’t always listening to us the way we want it to. And sometimes it just acts up. However, if there’s no action, then you can have the best coaching, the best program, you name it, but you still won’t get there. At the end of the day, we need the execution of that plan or some fulfillment in taking action on the plan in order to truly be able to move the needle and get feedback in order to re-adapt the program and be able to continue to move forward.

And something I want to share about myself that seems so simple yet taking action was hard for me, so stay with me on this. I’ve always wanted to start a newsletter and it’s something to just share thoughts, stories, and education for you, ACLers, clinicians, and coaches. We’re talking years, and this seems super simple. You build a list, write some words, and send an email. Simple, who cares? One problem. I have a tendency as a person to be a perfectionist. That’s just Ravi Patel in human flesh. That’s me. And it’s something that I’ve always dealt with my entire life. And you can say that’s a pretty bad thing for someone who’s trying to build a company because there are a lot of things that will not be perfect. And that’s something that I have personally learned along the way, all the time, and constantly get reminded of.

And here’s the thing, you wait for things to be perfect before doing something. That’s usually what gets in my way would make excuses for that newsletter. Like, oh, I’ll wait till this time, or I’m busy because I need to focus on this, or I need to get past this hump, or I need to readjust something. There’s always something coming up. And it coincides with this paralysis by analysis that I had mentioned where you overanalyze and that leads to a delay in action or doing the thing. Well, I said this year is different for me, 2023, is the year of taking action and being okay if things aren’t perfect.

And it’s funny when you actually think about what perfect even means, like the definition, there’s not really one in terms of- especially when you’re being creative or trying to push out an idea or a concept, and that’s just life in general. And it’s this arbitrary point that you think you’ll get to or need to get to in order to just do it. Like perfect conditions, perfect situations, or anything related to it. And sometimes you almost have to dive deeper into why it is that you’re waiting for that. Is it the judgment of people? Is it a fear of inaction for some reason? Diving deeper into what that is is important. And for me, I had to dive into that and understand also that like in order to serve the mission of you, ACLers, and anyone else who is a part of this journey, to be able to just do that without the perfectionism kind of sinking in.

And the other thing that I’ll say is the same goes for individualized ACL programs or coaching. There’s no perfect plan. As I had mentioned, there’s a plan that is based on principles and goals and adapting continuously based on those factors and feedback. So perfection doesn’t really exist in this space of ACL rehab or I mean creating a business or a newsletter or anything like that. And this is just full transparency for you guys of kind of what. Sometimes we go through this process of, oh, okay, human beings, why do we tend to act this way? Well, there are a lot of things that can play into it, but perfectionism and almost our self-limiting beliefs can play into that a lot. So what is the takeaway here?

Two things. I took action. I launched a newsletter last Friday and it touches on this exact principle and what you can expect from the newsletter. Some of those things you can expect: ACL advice, exercises, science-based, resources, research reviews, eBooks, that are going to be for free, ACL program, design for rehab and return to sport, personal ACL stories, and hearing from other ACL stories. From people we’re working with, from me and my own experiences, content updates, discounts to things that we have that we work with, ask us anything, Q&A’s, all kinds of other stuff that we’re super excited about. It’s going to be hype. The newsletter signup is in the show notes, so check that out. We will not spam you, I promise. It might be a monthly thing. It might be a little bit more than that. But our goal is to make sure that it is just pure value. That’s actually the name of its value newsletter. It’s just valuable for you ACLers, clinicians, and coaches, just to be able to help you on your journey, just like this podcast does.

Number two, you need to take action. You might be like, well, I’m taking action. I’m going to PT, I’m working on my ACL rehab. That’s cool. Keep going. If you’re in it and you’re seeing progress and you’re kind of having that testing and the programming and the support that I had mentioned are the non-essentials for your ACL rehab. But some of you ACLers might be stuck with some bad physical therapy. Maybe you don’t have a plan. Maybe there’s no guidance, you’re feeling lost, you’ve been thinking about making some changes. But those excuses can come up. I’m busy. I’ll wait till this point. Things are going okay. I’ll wait till insurance runs out, which is a common one I hear. Or I’ll get to the mid to late stages and then I’ll get it there.

Guess what? The early stages are more important because you gotta set up that foundation. The thing that I want to ask you is what’s the opportunity cost of waiting? Or maybe you’re a clinician or a coach listening to this and saying the same thing when you want to dive into more ACL-specific care, learn more about it, and maybe make a change in your career. The same question applies. What’s the opportunity cost? And the thing that I’m going to say here is to just take action. That’s what’s going to be most important. Don’t allow yourself to ask yourself the same questions or be stuck in the same place a month from now, two months from now, six months from now, and especially a year from now. That’s the worst. 

One last thing to round this out is to ask yourself when you’ve had the most growth in your own life. Was it when things were easy or when you made yourself uncomfortable? Our human nature is to sit in that comfort and that path of least resistance. We like being cozy in our little happy place, but really growth happens when you take action in that uncomfortable. You step into something and it might be something that has resistance to it. It might be like seeking out out-of-network benefits or out-of-network PTs or doing the remote side of things. And this is not a pitch for you guys to be like, hey, all right, join the ACL athlete remote coaching. No, it’s just to make a change personally for yourself in order to be able to move the needle toward the things you want to do.

For you ACLers that might be getting back to basketball, skiing,  rock climbing, hiking, playing soccer, playing handball, to maybe just go out and just use your body the way that you want to and the activities you love to do. For you clinicians and coaches who might be making that shift that you’ve always dreamed of, or diving into some sort of realm of education related to ACL rehab.

And for me, it’s all about discomfort -this year and for years to come. It’s to improve myself as a human and all ways, not only as a business owner, and as a leader but also as a husband, as a brother, and as a son. All these different hats that I wear, and I’m sure all of you listening have so many different hats you wear as well.

It is just to improve myself as a human and to serve and bring more and more value to all of you. Part of that was starting a newsletter, sharing a little bit more about the behind-the-scenes, and there’s so much more to come that we’re going to share that I’m so freakin excited about. So please stay tuned.

And last but not least, take action. Just know you don’t have to take all of these big, massive steps. Just take that one step. James Clear always says, “Take just the next step.” And that’s the thing that I want you to do here, and that’s going to be the key to be able to make sure that you move that needle. Otherwise, you could be, what I like to think of as the rocking chair of that rocking horse. You’re just kind of rocking back and forth. You’re not really moving, but you feel like there’s some movement because you’re in this comfortable space. Don’t be in the rocking chair or that rocking horse, if you will, and be able to move forward by taking action.

All right guys, that’s going to do it for today. Please sign up for the newsletter to get all of the ACL goods that I mentioned. The information and the signup are in the show notes. We appreciate any and all of you who do sign up and who support us, whether it’s through this, through the podcast, or through the platform. We appreciate all of you and we’re super pumped for what’s ahead, so stay tuned. That’s going to be it for today, guys. 

Thank you all so much for listening. This is your host, Ravi Patel, signing off.

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