In this episode, we keep it short and sweet. We talk about why I name this episode AnnKNEEversary, a little reflection on the journey, and a special shoutout to all of you ACL athletes.
What’s up team, and welcome back to another episode. Today is short and sweet. It’s Thanksgiving week here in the States, and I’m going to give you guys a chance to catch up on the latest three-part series on preparing for ACL surgery or any other episodes at your own leisure this week. So go and check those out. Now, you might be wondering why I named this episode AnnKNEEversary, and let me tell you why. It’s because I got a reminder of a photo from eight years ago, today. And guess what it was? It was of me right after my second ACL reconstruction, and it was Thanksgiving week.
And so here I am eight years later after my second one. And the pictures of me and a bunch of my friends in our last year at UGA together in my undergrad. I was on crutches. Day one, I’ve got this brace on with this knee wrapped. They’re all getting ready to go to the UGA Kentucky game, and it’s a night game. It’s the last UGA home game of my senior year in undergrad. I had to stay home and watch it all by myself. I was definitely bummed, but let’s be real, there are way worse things in life. It was just something that I remember very vividly just laying on the couch while we were beating Kentucky, and all my friends were there and I just had to kind of hang out.
And I know a lot of you out there who are probably feeling somewhat of a similar thing, especially if you’re early in the ACL rehab process. And maybe family is doing something traditional, whether it’s like a 5K or hiking, or maybe it’s a flag football game, something of that nature. And you might have to skip out on it because of where your knees at. I feel you guys here. And I just want to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It might not feel like it right now, and the tunnel might seem very long. But just know there will be an end and you will see the light.
While I was reflecting on the past eight years, and just kind of thinking of where I was then, going through that experience, and trying to decide what I was going to do with my career, and with rehab and performance and all of these things, then I look to where I am now with those experiences under my belt, going through school, now specializing and working with ACL athletes. I would’ve never imagined this journey from my two ACL tears.
And this is why I’m bringing this up today, is that you never know what the journey’s going to be. You might be sitting frustrated or wondering why it happened. I just want you to know that there is something at the end of this, and whether it’s life skills or the ability to learn more about your body, or exploring another opportunity, maybe it’s a profession. I’ve talked about this before, but this is an opportunity. I’m just reflecting on the opportunities that I had through my own two ACL injuries and then that recovery and being able to just utilize those experiences, to put things out like this podcast and this platform. It’s very much cultivated this journey for me. And so then I hope that for you guys, it also cultivates a unique journey for you. It may not seem like that now in the thick of things, but I promise that there is something to learn here.
This is me speaking from two ACL experiences and exactly eight years ago from my second one. I just wanted to bring that up and share with all of you who have been on this journey with me, from where I had started, even to now 43 episodes in, has been a really fun ride. And to round out this episode and the cliche of Thanksgiving, I just want to say how much I really am thankful for every single one of you who are listening and who will listen to this. And just know that it really does mean a lot when I get messages and emails from other ACL athletes, talking about their own journey, and also how this podcast has helped them. It means a ton. And for you guys to take your time and listen to things that I have to say or rant about and actually go through and send me messages and emails means so much.
I just want to say I am thankful for all of you and for this platform. And I hope that I can just continue to bring as much value as I can to all of you who are listening and for any of the ACL athletes out there. So that we can get better as a profession to be able to take care of ACL athletes and also just to enhance the experience. Because we know that this is something that needs to improve and is my goal and my life’s mission.
As we sign off today, one of the things that I want you as an action item to take away and reflect on is, what’s something that you’re thankful for and that you have learned about in your ACL rehab? And I know right now, especially if you’re early in it, you’re probably not thankful of too much just yet. But I really want you to sit and focus on something on the positive of this: what’s something you’re thankful for from this experience? And it’s really easy to point out the bad things, but I want you to point out one good thing from your experience in ACL rehab. And that’s it. So AnnKNEEversary, embrace the journey, it can lead you somewhere and it will lead you somewhere. I’m thankful for you guys and this platform.
What you’re thankful for in your ACL rehab? That’s it for today, guys. Enjoy, Happy Thanksgiving! Love you all. Catch you next week.
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