“Will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed. Kid, you’ll move mountains.” – Dr Seuss
I looked out over the valley.
Nothing but mountains stretched out to the horizon.
I reached for the tree branch.
My 4 year old was in my other arm.
She decided her hike was over. Smart girl.
The mountain trail dropped a few feet below us.
The branch broke.
I bounced off the gravel.
When the dust settled (literally):
- My 4 year old was untouched.
- My elbow was not so lucky.
There are benefits of busting up your elbow in the middle of nowhere.
You forget about your knee.
Nothing like being lost in the mountains.
Family fun at its best.
One Week Earlier…
Exactly 1 year to the day from my ACL surgery, almost to the hour, I had my last official PT session.
My PT played the Rocky music on his phone as I signed the discharge papers.
PT pushed me hard.
But no training can fully replicate real world adversity.
A few days later we took a trip to the Adirondacks in upstate New York.
Amazing scenery. Steep cliffs.
Take A Hike
Our last hike of the week did not go as planned.
After 2 hours of hiking in the wrong direction and scaling up surprisingly steep rocks, we were flat out lost.
The terrain was uneven. The trail was unfriendly.
If you had to design a course to eat up a new ACL, this would be it.
My safety blanket – my custom fit sports knee brace, was only 400 miles away.
The Test Finds You
I had been avoiding “it” for weeks.
I thought it would happen on the jiu jitsu mat.
It found me on top of a mountain.
“The Test” was at hand.
I knew the time would come when I would have to test my surgically repaired knee in the real world.
I just didn’t think it would happen in the mountains, low on water, and carrying a 4 year old.
The injury created a mental barrier that I had to overcome.
Was the knee ready to be pushed full speed?
How do you know when you are 100% healed?
Go All the Way
Before I realized it, I was jumping, pivoting, and cutting my way down the mountain.
All while carrying my 4 year old hiking buddy.
As we approached an amazing cliff view, gratitude flowed.
After 12 months, a few hundred hours of rehab & a bloody elbow later, the healing process was complete.
My knee is back.
I took a photo of the view to remember the moment.
Life can test us at any moment.
How we respond determines who we become.
Running away from a challenge is AVERAGE.
Climbing life’s mountains leads to REMARKABLE.