At first I didn’t know what to do with myself. My whole sports career looked as if it was about to end in one tackle during the first match of the season. My coach and the trainers on the field, as well as the doctors in the ER, all told me that it was nothing and not to worry about it. I was fine up until I got my results from the MRI that showed I had sprained my MCL, badly torn my ACL and damaged my meniscus. I began second guessing myself…was the injury my fault? Could I have been playing harder or faster so I would have avoided being hurt? When I received a photo of the play that caused my injury I felt better…but I felt alone and besides, I was scared to death of the surgery.
Being as devastated as I was, I searched the internet about the whole process, upcoming operation and rehab, and what my future looked like from then on, but there was no website that provided me with the support and information I needed to feel comfortable with the situation. I then got the idea for Friends in Kneed, a student and young athlete knee-rehabilitation support group that provides all the information and support needed to get the athlete through the whole process by sharing experiences with other peers through online communication.
After meeting and interviewing three doctors, I chose the doctor that I was most comfortable with and who seemed to know me best. He and his assistant have been great, and have guided me over the last three months.
I hope Friends in Kneed will help other young athletes learn more about what happened to them, and let them know that there are others who have had the same experience and feel the same way.
I will keep everyone informed about how I’m doing, and how I’m feeling!– Kris22
Hey Friends! It’s January and school soccer is starting up… I’m praying that I’ll make it through the season in one piece! Check my twitter account for daily updates on workouts and Friends in Kneed info! If you have a “friend in kneed” encourage them to log on to the site or tweet me @kristinagordonc… Everybody “kneeds” somebody! Have a beautiful day and keep working hard!
Lately I’ve gotten this sudden urge to be the best. I’ve begun to push myself in my workouts mostly, but I’ve also started to enforce a healthy diet. Getting back to playing soccer has suddenly become a priority. For a reason I cannot explain, every time I think of playing soccer I think about being brutal, unstoppable, and the flat out best player on the field. I can’t shake the feeling that this is what is necessary to achieve. In my previous ACL injury, I felt this sensation in small bursts, just enough to keep me going. Now, this burst of determination is constant. It’s all I’ve been thinking about. I need to get back on the field. I need to be bulletproof. I need to be the best one out there. I just need it.
The hard part is, I don’t necessarily want soccer back. I don’t want to play in college, I want to go to study pre-med or perhaps and english major. I don’t want to be a professional, but I need to be the best. I need to say that I came back. I have to; I couldn’t live with myself if I never returned.
The worst thing that could possibly happen when I’m back playing soccer is that I tear my ACL yet again. Honestly, I couldn’t care less. The pain doesn’t bother me anymore, nothing really does. If I were to tear my ACL again, I would laugh. I would look fate straight in the eye, pat him on the back, and tell him that he’s a funny guy. Maybe it’s stupid not to care, but what have I got to lose? I’ve lost both ACLs; I’ve gained two experiences that have shaped the person I am today. It seems to me like a fair trade off!
Anyways, back to the working out. I’ve created what I like to call an “active mile.” Down the street there is a local track where every lap is one third of a mile. It’s big and narrow and close by, so when I’m not running in the neighborhood I’m usually there running sprints. Today I went down to the track for a normal workout. I warmed up with a jog as usual, but then I was struck with a brilliant idea! The second full lap I did a combination of plyometrics, agility exercises, and squats and lunges. After a full lap of this, my legs were pretty worn out. Then, I got that sudden burst of determination to be the best, and so I did a full lap of build-up sprints. I found that it was an incredible workout AND it really helped build strength and endurance in my knee! I plan on doing two “active miles” the next time I get out to the track. I am actually quite proud of my improvised workout. It makes me feel like I can be the best in all different areas of my game. Maybe next time I’ll even incorporate a soccer ball in it so I can get some extra touches! So many possibilities! As you can see, I’m pretty excited. I will definitely recommend it to all my fellow “friends in kneed!”
Hey guys and gals!
Sorry I haven’t done an update in awhile… Good news, I’m cleared to play soccer again! I had my six month check up last week, and apparently my knee is stronger than ever! It feels so good to have the ball at my feet again, but with every step I take I have my doubts. I’ve lost a whole lot through these past two injuries. I know for a fact that I can no longer play soccer at the level I wanted to, and the thought of not achieving my goal that I’ve had since my first year of soccer is depressing. So I’m not the player I was, I will never be that player again, and honestly I don’t plan to be either. Life’s twists and turns sometimes don’t agree with the straight map that you had mentally laid out for yourself. This happened to me, but I am not alone. My twists and turns have lead me to cross paths with a lot of you athletes on the site and many other influential people in my life. I’m going to play soccer for sure, but not at the same rate that I have in past. I’ll play school soccer, pick up games, and maybe coach some skill sessions, and that will be enough to fill the void that has been empty the past 6 months.
On a completely different note, I shadowed 3 different knee surgeries! Surgery is incredible; its magical; exhilarating. It is also definitely not for the faint of heart. I’d give details but…. I’m sure the majority of the audience would not want to hear exactly what is done. I’ve fallen in love with medicine. I don’t understand much because I lack experience, but the jargon I do understand is like music to my ears. 8 years of school after high school doesn’t scare me. In fact, I’m excited. There’s so much to learn, I am so grateful that Friends in Kneed has helped me become apart of the world of medicine.
T-Shirts and Friends in Kneed gear will be available soon! And hopefully my book will be out sometime early next year….. 😉
Good luck to you all!
1. Make short term goals for a long term idea. This means to set yourself small goals that would be feasible to accomplish in a few weeks or a month tops. Things such as being able to run a mile in a decent time, being able to bend your knee a full 90 degrees, or pushing yourself a little harder in the workout. This makes time pass quicker and builds confidence knowing that you are achieving something. Though you want to get back to your game, don’t let that loom over your head and cause you grief. There are so many things you can do between now and then that may change your life forever.
2. Listen to your doctors and trainers and rehab to your full potential. They know what it takes to get back out to your sport. They want to see you succeed and want you to be safe in the future. The truth is, you can never do enough rehab. In fact, every work out post surgery is considered rehab. This ensures that your body will remain strong and sturdy to be able to withstand the physical components of whatever your sport may be.
3. BE CONFIDENT. Like I said before, it’s completely normal to feel uncertain or fearful when getting back to your sport. But after many months of rehab, you need to feel confident inside that you’ve rehabbed to your full potential. You’ll probably be a little bit more hesitant and careful, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that you’ve learned how to be “sport smart.”
4. Keep positive and believe that you will get through this! Make the best out of the worst situations and don’t let it drag you down. It may feel like your sport is the most important thing in your life, but I’m sure you will come to find other passions and talents while on your road to recovery. Remember, everything happens for a reason.
Hope this helped, have a beautiful day!
I’ve been cleared to run! It’s been exactly three months since my surgery, but I haven’t run for about four… I’ve missed it so much. I feel like I’m me again, that all my hard work in has finally caught up to me. Over the past two years I’ve learned that running is a gift. Most people don’t know what they’ve missed until it’s been taking away from them. During my first ACL injury, not being able to play soccer was the most depressing part, but now, running is what I’ve missed out on. Yes, I miss soccer a lot, but it’s not as prominent in my future as it used to be. I have new goals and ambitions that have switched around and have set me on a different path. For example, today I read my speech to hopefully be elected vice president of the junior class. Truthfully, I don’t have high expectations for a winning result. I have a lot of regrets from middle school and ninth grade that put me in a position to think that I’m not well liked amongst my peers. I haven’t ever really had super close friends, but I do chit chat with people in passing. I’d say it’s a weakness of mine to not form strong relationships with people. As much as I would love to have a close group of friends to confide in, I would feel like I would be some what in a “clique,” which has never really appealed to me. I don’t know if that’s an excuse for not connecting with people or what, but what I have learned is that it’s better to be able to talk to everyone than be exclusive. Because of my injuries, I feel like I’ve settled down and found my place. It used to be always about soccer, but tearing my ACL, twice, has made me a more rounded person. Soccer took up all my time, but now I focus on my grades, community service, and of course the Sunshine Club. For the first time in my high school career, I’ve made straight A’s every quarter. If I was focused on soccer instead of school work, I wouldn’t have achieved this type of academic success. Things have changed, some for the better, and some for the worst, but at least now I have my priorities straight. From my challenges, I’ve surfaced as a leader, and because of that I’m grateful to have been “changed” by a series of depressing events. But hey, life makes us stronger, mistakes make us wiser, and failure makes us a fighter. I’m not the same person I was, and will probably never will be, but I am a leader. So I think I will go for that run now, and with every step I take I will thank God for the beautiful gift of running and newly healed knees.