Updated: May 6
This checklist is for anyone navigating injury or surgery (athlete or not) in hopes that knowing what helped me during my difficult time makes your hardship a teensy bit easier.
My story: I had hypermobile knees (they bent backwards) AND participated in high impact sports. Long story short: the two did not mix well. I tore my left ACL in the snowboarding terrain park in 2011, and my right ACL jumping down from a wall at the Spartan Race. My knees did surprisingly well without the ACL's (my PT's were baffled), but eventually I tore the meniscus on my left knee too. I consulted with a surgeon who felt he could repair the meniscus but he wanted me to fix the ACL at the same time (fixing the ACL meant a-twice-as-long-recovery but a better likelihood of success). I felt that if I was going to take all that time to rehab one, I should probably just fix the other at the same time. So, that's what I did (or tried) and it took three surgeries to get me where I am.
As an avid snowboarder, dancer, and acrobat, I went through deep waves of depression during this time. I am now 419 days post-op and am still healing. In the meantime, here is my advice and checklist for fellow injured athletes. Get well soon friends.
Article by Mindy Cochran. Mindy is the founder of Kalispell's Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catch phrase "fitness is fun" is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. Mindy is also a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health and wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer and life coach. For more about Mindy, please visit: https://www.levitationnation.org/mindy.