Written by Hannah Dykstra
If you’re reading this, chances are you read the original to my “Confessions of a Gimp” post, a blurb of personal thoughts and insights stemming from a serious, though temporary, injury that has and continued to change my life. This journey has been the most challenging journey I’ve endured in my life so far, but I will admit that it has also been the most eye opening. In all honesty I do believe a torn ACL has been one of the best things to happen to me. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I will explain to you why I feel that way.
I have learned a few lessons, but the most wholehearted lesson I have learned is trust. As an athlete, I have always been told to “trust the process” and I am finally grasping that concept. A lot of what I love to do has been stripped away from me for now, not only in CrossFit, but with the little things in life that feed my soul – running with my dog, backpacking, slack lining, keeping up with crazy kids, long boarding or simply squatting down to pick up something, among others. Anyway, I understand that it is only temporary and the one thing I have been holding on since the moment I broke myself was the thought that “I will get back,” and I am fully aware that I am beyond lucky to be able to grasp on to that. I mentioned earlier that these past few months have been challenging, holding onto the fact that I will one day be back to normal is keeping me sane, but I cannot lose sight of that and the only way to do that is to “trust the process.”
I am forced to trust my body in more ways that one. I fell in love with the human body in college for a reason – from a physiological standpoint, I feel that the human body is one of the most incredible things on the face of the earth. My body went through some very traumatic experiences including the initial tears and the surgeries. My overall recovery has not been in my favor considering I am about to endure another surgery, but that’s okay! I have learned that my brain-to-body connection is so much smarter than I ever gave it credit for. It is healing at the rate it needs to heal – I have put full trust into my body that it knows what its doing, all I have to do is trust this process regardless of the time it takes.
Since I have been out of the CrossFit routine for some time now, I have had the chance to take a second look at how to approach my training when I am fully recovered. Once again, I will approach it with full trust in my body, the programming and especially the time. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing the human body is… it knows. It knows when you’re doing the right things versus when you’re doing the wrong things. I will look at my training as I’m looking at the recovery in the sense that no matter how long it takes, if I’m doing all the right things and I let go of fear, doubt and ego, my body will adapt to whatever I want it to be. Whether that be strength, gymnastics or endurance. I strongly encourage everyone to take a moment to thank their bodies for all we put it through and trust that it knows what it’s doing!
So, the next time you fail a lift, trip on your double under or miss a muscle up, instead of getting mad and throwing your gear everywhere like a mad person, take a breath and trust that your body is working to the best of it’s abilities. Sometimes, doing all the right things is the most we can do, the rest is up to how your body responds. Our bodies are all amazing but they are all different in so many ways, get to know your body’s responses and own it! Trust the process you’re in, whether that be with training, school, raising a family or simply living your life.
Side note: Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this journey – through the tears of frustration and the tears of joy – you know who you are! I could not have endured this experience without you all.