• Cassandra Shoneck, CPT

Hooray for Shovel Days

My box owner and coach shared this ^ quote with me some time last year. I like it. I've shared it with with many others since then - clients, members, my hubby, and I personally reflect back on it frequently as well.

Yesterday was a "shovel day" of sorts for me. I've been having to look for all the small victories for so long, that yesterday was kinda of a big deal. It may seem like a spoon day to others - but for me - definitely shovel stuff. Ready?!? Here was my day yesterday. ( order of increasing coolness...)

> I showered STANDING UP. (For the first time in 8 1/2 weeks.)

>> I walked ALL day yesterday...NO boot, NO crutches.

>>> AND....I squatted! Body weight. No hands. To my normal depth. Without pain.

Huge. Huge. Huge. I am ecstatic about that one. So yeah. Shovel day!! These are super big things for me. It's crazy how much your perspective changes post-injury. It's hard to describe. As promised, and speaking of hard to describe, I also want to expand on my post from a week or so ago. I've been reflecting on it and like I said, when I got my thoughts together, I wanted to share them here.

So when I realized I could walk again, (first with the boot and then a little bit without it). I almost didn't want to talk about it, I think my first reaction was, "what if it's a fluke..?". I didn't really want to share it or put it to words because I guess I was afraid of...scaring it away? How dumb does that sound? It seemed like a fragile precious thing that might leave me if I dwelt on it too much, or shared with too many. Like if I kept it close and sacred, it might stick. My second thought was also hard to describe. As happy and excited and thankful I was that I was reaching that next step of healing, it was like, at the exact same time, it was this instant, very real and tangible reminder of how much farther I still had to go. It seemed like, being able to do something again in that previously unattainable "realm of normal" opened up this little part of my brain that (completely unrealistically) went from 0-60 on the scale of expectations. Like, as illogical as I totally knew it was, I couldn't shake the reoccurring thought that, "walking is normal, so I'm ready for ALL normal". Yeah no.

I don't know. Like I said. The last couple weeks have been very hard to describe and get down in words.

And I don't want to seem like a Debbie Downer at ALL! I am moving forward. Physical therapy is going great. They're saying I'm at and beyond where I should be at this point which is so cool to hear. I'm doing my homework which is getting better/easier. It's all good stuff. It really is.

I just wanted to try to articulate that other side of things. So that if you ever go through this, you feel a little more normal knowing that someone else feels that way too. And it doesn't make you silly or ungrateful or "negative". It simply is. Those thoughts happen and I really think it's all just part of the process.

And just a quick tidbit about the squatting - this one is so big for me in particular because a good squat, MY squat, is literally the foundation for almost EV-ER-Y-thing I enjoy doing and hope to get back to.

(Putting on my trainer hat sidenote: a good squat is also one of the most important movements for every day regular LIFE and a great indicator of a healthy body - how is your squat??)

I remember when I first started fitness and CrossFit, I couldn't squat. Not well and certainly not to depth. I started using squatting movements almost every day at the gym to build up my strength and technique as well as practiced holding the bottom position all the time at home to get that good position and mobility. It took me approximately six months to be able to effortlessly hold a squat comfortably in the bottom of the hole. Six months.

And I remembered all of that when I tried to squat last week - assisted, with a pole, to half depth - and failed, and it hurt. EVERYthing felt wrong. My muscles were not only weak, they felt like they were in the wrong places. And pulling hard on every connection point in my leg. And my knee wouldn't function. And I still had to use my good leg like 80% to get even that measly result. I was really bummed at the thought of how "broken" my body was.

So to be able to do what I did yesterday, even in super slow motion, was monumental for me. Really really was. I am so happy about that. I'm looking forward to many more shovel days, (AND spoon days!) with all the new big and small steps toward healing they'll continue to bring.

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