Mattapoisett MA3We will all face obstacles and setbacks in our lifetime. I am sure many of you reading this post have faced far worse than my [Knee Injury], however if I share my story and help one other person who is going through a difficult time and feels alone then my story was worth telling. It has been 6 long months since my injury and through my pain, both physical and emotional, I learned a lot about myself.

Celebrating-Small-VictoriesI hit rock bottom within the first week. We had family in town to help, we needed help and BAD. It was a typical active Saturday in the Lil’ household, there were trips to the playground, and to the bike path, only I was not on them, my family came and went on that gorgeous day and I sat alone, on the couch. I was stewing and thinking of the long 6 months ahead, which seemed like an ETERNITY! I decided that if I could just get a book from the library I would be OK sitting because at least I would be productive. Since I couldn’t walk or drive, I needed someone to bring me a book, I texted Bob a couple titles and asked him to grab one for me. That book become my sole focus and lifeline. When no book came home I was DEVASTATED, and my family was perplexed, I don’t typically read so why was it the most important thing in the world?? I couldn’t walk, go to the bathroom by myself, or shower but all I cared about was that silly book.

My first learning is that I suppress my emotions when I am in survival mode, the book was really a metaphor for all the pain I held onto between my injury and surgery 2 weeks later, it wasn’t about the book it was all the emotions I had hidden bubbling over. I am really good at putting on the happy face that people expect from me, whenever anyone asked how I was doing I tried to come up with the most positive thing that had happened recently, or the silver lining, but I was anything but happy. For the next 6 months I had a few other “moments” usually in the shower and never at a point of inflection.  It was always reflecting back on the past couple months and how long and hard they had been, and how strong I was trying to be.Mattapoisett MA5Mattapoisett MA6Mattapoisett MA7My second lesson is that I actually do have patience (I am shocked to write this). I am the person that starts multi-tasking the minute I get an automated teleprompter to the point where I end up missing the buttons to push and start pressing zero and asking for an operator. I don’t have patience for wasting time, and always look for the fastest most efficient way to do things. With this injury I had no choice but to be patient.  Following my surgery, I had to spend twelve long weeks with a straight leg (right in the middle of summer). I hobbled around slowly instead of at my brisk long legged pace. I was forced to learn patience as I waited for my body to slowly heal itself.

Stowe Playground 2018Our bodies are made to move. I have always been an extremely active person. As a young girl, I was involved in too many recreational sports to count. I played Field Hockey, Basketball and Lacrosse in High School. In college I rowed for a year (not the sport for me!) before deciding to play lacrosse. After college I worked at New Balance for 10 years where I picked up running and enjoyed many road races. Being active is in my blood, it’s a way of life, and one of the many reasons we moved to Stowe where we can enjoy hiking, biking, and skiing all right outside our back door. To say I was devastated that a silly pick-up game of Soccer sent my activities to a screeching halt would be a serious understatement. I always thought that I ran to maintain my weight and health, it was the debit/credit system that allowed me to eat what I wanted. What I learned is that exercise feeds my soul, and is what makes me happy. It is my sanity saver, the way that I cope when life gets stressful. So I was completely lost at one of the hardest times in my life to not have that outlet for my stress. As soon as I could walk unaided again at 12wks, my spirits lifted. I had never considered myself a walker but to move in the sunlight and great outdoors was heavenly – life was exponentially better.

Stowe Mtn ResortIt truly does take a village. There are SO many people that I have to thank for standing by me through this injury. First, my husband who took on the role of caretaker and 100% of the household/kid duties. My parents for driving 1.5hrs to pick me up for physical therapy appointments and countless doctors appoints. My physical therapist who pushed me just the right amount when I needed it most.  My best friend, who I called at my lowest point, and she sent me the most amazing/hysterical monogrammed fanny pack because I shared my frustration of not being able to carry anything while on crutches. My co-workers who all pitched in to help form a shuttle service to drive me to and from the office. And many many others who organized meal trains, called to check-in, and offered their support and re-assurance.Mattapoisett MA2When I looked back over the photos in this post, I feel like I am looking at another person’s life. I know it probably sounds dramatic (and it is) but I feel like I wasn’t alive, I was floating through the summer watching everyone around me living while I looked on as a bi-stander. Illness and injuries will take their toll on all families but I choose to come out of this experience stronger. Stronger for learning about myself, and stronger because I won’t take for granted being able to do the simple things in life like walk, or care for my family. I am ready to shed this experience and live again, not just watch the days pass me by.

What have you learned from the hard times that has made you stronger?Stowe Mtn Resort2

Posted by:lilvermontadventures

As a working mother of two 'lil boys I am experienced in the work/life juggle, and fluent in construction vehicles. After a decade in Boston at New Balance, we moved to Vermont where I lead a portfolio of strategic coffee partners at Keurig. I cannot wait to share our outdoor adventures in Vermont sprinkled with some fun lessons in work/life integration, taking care of yourself, organization, and being a boy Mom.


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