reframe your mindset, gain new perspectives.
LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY - OCR ATHLETE
ATHLETE: Amanda Jenkins
Amanda Jenkins, 31 years old, has always been a very athletic person, but did not find her true passion until she discovered OCR two years ago. She was hooked after her first race. She ended up running 26 OCR races over those two seasons including the North American OCR Championships and the OCR World Championships.
While training for OCR, she found herself training a lot of grip strength in the local Ninja Warrior gyms. As a result, she fell in love with that too! She decided 2019 was going to be her year to try out for American Ninja Warrior.
Read Amanda’s story as she shares her journey after tearing her ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL, and meniscus
KITESURFER GAINS LIFE LESSONS FROM ACL INJURY
ATHLETE: KARIM EL KHOULY
Karim El Khouly is a 20 year old athlete from Cairo, Egypt with a passion for kitesurfing. He has been hooked to the sport ever since discovering it, and spent his weekends doing what he loved - kitesurfing.
Despite the devastating injury, he has learned life lessons from this injury, which have developed him as an athlete both physically and mentally. He learned to trust his instincts, listen to his body, and gained a different perspective of "time” in the grand scheme of life.
“I live in Cairo, Egypt. But that’s not the place where I feel most alive. 200 km out of Cairo is a small city called Ras Sudr, a place where the wind is constantly blowing and the beach is calling. It is where you will find beautiful sandy lagoons and islands, super flat water. The astonishing marine life is what caught my parents’ attention to this place.
I’ve been going up to Ras Sudr ever since I was a kid. I never really spent time in the city…” Read his story
HOW TEARING MY ACL CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE
ATHLETE: TAYLOR DAVIS
Taylor Davis is an 18-year old athlete from a small town in Massachusetts, where she was heavily involved in a wide variety of sports. This included basketball, soccer, softball, gymnastics, and karate. In her junior year of highschool, she decided to focus on playing soccer, and continued playing in college at the Southern Connecticut State University.
“Soccer had always been a part of my life, and it wasn’t something that felt like a job, it was always my escape. On a stressful day, the one thing I could always count on to cheer me up, was soccer. Since a young age soccer became an everyday activity.
However, it became just like any other daily activity, and I forgot to appreciate how important it was to me. This was until the day I tore my ACL...“
MOTOCROSS RACER REFUSES TO GIVE UP DESPITE FOUR ACL TEARS
ATHLETE: JOANNA MILLER
Joanna Miller, 24-years old, is determined, dedicated, and one of the top motocross riders in the world. She is a three time Polish Champion, and placed 5th in the 2017 European Championships.
When she started in motocross in 2007 at the age of 13, she was the only female motocross racer in Poland. At the time, she faced criticism as the sole female in a male-dominated sport, but Joanna has continued to prove herself; coming back from multiple injuries and competing with the best of the best.
By the age of 24, Joanna Miller had torn her ACL not once, or twice, but four times. She first tore her ACL in her left knee when she was 14 years old during a training session. Despite four ACL comebacks, she has not given up on her sport and hopes to compete in the 2019 Polish Championships.
FIGHTER-OPERA SINGER OPENS UP ABOUT HER JOURNEY
Athlete: Lauren Curet
Lauren Curet, from New York City, is a lyric soprano Opera singer by day, and a Krav Maga fighter by night. The past few years have not been easy for her, and she has had to overcome numerous obstacles that come her way.
However, each of these experiences have only made her stronger. Below, she tells us about her experiences and the highlights over her year, as well as advice for other athletes.
Lauren is also a Soul-Cycle enthusiast, and part of the New York Road Runners; a non-profit running organization based in New York City whose mission is to help and inspire people through running.
NCAA DIVISION I LACROSSE PLAYER HAS SIGHTS SET ON GOING PRO
ATHLETE: ERIK TURNER
Erik is a 25-year-old, lacrosse athlete with his sights set on being a pro within the next year. He is a graduate of Cornell University where he played NCAA Division I lacrosse. After his college lacrosse career, Erik has been very involved in the lacrosse community. He is passionate about growing the game of lacrosse and mentoring young athletes. Through his business, 41 Fitness, he runs development camps for lacrosse players and a Lacrosse In School program that introduces kids to lacrosse.
"No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever.” I am an athlete. Unfortunately, part of the athlete’s job description is facing injuries. It’s unavoidable. No matter how much physical preparation you put in there is always the risk of getting injured in training or competition. Since the risk is always there, it concerns me that there aren’t many athletes who are equipped with the tools to handle injury effectively. Read more
THE JOURNEY FROM A MOM’S PERSPECTIVE
ATHLETE: CAMERON BROSNIHAN
MOTHER: TERESA BROSNIHAN
For those of you who have seen Cameron’s comeback feature, you may recall that he is the young boy from Massachusetts who tore his ACL at the age of 9, and went on to win the Eastern Massachusetts championship.
There is no doubt that his mother was a key role in his recovery - putting her life on hold to focus on her son. For seven months straight, three times a day, she spent a great deal of time trying to help Cameron regain full flexion in his knee. Even two years post-op, she continues to be a huge part of his athletic journey.
In the following feature, she shares her experience on the road to recovery - both the good and the bad. She also shares advice for the other parents in the XCLevation Community.
PEP TALK FROM THE TEAM USA 2020 OLYMPICS COACH
ATHLETE: Alexandrea Cervantes
"As a former collegiate athlete, fitness professional, and current Team USA 2020 Olympics sports performance coach, I have had my fair share of injuries.
The last thing I could have imagined was going through a third ACL surgery, but that is exactly what happened earlier this year. In May of 2018 I was scheduled for a complete ACL replacement surgery. I had about 6 weeks to physically and most importantly, mentally prepare for my comeback.
It was grueling but with proper mental and physical preparation, I was able to come back a stronger person – both mentally and physically.
I owe a lot of my success to paving the road with good intentions and intense mental preparation.”
MOM-THLETE: AN OVERLY ACTIVE, OUTGOING, POSITIVE MOM WHO LOVES THE GYM
ATHLETE: KINTA WENDT
“Being a Mom-thlete you can’t slow down and you certainly can’t be sidelined. Your family depends on your ability to run to each obstacle and tackle it.
Then you have to switch gears and roll with the punches, all while protecting your house.
Kinta Wendt is a 42-year old professional Mom-thlete and business woman. Born in New York, and raised in California with a Texas soul, she lives with her loving husband Steve and extremely active daughter Kaitlyn in Kyle, Texas. She is officially the M.O.M. of her small community bank where she is the Mortgage Operations Manager.
Kinta’s therapy is the gym, where she has developed a tribe of other Mom-thletes who share a passion for lifting. She never knew that an ACL tear would help her discover herself and further business as The Fit Mortgage Chick.”
SOCCER PLAYER INVITED TO JOIN INTERNATIONAL TEAM AFTER ACL TEAR
ATHLETE: CICILY PORTER
Cicily Porter is from a small town in Indiana, and has been playing soccer for as long as she can remember. Soccer has always been a huge part of her life.
She was a score leader, a team player, and captain of the team. During her freshman year, Cicily and her teammate set a record; scoring a combined total of an impressive 50 goals in one season.
Competitive by nature, this year, she aimed to beat that record and her hopes were high.
She scored 3 goals, and 6 assists…
…until she tore her ACL.
The three dreadful letters that no athlete ever wants to hear - especially not one who lived and breathed soccer since she the age of 5. Read more
HOW A BUMBLEBEE LED TO A TORN ACL
ATHLETE: KERRY MORRIS
A vast majority of ACL injuries are a result of sports injuries such as a sharp turn or pivot on the soccer field or basketball court. However, there are others who are faced with an ACL tear as a result of freak accidents.
For Kerry Morris, jogger and frequent gym goer, her ACL tear happened when she tried to kill a bumblebee on her sofa with her sneaker. Never would she have expected that it would have resulted in an ACL surgery and a 9-12 month recovery process.
Like many others, she did not have a clue what an ACL, MCL, or PCL was at the time of the injury.
Kerry shares her story and journey through recovery, which many of you will be able to relate to.
THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER THROUGH 5 KNEE SURGERIES
ATHLETE: stephie meyer
Stephie Meyer, 28-year old, is a former electrical engineer turned fashion stylist living in Seattle, Washington. She played competitive soccer her entire life and into college, where she was asked to walk-on and join Purdue’s Division I program. Following college, she coached high school girls soccer both at the club and school level for 4 years. Coaching and connecting with players is something that a knee injury can't stop her from doing and she has found it to be one of her most rewarding soccer experiences.
She shares her story and raw emotions of the experience through the recovery.
MOTIVATED TO BECOME A BETTER COACH + PLAYER
ATHLETE: CHELSEA CORNISH
Chelsea Cornish is only one week fresh from ACL reconstruction, but she is motivated to overcome this obstacle and become a better coach and player once recovered.
“Growing up, I had a soccer ball constantly at my feet. I absolutely fell in love with the game and wanted to keep learning and practicing. I played all through high school and on a cup team in Pittsburgh, PA. While playing throughout the years, I've had six teammates tear their ACL's! Once I decided to stay local for college, I was offered to coach young girls. Fast forward four years and I'm coaching 3 cup teams and even a middle school team.”
HOLDING ON TO DREAMS OF GOING PRO
ATHLETE: JANE veamatahau
Seini (aka Jane) is a 27-year old is passionate about the game of netball. Although she tore her ACL during a fundraising event, she is not letting that stop her from pursuing her dreams of playing netball professionally.
“I was unfortunate and injured my knee during a netball fundraiser tournament Feb 2018. Devastation is an understatement of how i felt, because i knew what was a head of me to get back on court. Being fit & playing most night it was the hardest thing to accept, but knowing i had good support from siblings & friends who’ve been through it was somewhat a relief.
I undertook surgery Early August 2018 and still in early stages of recovery at eight weeks post op…” Read more
INSPIRATION THROUGH PHILOSOPHY
athlete: WILLIAM Z - BODYBUILDER
William Z is a common athlete, with an uncommon desire to surpass all limitations. He believes that success is defined by perseverance, and you can see this in his stoic modus operandi.
“Through his snowboarding injury, William realized he could not control external events, but the one thing he could control was his paradigm around his injury. Instead of seeing it as a handicap, he saw it as an opportunity to grow his love for philosophy and to focus on bodybuilding and growing the most important muscle- the mind now that he could no longer snowboard, skydive, kitesurf, or engage in other sports…”
William looks at his injury as a rather positive experience. In the below Instagram post, he brings up the following quote from the ancient Stoics “I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent- no one can ever know what you’re capable of, not even you” . Read more
OPPORTUNITY AMIDST ADVERSITY
contributor: karly merau - professional performer and dancer
Karly Merau is a 19 years old cheerleader and dancer - she ruptured her ACL practicing a tumbling skill.
“After the heart shattering incident, I knew I was in for a very long and hard recovery process. Athletes, friends and family before me had been through the injury and the recovery; so I knew it wasn't going to be the easiest battle to take on. Once the physical pain was gone a few days post accident, I began to notice the mental struggle that became more apparent the more I saw the specialists and the longer I was out of my usual training. I am now a year post the injury and 11 months from the operation…” Read more
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES AS A MASTER'S ATHLETE
CONTRIBUTOR: STEPHEN GOULD - CEO, ADVERSITY MANAGEMENT LLC
Stephen Gould, a 61-year-old masters’ sprinter, writes about his experiences being injured and coming back from injury.
Update: In September 2018, Gould placed 12th overall in the World Championships for the masters 100m and 200m sprint. Congratulations!
"I took up masters athletics in 2008, having been a very fast, but not very good, soccer left-winger in my youth. I run the 100 metres and 200 metres*, as well as the 60 metres during the indoor season, and the 400 metres when I can’t avoid it. As time passed, I competed at a higher and higher level, from local meets to, now, world championships (where I will narrowly miss out on making the finals). I’m not one of the top sprinters in my age group in the world – but I’ll beat almost anyone else who isn’t... If you’re a sprinter, you will get injured. That is part of the game. The analogy I use is motor racing– if a driver never crashes, he’s not pushing hard enough. But if he crashes all the time, there’s something wrong…” Read more
HOW THE ACL INJURY MADE ME A BETTER DANCER / DANCE TEACHER
CONTRIBUTOR: CASSIE BROWN - PROFESSIONAL DANCER & ACTRESS
Cassie Brown represents a large entertainment company in Australia, where she joins them on live tours and acts as a host to hundreds/thousands of people in theatres.
"Although I’m only 4 months out of ACL surgery, I can already tell that I’m going to come back very different and mature having gone through such a difficult, yet eye-opening journey.
I’m really appreciating every new movement that I’m able to do when I’m in dance rehab (things that I could do in my sleep before). I’m moving with purpose and meaning. I don’t want to say I was naive before the injury - but that’s the best way to put it. Sometimes you take what you do for granted and it can become monotonous. I remember one of my teachers always saying “dancers are so much better once they’ve had life experience and they dance with meaning”. I now get that. I can’t say exactly what changes inside once you’ve gone through ‘life’ experiences but it truly does come out when you dance…” Read more
REHAB AS A SPORT IN ITSELF
So we tore our ACL. We're devastated to find out that we'll be out of sports for about a year. As an athlete, our lives may have revolved around our sport, and we're now faced with this obstacle.
We miss the adrenaline of being on the field/court/rink. We miss training with teammates. We miss the competitive spirit. It feels like it will be forever until we'll be back on the playing field. It can be really tough mentally.
But what if we shift our mindset and redefine ACL rehab as a sport in itself?