On Wednesday another kind of birthday is going to be "celebrated", 365 days did pass since the last surgery on my knee. So, Happy Birthday little knee for turning 1 year!
Honestly, I'm not sure what to feel when thinking back to the last 12 months. It has definitely also been a chance to experience and learn some new things, I wouldn't have been able to do without this injury:
- increasing my cycling skills and riding 144km from Bern to Winterthur on my brandnew roadbike in 4h41'
- getting a real understanding for the situation of my own patients while working as a physio and being able to share my own experiences in order to help others
- learning a lot about the anatomy and physiology of the humans knee, a lot deepened than what my knowledge from scool has been before
- getting in touch with awesome people I wouldn't have met without that injury
There are a lot of positive effects of this story and yes I'm really thankful for making this experience. But of course there have been, and still are, also a lot of difficult moments. At the moment I'm back with a "non-running" time due to pain in the knee and hip since around two weeks. I couldn't finish every selection race for the World Cups in Switzerland and China because of this pain - and so no selection. Of course this would have been a very high aim but for me it would also have been kind of a confirmation that the way I was choosing for the last months has been the right one - in spite of all the criticism of the outstanding people. And deservedly so I'm asking myself "Have they been right?", have I been taken the wrong way? I don't know, I will never know and nobody can ever give me an answer. Very honestly I don't know if this surgery has been the right decision and if I would do it again. But this is something I cannot change anymore. So for myself it's okay, for me my way was the right one, and I'm standing in for it.
But there is another question which is a lot more important and a more heavy burdan to myself: Will my knee ever resist to the load of training that would be necessairy for elite-orienteering? Is it possible to lower the actual pain, is it realistic to be painfree one day?
Until now I was convinced that it's all about the mind, with the right mindsetting it will be possible to come back, to find back into elitesports, I just have to be strong enough in my head and to have the will. But now I did realize that actually my knee will decide about sports or not. I can influence the surrounding and the handling, but not really the physiology and facts about cartilage problems. And in medicine everyone knows: cartilage problems are complicated, taking a lot of time and not sure if a back-to-sports is possible in any case. So for the first time I'm really thinking about the fact, that maybe this injury is effectively a bit to big. Nobody is having an answer to my questions and I now that there is only one way: go on and find it out.
And this is what I will be doing. With some changes in my coaching and medical surrounding I'm giving it another chance. With a new and actually awesome physio I'm starting again from the very beginning, trying to start a second buildup. One year ago I couldn't imagine what will be possible 365 days later, how the situation could be and where I'll be standing. Today I find myself at the same point, with the same questions. But I'm sure, despite of how this story will continue and which direction it's going to take, there will always be something good and anyway I'll find something to be happy about! :) Off to the second year with this knee.