Oh shit I broke myself! What now??
Written By Infinity Maroochydore Head Coach Shane Moore 15/04/19
2019 was going great, training was awesome, the club was growing, and the skill level of our members was rapidly increasing. We were all helping each other prepare for our in-house Quintet where I was to have a super fight with one of the other Coaches – just a bit of fun you know.
Friday lunch class was No-Gi and after some fantastic rolls; I decided it was a great time to work on my take-downs (my take-down game has been weak, so it was what I wanted to focus on). As I quickly stepped away to avoid a take-down, I placed weight on my left leg and for some reason with a slight ripping sound it buckled beneath me.
I fell to the ground clutching my left leg to my chest. The pain was pretty intense, so it took me a moment to collect myself before I looked down at it. When I did, it made my stomach turn. I’d dislocated my knee and my entire knee cap was on the side of my knee – obviously not where it should be ☺.
Being a bit of a larrikin and liking to push the pace – I’m no stranger to the odd injury. Although usually I’m a glass half empty kind of guy (also known as “realistic”) however, in this moment I decided this time was going to be different. I would not even entertain the idea that it was going to be anything but a fast recovery and a great learning experience. As I was training 6 days a week and teaching a full timetable solo, it was no easy task to push my misgivings aside and think “I wonder what I’m supposed to learn from this?”
Whenever any of us get injured, the questions you ask are how long am I out for?
Should I see a Doctor? What if she/he says I need to quit my work/ sport/ lifestyle? Will this affect my job? And many other similar questions.
First of all, I think it’s advisable in most situations that you need to go see a Doctor to find out if there is a tear/ strain/ sprain or in some cases a break. An MRI is vital because then you know if you’ve done any soft tissue damage. However, the biggest deciding factor is your mindset. It is my number 1 take away from my last few setbacks, depending on where your head is at will determine how you react, feel and heal injuries. It could be as simple as a sprain all the way to a major injury that needs the knife, either way it’s a process that is going to affect you very personally and if you want to come out the other side a better grappler read on.
Right in that moment you get injured – make a decision – do you want to keep doing the sport?
If you do, then don’t entertain the possibility of NOT doing it. There are going to be some circumstances that will make training impossible, but most injuries are not permanent and quite often last less than a month. While a month may seem like a long time, remember the journey to black belt is 10 years or more. Put it this way if you are studying at University and took 6 weeks off for a holiday or even an extended break to travel; you wouldn’t come back and say I’ve had too long off; I can’t do it anymore.
Once you’ve made that decision – you need an action plan to get you back on the mats choking out that big beautiful blue belt.
*Don’t be a stranger to the club – even if you can’t train. Watch the techniques and you can learn a lot just from watching your team mates roll. You most likely won’t go down 3-4 times a week like you were but you can get down once a fortnight. In my case as the Coach it was a bit different as I was there every day with my crutches. However, the lessons I learned by not training were invaluable. If you physically can’t make it down to the club at all; you can still be a part of the experience by engaging on social media with a bit of friendly banter.
*Discipline = freedom. If you’ve hurt your knee your chances of doing squats are quite limited. This doesn’t rule out every other exercise. Work with what you have. Be resourceful. Mix exercises in with your Physio to keep moving.
*Choose your partners wisely – You’re ready to get back on the mats after your recovery period. You feel good physically, but fear is present. You’re worried you’ll hurt yourself again. It is incredibly important that you choose the right training partners. These are the people who will have a nice, easy roll with you and not go hell for leather if you tap them during it. You can learn a lot from training with a temporary handicap because it forces you to think and create new neurological pathways. You discover different ways of moving for your game.
*Mind – stay focused on your ideal outcome. How you want to recover. How much better and stronger you will be when you get back on the mats. How much better your game will be because you’ve taken those extra sessions sitting mat side to assess and understand the rolls. What steps will you take to accomplish these goals?
Everyone’s injuries will be slightly different so I can’t say exactly what will work for you, but you know your body better than anyone else. What I do know is that you need to keep your head in that positive space.
It’s now been a little over two months since I dislocated my knee and I’m almost back to rolling at full capacity. Whilst I still need to continue physio to ensure I don’t have a repeat of the injury I’ve been able to grow from the entire experience. When you injure yourself, decide it won’t hold you back and take steps to ensure it doesn’t. Keep that goal of being back on the mats better than ever in your mind and don’t waiver. You’ve got this! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Only you get to make that decision.