It’s been over a year since COVID shut us down and changed our lives. Time flies when you’re stuck at home.
I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe. I’m sitting here writing this from a warm and sunshiny place. During my short hiatus from the office, I’ve had a lot of time to sit back, relax and reflect. What I’ve been reflecting on….how my life and identity sure have changed in the past ten years.
Here’s a little story for ya’ll.
When I was 16 years old I had my first knee surgery. By the age of 21, I had had 2 more and was on the path to number 4. What changed? A surgeon literally scared the crap out of me. Thank you, Doc… not.
I was a 20-year-old girl, who identified as a college soccer player. Until… one day a surgeon said that I should stop playing if ” I knew what was good for me”.
He scared me with stories of tibial osteotomies and knee replacements by 30. He said, “Why keep playing if you’re never going to be a pro.” I was in his office sitting there thinking, what the hell am I doing on the field anymore. If I can’t do what I love without worrying, why do it at all?
Later that week I quit. I walked into my coach’s office and simply said “ I just can’t do this anymore”. I was lucky enough that all three of my coaches were there at one time. They all stared at me perplexed and said, “ Never a day in our lives did we expect this.” The sad part, I felt alone and I felt like a quitter.
Insert Identity Crisis Here.
Identity Crisis (n): a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society. – Oxford Languages
Here I am 10 years later thinking how much different things would be knowing what I know now. In hindsight, the first thing I would have done is …. ditch that idiot doctor. (If a doctor ever speaks to you the way I was, run for the hills. PLEASE!)
Recovery & healing are not about being told what to do. They are about creating a path for success no matter what your ultimate decision is. At 20, I was young. I jumped to conclusions based on information from a doc that had met me…once. My best advice, take your time before you rush to decisions.
This is why I help my athletes do their best to keep their identity even during injury. So here are a few tips to keep you from getting thrown into the identity crisis deep-end.
These may seem like common sense but….we often forget to put ourselves first.
If you’re an athlete experiencing an identity crisis, I can assure you that you are not the only one. It will be okay.
If you have experienced an identity crisis post-injury, I would love to hear your story. Also, please don’t hesitate to ask any other questions you may have.
Yours in Health,