Six traits of an awesome physical therapist

My heart is heavy today. The physical therapist, who was such an instrumental part of my knee recovery, is moving to a new city. Part of her going away present from me was a letter, detailing the six ways she is an awesome physical therapist. I’m publishing the list to honor her and to make readers of this blog aware of what excellent PT looks like. I hope you are as lucky as I’ve been to have such an amazing partner in healing.

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Time to shut off the “excuse machine”


I went skate skiing with some friends a couple weeks ago. (I know! Cross-country skiing six months after ACL surgery – pretty awesome, huh?) Anyway, so we were skiing, and we started huffing and puffing up a long climb. We were intimately aware of our hearts pounding in our ears and how mushy and weak our legs felt. Then the apologies started:

“I’m sorry I’m so slow.”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve pushed myself this hard. I’m so out of shape.”

“I would have gotten out more, but this ACL surgery has really impacted my workouts.”

Do you ever catch yourself doing this, too? Apologizing-slash-whining about how slow or weak or out of shape you feel while participating in sports you love? 

I was trying to figure out why we do this, and then I read a post on Adventure Journal that just nailed it:

Maybe we do it to make ourselves feel a little better about not being at the head of the pack. By pointing out that we are “so out of shape,” we’re implying that our real self is actually a super-fit gnar machine that would obviously be crushing it, if only we had been able to sneak a few more workouts in the last couple of weeks.

The article goes on to say that whatever our inner motivations, it’s time to stop.

. . . those excuses come out sounding quite a lot like complaints. And, really, if we’re out enjoying nature, exercising and recreating with our friends, we probably don’t have that much to complain about. Maybe we’d all have more joyful experiences if we learned to mute our inner excuse maker.

I’m going for a hike this afternoon, and whatever pace I take, I’m going to be grateful that I’m breathing crisp mountain air. Instead of bumming on the fact that I can’t get to the top of Tiger Mountain in under 40 minutes like I did last summer, I’m going to relish the feel of sun on my face and rock under my feet.

From here forward, I commit to diving into the moment, working hard at whatever I’m doing, and enjoying the gift of time with friends doing things I love. Who’s with me?

 Photo by Laura Avellaneda-Cruz, used with permission

Celebrating milestones – six months and counting!

So much of recovering from ACL surgery is boring, awful or just plain tedious. That’s why I think it’s important to have something fun to look forward to – something that you’ll only be able to do if you continue to be diligent with your recovery efforts.

To that end, my husband and I booked a six day bike tour in Death Valley at the six-month mark. We got back last week, and I’m jumping for joy that I could actually ride five of the six days without much pain or swelling. I’m clearly on the road back to “normal.”

One of the highlights of the trip was a solo, pre-dawn ride to Zabriskie Point to photograph the sunrise. The picture above was taken just as the sun cast its first rays on the Panamint Range. There are several other pictures on my other blog and I invite you to click over there for a look see!

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