Watch this video below this post
It is almost three months now I received a phone call from my daughter Annabel, telling me she had hurt her knee going over a jump while skiing at Perisher.
“Mum, I think I have torn my ACL ligament” she sobbed, “ what am I going to do?” She was due to leave for a freestyle training camp to Chile in two days time and she was devastated.
I was heartbroken for her, as I knew how much she was looking forward to training with some of the best coaches in the world. She had just won her competitions to start the season off and had picked up two sponsors who had supplied her with the equipment to make her skiing dreams come true.
I drove to Canberra to pick her up the next day and when I saw her limping on crutches, I felt every inch of her pain.
She had an MRI scan then we waited in the surgeon’s office to hear the news. With tears streaming down Annabel’s face, he informed us that, yes, it was a complete rupture of the ACL ligament, and she would need surgery. At best, she could hope to be back on snow in 6 to 9 months!
All I could do was hug her and try my best to console her, but nothing seemed to help.
As we drove home that night…Annabel crying most of the way…I couldn’t help but think of what my parents must have gone through the night of my accident. Yes, this was going to be a long road back for Annabel, but it was only a knee after all.
For my parents, they faced the real prospect that I wasn’t going to live, and if I did, I would be paralysed for the rest of my life. My dream of going to the Olympics was shattered, but so was my body.
Perspective is a wonderful thing, and as we drove back home I reflected on my journey and how I had managed to beat the odds. I had a new level of respect for my parents and what they must have endured that night and the long years that followed.
When I put Annabel to bed that night, she was inconsolable. I wondered how the next few weeks would be for us while she waited for surgery on her knee. It didn’t take long for an answer!
The next morning, much to my surprise, she hobbled out of bed on her crutches and declared, “Mum, I’ve been thinking… If I do everything right with my physio and rehab after the surgery, I think I can come back even stronger!”
‘That’s my girl!’ I thought. Talk about resilience!
Weeks later she had surgery to repair her knee and she has bounced back in record time. There is simply no stopping her!
She started journaling and made a goal chart which she stuck on the underside of her bunk bed to remind her of what she intended to achieve and when. It was going to be a daily reminder for her of where she was heading and how much progress she had made.
I couldn’t help but reflect on how much her behaviour seemed to mimic mine…my ‘Never Tell Me Never’ attitude that helped me create a new life for myself after my accident.
Since the operation she has been making a video to document her road to recovery, and to keep her sponsors up to date with how she is going. I am so proud of how she has managed to make the best of the situation and I know that it has made her even stronger for whatever challenges she may face as she forges ahead to her dreams.
The moral of my story is this…
As parents we are the best role models our children will ever have. By teaching them that setbacks and obstacles are part of life, and by giving them a positive example of how we deal with our own difficulties, we give them one of the greatest gifts we can…the gift of resilience.
I am posting Annabel’s video on her recovery. I think you’ll agree, even when you face disappointments in life, it helps to have a sense of humour!