Those of you who followed along this far deserve to know this, and besides I made a promise, and promises must be kept.
You should never take your ability to move for granted. It is priceless.
But like everything in life, you can’t fully understand what it means to lose it until it happens to you.
Well, it happened to me and not just once. People say that the third time is a charm – not in my case…
2 knee surgeries.
1 shoulder dislocation.
1 major car accident – 4 broken vertebras, minus 1 kidney, 1 serious concussion.
And all of that in less then 5 years! Impressive?… I think so!
Why the long faces? I’m ok now, really. you saw those videos I posted. It was all taken after those unfortunate incidents.
The truth is that I had to rehab myself so many times, and every-time it just got harder and harder. It felt like one step forward and 100 steps backwards. I was tired and frustrated. For a while there I actually thought I was cursed.
The “restoring my elements” process was hard and long, lucky for me I wasn’t alone in this, I had good people that helped me all the way through. Especially Ido Portal, my teacher, who restructured me every time until I was good as new. I think he should make a living out of it…wait a minute, he already does.
On my rehab protocol I was working massively on my leg strength. After you go through 2 knee surgeries (on the same knee, by the way) you become a little skeptical about making full recovery and bringing your knee to the same condition that it was before. I was very skeptical, losing range of motion and having great pain didn’t help so much. All I knew was that I had to move myself, because nobody was going to do it for me. It was time to bring out the heavy artillery. I stopped whining, stopped feeling sorry for myself and started working.
Olympic lifting, front & back squats, jumping pistols, calves work and even acrobatics were a big part of my not so conventional physical therapy. It wasn’t a walk in the park, it was hard uncompromising work not just physically but mentally as well. Before I went through the surgery I had hyper extended knees; my flexibility was a given thing. Because of this the thing that made my feel like handicapped more then anything else was the fact that I couldn’t straighten my knee all the way through. I remember moments when my knee literally betrayed me, just refused to cooperate. There were times when I forced it and kept on going, and there were other times that I stopped altogether, because it’s important to know where this thin line between building yourself and destroying yourself passes. After a couple of months of intensive work I started seeing huge improvement in all aspects – I became stronger, regained almost the full range of motion and most important of all I had the freedom to move again.
I became a great believer in this kind of work, and I highly recommend it wherever I go. And you can trust me, I know it works. I’m a living kicking proof:
-95 kg back squat
-80 kg front squat
-40 kg full snatch
-55 kg full clean
-pistol work with 20 kg
I know I’ll have to keep on working my leg strength for the rest of my life, you know what? I don’t have a problem with that. It became a part of my daily routine, and I’m addicted…