My week has gotten unexpectedly busy, thanks to the addition of physical therapy at Physical Therapy and Sports Assessment Center to my schedule. I went for the first time yesterday, am going again today, and am scheduled for three appointments next week. I’ll get into my quad-strengthening, knee-protecting exercise lineup later, but for now, I offer the top five reasons I knew I’d picked the right place.
1. The waiting room is full of thank-you notes from professional tennis players, ice skaters and other athletes PTSAC founder Edward Lee has helped overcome injuries. One is from a hang-glider whose note starts this way: “After hang-gliding into a volcano …” Makes my ACL tear, caused by a wayward snowboarder, seem tame by comparison.
2. Everyone who works in the Silver Spring office seems friendly and knowledgeable, from the gym manager who happens to be a former elite running coach from Guyana to the office manager, a kind, older gentleman who checked up on my when I was doing leg lifts, and offered me water at every turn.
3. Everyone was optimistic and encouraging. When rehabbing my wrist, the therapy tech with whom I had most of my appointments made me cry on a regular basis with his pessimism and total lack of bedside manner. Everyone I talked to yesterday made me feel like a rehab rock star, pointing out everything working in my favor: I was super-active before the injury; I can already straighten my leg all the way less than a week after ACL reconstruction surgery; I can bend it pretty far; and I’m totally committed to therapy.”You’re going to make me look good,” Lee said as he watched me bend and extend my leg on the bike.
4. I got to do a real workout. From hamstring curls to squats on the wobble board, I got to really move my legs. Lee watched and tweaked my exercise lineup as I went, adding more weight here, switching me to single-leg from double there.
5. Ed Lee himself. He played two games in the NFL in 1982 before an ACL tear ended his career. Not his season—his career. So to say that he understands how devastating such an injury can be is an understatement. But while he lost his dream career, he found a new one: Lee got into physical therapy after going through rehab for his own injury. In a story about Brene Moseley, a local high-school basketball phenom who sought Lee’s help for her own ACL tear, Lee told the Gazette:
“I can understand the fear and initial shock she had. An ACL was a death sentence in the 1980s when I got it. Now, surgery has greatly improved and you can come back stronger, and she will be. (But) it won’t be until her freshman year in college when she’s fully recovered mentally.”
Let’s just pretend he’s talking about me, shall we? The take-aways: It’s OK if I’m still bummed and shaken up. And I *will* come back stronger.