Recovery from Surgery: the Process
by Dave Latourette
When I began with multisport in 1991 I was a near bulletproof athlete and good fortune allowed me to continue that way until 2005. In my 15 years of endurance sports (which were preceded by 10 years of “high volume” soccer) I was never forced out of any activity for more than a few days. But all of that changed in 2005 when, after an extended break from “structured” training and racing, I started having knee troubles without having suffered any type of trauma (such as an injury or crash). After months of “rest,” therapy and other modalities, an MRI revealed the need for arthroscopic surgery due to a torn meniscus. Not a big deal… everyone said I’d be back in no time!
It took longer than “no time” and what followed over more than two years was a series of injuries and illness (broken wrist, mono, plantar fasciitis) – more than I had had in all my previous years combined. In the fall of 2010, an MRI revealed that my other knee needed some work in the way of surgery. So, it was scope time again.
Surgery number two was the removal of a large radial flap tear of the medial meniscus. Fortunately I was armed with more knowledge about how to tackle the recovery process this time. I’ve been amazed at how much help I’ve been to athletes and friends because I decided to learn from the good and bad advice I received in my injury and recovery processes. Hopefully I can impart some wisdom here with a few words for those that might end up needing to heal. My keys:
When the dust settles, all the races and training you wanted to do will still be there waiting for you if you just listen to your body, then let your body steer your mind.
Dave Latourette is a full time triathlon coach living in Santa Rosa, California, who works with athletes from newcomer to elite. His athletes have won USAT Age Group National Championships and raced in World Championship events that include the ITU World Championship and the Ironman World Championship. You can learn more about Dave at TrainToEndure.com and follow him on Twitter: @dklatourette.