Sometimes life seems to make a hard left turn right when you feel like you are so close to reaching a goal.
For Teddy Bridgewater, that is what happened last week. Coming off a solid sophmore season for the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater was starting to feel confident in his play as he entered into his 3rd season. A week before the regular season started for the National Football League, a half a second changed the coarse of his year. Bridgewater's year ended with a non-contact knee injury during training on August 30, 2016.
I can relate...at the peak of my career after 2 ACL tears on my left knee, I never thought I would tear my ACL again. Coming off a record rookie year for the Boston Breakers in the WPS, I got the call I had been waiting patiently on for years...an invitation to train with the US Women's National Team. After 2 camps with the team and a growing sense of belonging in that atmosphere, I entered my second WPS season with confidence that was undeniable to others.
Within 30 minutes of the season, I had scored the 1st goal of the 2011 WPS season, set up our second goal, and tore my ACL for the 3rd time. It was a heartbreaking moment and the emotions associated with that moment surface whenever I see someone else go down with a knee injury.
THE ACL CLUB - this is what we are built on. This commonality of emotions you had to navigate to get to the other side of your ACL injury. The ACL recovery process is different for every person: yes there are similarities in surgery, rehab, return to sport but it is all about choosing to get back - mentally and emotionally letting yourself be vulnerable (a scary word for an athlete) enough to overcome those fears and doubts to let your body, mind, and spirit truly heal.
When I heard of Teddy's injury my stomach turned. I don't think so much about the pain of the injury but all the baggage it carries with it: doubt, fear, loneliness, isolation, and questions about how you will ever be the same athlete again.
I hope THE ACL CLUB teaches you this: that you are capable of overcoming this injury! Will it be tough? YES. Undoable? NO. You have the ability with the right doctor, physical therapist, mentality, and support staff to get back to full health and beyond.
If you haven't already, join our Facebook group and start a conversation with fellow members there. This is a forum for you to talk to each other about your injuries, fears, doubts and questions. We are a club and we support each other through inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment.
Teddy we are thinking of you...sad this happened but proud to call you a member of the club. You have already demonstrated that although we can't control what happens to us, we can control how we react to it. We are fully confident you will turn this hard left turn into the path to success. We are overcomers... We are THE ACL CLUB! And just like you posted...You Can Do IT!
Founder & 3x member