Trusting the Process

I started writing this post at the Pittsburgh International Airport the first week of August. At the time the airport was going through some changes and there was not much activity going on in concourse D. I found a quiet spot to sit down and start this post as I reflected over segment 17 of MS Run the US that I had just completed.

Several months before the relay I stepped on a rock wrong running down a hill at Palo Duro Canyon and hyperextended my left knee. After a week of rest I tried to run again but something did not feel right so I made an appointment to see my doctor. MRI results revealed an ACL/MCL strain that did not require surgery. I was advised to take 3 weeks off from running and to start an at hope physical therapy program. I made the decision to trust the process and followed through with the physical therapy plan.

As a volleyball coach I have learned that trusting the process is the reason for success on the court. Trusting the process is easier for me as a coach than it is for the athletes or parents sometimes. Results on the volleyball court are not realized immediately. For instance teaching athletes where they need to be on the court is not something that is learned quick. Teaching “why” it is important for an athlete to return to base defense every time is an important building block of a strong defense. Base has the best coverage to pick up tips from the other team and it is also easy for athletes to transition into perimeter or rotational defense after the ball is set. Even when every athlete on the floor understands why they need to be where they are it is still a challenge because it is difficult to trust the process when you are learning. This is why reps at practice are important. I tell my athletes that if they are not where they need to be on the court they are sending a message to the rest of the team that they don’t trust them. I explain that they are also robbing teammates of an opportunity to learn from their own mistakes as well.

I love running and dislike not being active so I knew that trusting the process would be difficult for me. I also knew that I needed to be logging some training miles for segment 17 of MS Run the US and the injury was a big setback. Part of me did not believe that rest and PT would heal my knee, but I have already tried running through injuries in the past and that did not worked out well for me at all.

Three weeks after my knee injury the swelling was gone, I felt great and was ready to test it out on the road. On my first run there was a little instability in the joint but nothing serious. I took it easy and felt no pain. I doubled down on PT exercises and did training runs on a local track to prepare for the relay.

A marathon is 26.2 miles and no matter how fast you run, every runner has to finish the first mile before they can start the second one. “The Process” whatever it may be for you can feel like it takes forever and it may not even feel like you are making progress. “Trusting the Process” takes time and discipline. It took me over a month to complete this 629 word post but I can assure you it is definitely better than the first draft. There will be mistakes along the way. I know personally, mistakes I have made are the opportunities that I have learned the most.

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