Do It B1G

Broken Foot

13 days post breaking my foot, I competed in my final Big Ten Championships as an Iowa Hawkeye. It was not pretty, and it was painful, but it got done. Did I train any of my dives before the meet? Not really. Monday I could hardly do a front jump, and only attempted my dives the day before the event.

Diving on a broken foot isn’t something I wanted to do. Coming second last wasn’t the plan. Scoring 225 point when the goal was 300 is not something I would typically be proud of. This is not the week I planned to end my Big Ten career on at all- but life happens. Shit happens and sometimes it has horrible timing and I was dead set on not letting a broken foot define my exit as a Senior student-athlete.

This is not some heroic story of how I rose above the pain and rose to the occasion- I cried every single practice I did anything beyond a front jump. During the meet warm up my coach called me over and let me know it was okay if I couldn’t dive. He was perfectly okay with letting this one go and letting me bow out, and I told him I couldn’t. I didn’t train for five years to NOT dive.

I will never make a Big Ten Final and that sucks. That’s probably the crappiest timing and luck I have ever experienced and I don’t get another chance at it. I’ve been looking for the rhyme or reason, the meaning behind it, and so far I’ve drawn a blank. I don’t know how or why I broke my foot and there’s a good chance I never will. I can also never say I didn’t give it my all. I used up all I had in me Thursday to get off six mediocre dives, and those six dives are more representative of me as a person than if I hadn’t broken my foot. I am most likely more proud of the dives I did Thursday, off of one foot, than if I had put together a great list and came 9th or 10th.

If I hadn’t gotten injured, the goal would was been Top 8 on both boards, without a doubt. Anything less than that would have been a “failure”. I would have felt defeated- I would have been devastated and furious and who knows what else. After breaking my foot, I can come 35th and walk away satisfied. Am I still upset and furious and just plain sad that I didn’t get the chance to make a final? YES. But sometimes the plan changes. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches and deal with whatever cards your dealt and everyone cliche in the book about going with it.

Friday was the 3m event, the event I’d been training for for years, and it went on without me. Eight girls made finals and eight girls made consolation finals, and I wasn’t any of them. There is nothing I can do about that and that’s okay. Not being able to dive all three events, or even any event well, on a broken foot isn’t a failure, or a definition of an athlete.

I am not a failure. An injury before my final conference meet does not make my career not worthwhile, or anything less than what it has been. To quote one of my favorite Olympians…

“I’ve always known you don’t accomplish all you set out to do in this sport, but it’s never made me afraid to try. It has never made me second guess getting back up after every knock down or putting the frailty of being human on display for all to see.

I signed up for this and it’s still the time of my life, therefore I choose to accept everything that happens during this formidable chapter in it.”

College diving isn’t over- we still have the NCAA Zone Meet in two and a half weeks to try and qualify for NCAA Nationals. Hopefully by then I’ll be a little more recovered. This has still been the best years of my life, hands down, and the immense pride I feel is giving the competition a shot is right up there with various other accomplishments other the years. No one can say I didn’t give it my all to come back for this meet. And yeah, my definition of success changed. It changed drastically, from finals to finishing, and I am more than okay to count this Big Ten Championships as a success.

Event Aftermath: I’m not allowed to dive again for a week. It took 6 Tylenol and 2 surgical painkillers to get me through the day (with my athletic trainer’s supervision nobody panic). I used 6 layers of tape in various patterns and a rubber wedge around the outside of my foot to dive in. The swelling came back with a vengeance, but calmed down after staying off it for a day. The bruising got darker everywhere it wasn’t taped. I was so sore the next morning you would have thought I did a marathon hopping on one foot, falling all over the hotel room. I only cried after one dive during the event, and then plenty of tears after- a mixture of pain and relief and happiness.

I’m a whole mixture of emotions right now. I am fine and I am going to be fine- I am sad but I’m proud. I figure all of that is normal (or maybe it’s the Tylenol). My biggest goals now are to rest, recover, and refocus. Oh, and be the loudest girl cheering on the pool deck. GO HAWKS! :)

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Nutrition for Bone Health

Just because I broke a bone doesn’t mean my love for planning, brainstorming, and making lists was lessened. If anything it gave me a project! I love projects. And this one was so important- I tackled it head on.

I read every single freaking thing I could get my hands on when it came to bone health and nutrition, bone healing, fractures, recovery, etc…and now I’m sharing it! Not saying it’s a miracle list by any means…but I’m not saying it’s not by how fast thing has healed in only five days.

Here’s what I’ve been spending all my money on filling my cart with this week…

Grocery list

Nonfat yogurt (I got Greek and regular), Quark (yogurt that’s actually cheese!), Kefir (Yogurt that you drink) (clearly I’m OD’ing on yogurt), skim milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, apples (for boron), broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, lean protein like chicken or turkey, oatmeal, unsweetened dried fruits like apricots and dates, red bell peppers, string cheese, kale, spinach

Supplements

Okay, don’t hound me on this one. I get that not everyone needs supplements and their effects are not actually proven and it’s a waste of money la dee da. BUT they make me feel better. They really can’t hurt, and they are helping me feel like I am doing everything in my power to get better ASAP

Lysine, Vitamin K, Omega 3 fats, Calcium (duh), Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Multivitamin

Avoiding

What’s on the shit no list? Alcohol, excessive sugar, salt, caffeine (nooooooo)

Anyways, this has led to some pretty healthy meals everyday and very small cups of coffee. Basically every morning has started with an unreal size yogurt parfait- Greek vanilla yogurt, cherry Kefir, flax seeds, almond slices, and some dried fruit! Dinners have been kale salads (turns out I can stomach kale as long as it’t not baked?), chicken, and sweet potato fries (although, shhh, I did have some garlic bread. Totally worth it).

Yogurt bone health orange juice

True life I had three more yogurts after this

Sweet potato fries calcium kale 

The best part about this dinner is I didn’t have to make it :)

Day six with a broken foot down- and TOMORROW I get to try getting back on the boards!

Injury Update!

Happy Wednesday! And it really is a happy Wednesday…hump day and all I’m in a great mood. Am I still in boot? Yup. Do Big Ten Championships still start in a week? Yup.

BUT YOU GUYS. For fracturing my foot just this past Friday, it is mind blowing how well this thing is healing. The bruising is still pretty intense- a nice navy blue strip going down the side of my foot, and the rest of my foot is various shades of purple and green. The weekend and the past few days I’ve been strict about icing every two hours, Tylenol three times a day, elevating every chance I get, and wearing a compression sock 24/7.

I’ve been using GameReady at the pool, a therapy tool where I stick my foot in a boot that fills up with ice water so it simultaneously ices and compresses. I’ve also been doing high voltage electrical stimulation, which I’ll try to explain the best I can. Basically a pad with a negative charge goes directly on the fracture site, and a pad with a positive charge is put higher up on my calf muscle. Once it’s turned on as much as you can take it, it somehow magically blasts bad things away from the bruising and swelling for your body to get rid of. Fancy, right?

Swelling

 Guess which day was today and which day was Saturday??

I’ve had a couple different tape jobs all designed to reduce the swelling, and the one today is pretty extensive. Our athletic trainer got me all wrapped up and then had me walk across the room, then slowly had me walk heel-toe across the room. I feel sore, but not in pain, when I put the weight on the ball of my foot and my toes.

Tape

Tape job from Monday- called a “basket weave”. The one I have today is the same but goes all the way up my ankle!

Overall my trainer and I, and my coach, and shaking are heads at how fast this seems to be coming together. The tentative plan as off today is to try diving again THIS Friday. Nothing serious; just some entries and fall dives and see how it holds up.

Thank you to everyone who sent messages of support and encouragement! I could not do this without all the positive vibes- it means the world to me, and helps more than you know. Go Hawks!

Motivation Monday, Injury Issue

Haaaappy Monday folks. I figured this Monday out of all the Mondays could use a little pick-me-up as I’ll likely be hobbling around the pool deck all day (wearing an ice pack and staring longingly at the diving boards).

Click here if you missed yesterdays recap.

Over the weekend I had plenty of time to peruse the internet and compiled a list via Pinterest (obvs) of quotes that helped me feel better about the recent course of events. Everyone knows I love inspirational quotes, and this situation won’t be any different. Thanks for all the positive vibes!

I don’t own these quotes nor did I make the visuals- I just found them on Pinterest

biggest step church hill crack crazy fears give it all good mind person rise strength stronger success take

The Unanticipated Comeback

This is the blog post I never thought I would write and the story I never thought I would tell. I’ve kept this blog pretty up-to-date in terms of how my season has been going- all the highs and the lows. Never in a million years did I expect to have to write an update like this.

Friday morning at practice, walking around the pool deck (from the hot tub to the 1 meters specifically), I slipped and rolled my foot. Everyone’s done it, rolled a little and flinched and kept walking. I didn’t even fall. But crap did that sting. And it kept stinging. And when I tried to do an hurdle, I couldn’t put weight on it. I tried to walk it off, before admitting defeat and terror walking into to see our athletic trainer. He looked at the marble sized bump that popped up on the side of my foot and told me to get dressed I was getting x-rays.

12 days before the Big Ten Championships, I had broken my foot. Right at the top of the fifth metatarsal.

I spent the rest of the day (after getting back from the sports med clinic) at the pool- icing, with my foot up, limping around cheering on our team at the last dual meet of the season which would have been the last dual meet of my college career. The rest of my weekend has been spent either in the athletic training room or on my couch- icing every two hours and doing research.

My coach and I talked briefly Friday when I came back from the x-rays, and we don’t know what is going to happen. The injury is day-by-day at this point. The number one things I can do right now is stay positive, ridiculously positive, and hope for the best. He told me to let it out- the pain, the frustration, and the anger, but not to despair. Now is not the time to despair. Have your hissy fit, hate the world, cry it out. But come in tomorrow, the athlete and the Lauren I know, and never ever ever give up. 

48 hours after breaking my foot I signed up for Big Tens, my full list, on all three boards. The goal this year was not only to make Big Ten Finals (which I talked about here), but to give it all I got. My coach thought I chance at winning. And now, despite all the positivity in the world, I will not get that chance. While I do plan on diving, I will not be 100% when I step on the board and that sucks. I might have to do a whole list standing. I might not be able to point my foot, or take off, or jump. After coming 9th back to back to back, I spent two years training for this meet. I red shirted for this meet. I was ready, dailed in, and feeling so good.

I will not get the chance to give this meet everything I have. That is a fact. The bone will not heal in less than two weeks. With that being said, that does not mean I am not going to try. My college career is not over. Even after Big Ten’s, NCAA Zones are three weeks later and I will still be giving it my all to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. I didn’t train for five years to be defined by this. This is not how things were supposed to end. And holy shit I am bound and determined that this is not the end of my season. I am not done.

I am disappointed, and furious, and not letting those two emotions take over has been the struggle of a lifetime. Despite the doctors and the X-rays and colors of my foot. I am not done.

In an effort to compile all the research I’ve done, I’ll be posting pretty regularly this week. Happy thoughts and positive vibes are much appreciated, as well as any tips and tricks for healing. Choose positivity today, and appreciate all the walking around you do!

Foodie Confessions

It’s been ridiculously obvious- the lack of recipes on the blog for a while now, but that’s not to say I haven’t been eating well! Before I jump into what I HAVE been eating, it’s time to fess up…

I don’t like the Quest protein chips.

…Or the new Quest bar S’mores flavor.

I know, I know. Shoot me. Why Lauren, why dear lord, how can you call yourself a blogger without being head over heels in love with every Quest product ever you have been declared an outcast.

Let’s be real- if I was going to get shunned it would have been a long time ago for admitting that I don’t like kale and/or kale chips. I bought the Quest protein chips in cheddar in an attempt that they would satisfy my irrational love for puffy Cheetos, but it’s just not the same (this is where you roll your eyes duuuuuh). It’s so much worse. They have the weirdest aftertaste to me, I don’t even know. Anyone else love them? Hate them?

And the s’mores Quest bars! I was so excited. I had such high hopes- how can you go wrong with chocolate and graham cracker and marshmallow in a PROTEIN bar? Personally they taste super cinnamon-y to me…and waaaaay too sweet. Like way too artificially sweet. I knew my sweet tooth took a nose dive after Vietnam and intentions to cut back on added sugars but just…yuck.

On the bright side, having Quest bars around the house that I DON’T like makes it easier to say no to them (obviously), so it’s almost been a blessing in disguise. Instead of being exhausted and looking for a quick fix, i.e. something I can unwrap, I take the time to fry an egg. Or put peanut butter on an English muffin, or Cheerios in Greek yogurt (my current obsession). My lack of love for protein bars has forced me to reach for real food, right off the bat.

I promise to bring you more “what I ate this week” posts…I love creating meal plans and grocery shopping and leftovers! Those posts help keep me accountable, give me ideas for the future, and motivate me to find healthy, cheaper options during the busy week.

In the meantime…what do I do with these Quest products?! Sell them? Run a giveaway? Heeeeelp.