Elisabeth Clay: The Road to Recovery

Good news (although it’s not as good as I want)! Yes, my knee is coming back, and according to my recovery team, I am doing well. But as usual for me, it is not fast enough…lol. Every day I am stronger and my leg more stable. Every day there is less swelling in the knee, the muscles are calming down and manual therapy is more and more effective. For those who want an idea of what I’m doing to help recover, here it is.

My Road to Recovery

I try to do microcurrent on three positions around the knee around twice a day, undergo acupuncture multiple times a week, and am also using various healing herbs. I get therapeutic massages daily (or every other day), specifically on the legs and feet. Physical therapy consists of a number of different wobble board exercises; I am about to progress from the easier board to the more difficult one to balance. I also am doing single leg kettlebell deadlifts.

I can now walk without my knee brace to prevent hyperextension, but I only do at home or where I know I won’t hit my leg or anything. I’ve been able to drill lightly for a little bit and, in the past few days, I’ve even been able to roll while wearing the brace for stability and protection. I am super glad for having training partners willing to roll with me and avoid getting hurt by my brace or further injuring my knee.

A Special Thanks to My Gym Family

I am learning even more than I thought, particularly how integral jiu jitsu is in my life. I cannot fathom ever not having it as a part of my daily life and routine. Something about rolling just calms the nerves and puts me in a good mood. A lot people thought being in the gym would make it more difficult, which in some respects it has, but at the same time I can’t stay out of the gym. Plus, I would miss my friends. The kids I coach have been so awesome about watching out for my knee. Even little ones too young to train in class have helped me put pads on for therapy (well, one girl took them from me and put them on me, lol). One little one, in particular, will bring my brace to me to put back on if I take it off .

M gratefulness for my gym family has been cemented in. Getting support from the littlest two-year-olds to my training partners, coaches and professor has been a good experience.  

Each and every one of them have sacrificed to help me.  

Looking Forward to Future Competitions

Physical therapy will continue and accelerate more and more to have me ready for Pans and World in 2018 (fingers crossed that I recover sooner, but that’s just me lol).

While I would have thought I would have had lots of down time, I’ve instead shifted my focus from hardcore training to rehabilitation. This has been a real lesson on patience, emotion control and gratitude. I will be able to translate much of this to my game, and in the long run I believe I will be a stronger, more calculated competitor. Rolling and drilling with the brace takes more consciousness. I have to be aware of my training partners’ hands, feet, legs and arms, as well as mine, so as to not pinch or hurt them, all while accomplishing the maneuver. I tried a different brace today, and while it was better for my partners in some ways — its moving parts are not as hard — I still cut my nose with it because the plastic was so sharp. It’s a daily process to refine, but through this process my skills are honed.

I still plan to travel with my team to out of state tournaments. Even though I won’t be competing, it’s all about supporting and being with my family. We all support and look out for each other. Many of my teammates, including my closest training partners, will also be competing in the Alaska State NoGi tournament in Anchorage the end of October. Also among the competitors will be a number of the kiddos I coach and my two baby brothers. I will be there as an emotional support or to coach, anything my professor and team need me to do.

I look forward to being ready to kill it for Pans and Worlds but until then, I will see you out there at NoGi Worlds in December. Keep training whenever you can, and to the best of your ability, as that is what I will be doing.  Become your lion or lioness!

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Website: LionPrideJJ.com