Saturday, September 17, 2011

ACL Diary: From The Sidelines

Willow’s team is back in action and playing very well. Undefeated in their last six games, over Labor Day weekend in San Diego they earned a tournament championship and then won their first state league game of the season. Last night playing in the U-18 age group (a year up), they tied the current 1994 age group state champions in the TSA tournament.

Willow watched it from the sidelines.

Willow, in navy blue, watches with teammates

Our friend, Betsy Blackwood, who had her ACL reconstructed by the same surgeon as Willow, warned us that the hardest part about recovery is sitting on the bench while your teammates play—especially when they’re kicking butt without you. And that’s definitely true. But I gotta hand it to Willow, as she gets closer to the magical day on the calendar and her next appointment with Dr. Tucker, she handles it very well and truly supports her team.

Betsy Blackwood as an UALR Trojan
She’s been attending practices for several weeks; however, she can only warm-up with them. When they start drills, she puts on her running shoes and runs laps around the fields. Still in physical therapy twice a week, she continues to get stronger and stronger and has a goal to come back stronger than ever. We anticipate clearance for playing soccer to come very soon.

As for Betsy, she’s back on the soccer field with a scholarship at University of Arkansas, Little Rock. And from what I understand, she’s once again kicking butt!

Willow and Olivia show off their repairs
Willow’s other ACL buddy, Olivia Ortiz, a teammate for years, is also back in action after ACL reconstruction and she and her current teammates won their game in the TSA Tournament last night 2-1. 

(BTW: Livvy, we still have your ice machine and plan to return it; however, today I spoke with another former teammate of Willow’s who is undergoing ACL surgery in October, and I wonder if you’d allow us to loan it to her??)

Meanwhile, we are truly grateful for the support, empathy and inspiration Betsy and Olivia have given us throughout this process, and as we watch from the sidelines, it’s really good to know that there is indeed soccer after ACL surgery.

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Eroksoccermom said...

Michelle, I came across your blg on this early Sunday Tennessee morning. I found it by searching for acl recovery diaries. My daughter tore her ACL last Saturday. I didn't want to read someone's 2006 recovery or one from a 60 year old male. I came across your blog and was delighted to find (not delighted that it happened though) Willw's story. I have read page after page of what could be my daughter's (very short to this point) saga. She is a defender on her state championship team with her own ACL buddy best friend. My main thought was I will have to have my daughter, Erika read your blg to help her prepare emotionally for surgery and recovery. While she has seen other people go through this, reading your insights will really help. We live on a lake and she was so oking forward to all the boating and wake boarding activities this summer. The only bright spot for her is the timing tha she is verbally committed to college. I had a fleeting thought of contacting you to tell you how I have enjoyed your blog. Then I read about Willow's best friend relieved a scholarship to University of Arkansas.ERIKA DID TOO! Then I felt I had to comment! She is very early in the process. I will say the Arkansas coaches have been very encouraging to her. She is dying to move forward. She wants to have some control, something she can work on and get better at. But at this point she has to wait for the surgey in a couple of weeks. She is missing State Cup and Southern Regionals, they have already qualified. Anyway. I will continue reading....

Eroksoccermom said...

Shoot, just continued reading and saw Betsy is at University of Arkansas Little Rock. Erika will be playing at University of Arkansas Fayetteville. Oh well. I am still enjoying your blog!