It Has Been a Great Ride

Then the clock reached the 90th minute, marking the end of the game. The end of the season. And the end of a high school athletic career.

We LOVED watching you play.

Being a high school athlete is not easy. Being one in the Classic 8 Conference adds another level of difficulty. A scholar athlete, yet another piece of complexity. Having your Dad be the Coach for half of the year adds more. Coming back from surgery to a part of your body required to succeed in both sports just adds to it.  But you did it.

We LOVED watching you play.

You were able to have great coaches in your life that molded, mentored, encouraged, challenged, assisted, took chances, made you expand your horizons. Coach Worzella, Coach Perugini, Coach Hauser, and Coach Ksobiech in soccer. Then on the swim side, it was the holy trinity of female coaches with Coach Sarah, Coach Jordon, and Coach Elle. Not sure what we would have done all four years without them.

We LOVED watching you play.

We had a series of ups and downs over the past four years. And I learned as season 2 was going on that I wanted to be your Dad at meets when you swam. We hardly disagreed on what was best for the team or for you during that time. You were Captain for 2 seasons but in reality had it figured out what makes a team click after freshman season. That was your leadership coming out.

We LOVED watching you play.

Many things we could not have predicted would happen.  Your coach swimming you in JV your first high school meet because he was not sure what was going to happen – it was the 200 IM. Having your first prom as a Sophmore on your birthday after two soccer games that were over an hour away. Most would not have handled that as well as you did. Hating butterfly moved to being a love and a key to breaking the school record and going to State twice. Tearing your ACL and recovering mentally and physically from it. Being named Prom Queen after being told you did not need to wear your brace a couple days earlier. A tough senior swim season not being at 100 percent leading to being named Female Athlete of the Year. Making 17 saves in one game and then a PK the next. There is more. But these jump out as things that we will always keep in the front of our minds.

We LOVED watching you play.

We took a ton of pictures with the new camera. And more with our iPhones. You have some of the best senior pictures ever with your sports shots. Thanks Jason!!  

We created a ton of memories. We had some pretty awesome talks about life. We had a ton of laughs mixed in with some tears. We had a pretty good run at this student-athlete thing. And if Thursday is the last time you lace up your cleats or put the goggles on competitively, we just want you to remember one thing….

We LOVED watching you play.

Then it Was Over

img_8060The 26th season as a head coach came to and an end on Saturday. Now I am left trying to wrap my head around the fact that we will not be able to watch Anna swim on a regular basis anymore in high school.

The journey was a great one with plenty of ups and downs. Something that I wish every parent could experience. Our relationship grew each day. We challenged each other to get better. We struggled. We succeeded. It was hard and it happened every day. Some of it was together, while at other times, we each had to figure it out on our own.

I know she has plenty of fast swims still in her as she moves forward. Forward being at a yet undetermined college that will probably be more than 3 hours away.

There are plenty of you that have sent your kids off to college after the enjoyment of watching them play their high school sport. There are probably some of you that were able to coach your own kid at some point as well. You can probably relate to some of this.

This past season was by itself its own journey:

  • Torn ACL on April 7th.
  • Surgery seven weeks later on May 26th
  • Went to Girl Scout Camp – walked without crutches for a week on June 12th
  • Back in the water for a mere 25 meters, 7 weeks after that on July 21st
  • Swam every day between July 24th and the 28th during our contact days
  • Season for High School started August 9th
  • 30 physical therapy sessions between the surgery and August 30th
  • Cleared for everything at the beginning of October
  • Swam the 100 Butterfly and 100 Breaststroke at the Conference and Sectionals

Back on April 8th, the day after it was torn, we came up with #NoOffDays. We each knew that she was the only one that could do the work to make it back.  She had to both push herself and at the same time know her limits. Not go to fast or too quick while staying inside the parameters set by the athletic trainer and the Doctor.

I think this struggle and determination during this stage of her life will end up paying large dividends later. She should be able to draw on the experience to make her stronger. To know and to understand the full impact of what it means to work hard and to get close to the results that you worked for. To know your own limits while still being able to push to the next level. To be able to set goals and fall a bit short.  Not a failure but rather a learning experience. Anna’s goal was to make it back to State, and she fell a bit short.  But it was not because of lack of effort or lack of will.

This is the part that I will miss most.  Her ability to stay focused on her goals, while at the same time showing full support of everyone else around her on the team. If that was one thing that I was able to impress upon her over 4 years – that the team is more important than the individual – then I did succeed as the parent/coach.

The best part about this story is that on Monday, I get to start this exact same journey a second time. This time with Luke. We can only hope that he is ready for the ride!

6 Weeks Out

First Time Back in the Water since March
We are now 6 weeks out and the next check up with the DR was today.

Things have been progressing well and she is now able to walk down a stair, with assistance, with the repaired leg. Anna has said that it takes more muscle to walk down stairs than it does to walk up stairs.

She is still going to see the physical therapist two times a week.  PT has recommended that she try to get into the weight room at North to get on the stationary bike and/or to work on the leg sled to get one extra day in.  Going to PT twice a week is a minimum.  We are working on a plan for that.

Tuesday of this week Anna got back in the water briefly and swam about a 600. Actually, she pulled the entire time.  She said it felt good to get back into the water.  She got in again on Wednesday and felt the same excitement. It will be a long road to get the strength and confidence back, but if anyone can do it, she can.

And the best news….the Doctor cleared her for everything except for breaststroke kick for a while. This is extremely exciting.

The plan will be to gradually add more swimming each week so we can be ready for contact days at the end of the month and the season starting on August 9
It also means that she can probably go back to work life guarding at the YMCA.

4 Weeks Out

Full survival at Prairie Hill Day Camp was a success. My estimate is that she walked between 40 and 50 miles over the 5 and half days last week. I logged over 100k steps, so I am pretty sure she did with her little kids group.

Rest with her leg up, Ice, and some Ibuprofen at lunch and at the end of the day seemed to help as well.

The Video below is her jumping off the raft.  She is on the far left.  Mind you, this is exactly three weeks after surgery.

At Tuesday’s therapy this week, the Physical Therapist told Anna she was doing good for being close to 8 weeks out.  Anna had to remind her that we are just closing in on 4 weeks.  During that session she did ride a stationary bike for the first time.

During today’s therapy session, Anna was able to use the leg press and did some small squats.

Progress is Good!


2 Plus Weeks

18 Days after Surgery

Thursday will mark three weeks from the surgery date.  Anna has been going to therapy and the stitched have fully dissolved without much assistance.

The last couple days of school last week, the request was made by the PT to use one crutch more for stability in the crowded hallways.  School ended last Wednesday and we are down to no crutch.  Anna can bend it to 145 degrees and seems to be more confident each day in her ability.  She is still icing it most nights.

This is a big test this week though.  <<Insert dramatic music>>  It is the week of Girl Scout camp. Day one concluded today and she did take some Advil and did ice once tonight.  My guess is that she had to be over 10k steps each day.  That would make any normal semi athletic person tired, so I can only image how she is doing.

We continue to check in on her during the day this to make sure she is resting when able and elevating.  Next week we are back to 2 scheduled PT visits and a couple trip to Waukesha North with the school PT.

Thanks for all the cards and notes people have been sending. I know she appreciates it. It is great to have an awesome support system around us.

One Week and a Day

4 days after Surgery
The first DR appointment post surgery was today.  All reports came back positive.  Stitches did not need to come out because they will eventually dissolve by themselves over the next couple days.

Therapy evaluation started Tuesday – just 5 days after surgery.  Anna went to see the Waukesha North athletic trainer for exercises on Wednesday and then was at the out patient Westwood facility on Thursday.  Those are scheduled for twice a week going forward from this point. Both are Orthopedic Associates employed so they are in sync in the recover process.

Anna’s range of motion was at 115 on Thursday.  We can only assume it will keep getting better.  She is able to walk around the house without her crutches. But it is recommended to use a crutch on the opposite side around school for stability and because of the volume of obstacles.

The next DR appointment for a check up will be in 5 weeks and therapy will continue through the summer.

2 Days Past Surgery

Repaired ACL

With the surgery two days ago, the adductor canal blocker has now worn off and the pain has started.  She takes a little hydro codon-acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help with the pain.

Anna has been gradually putting more weight on the left leg while still using the crutches. And ready for this, today she can take a shower today!!!

She has has a couple of friends stop by and visit.  And got an awesome care package from Grandma and Grandpa W. She is also catching up on watching Friends on Netflix.

She has exercises that she is doing and the first visit with physical therapy for her evaluation is already on Tuesday.

We have a graduation party today to attend so we are going to get her out of the house for a bit.  It is better to be moving and exercising the new ACL than continually sitting around.