The physiotherapist at the hospital advised me to start using an exercise bike to keep my knee moving. Willing to do whatever it took to be back at one hundred percent, I wanted to get straight onto this. However, I would’ve been best waiting for my knee to heal a little more, and you can see me struggling with the bike on the opening of the seventh video. But can you really blame me? I wasn’t walking for four and a half months by this point.
After having a short break from the bike, I would get back on it and find myself quickly making a lot of progress. At the time of recording the footage for the video, I had a goal to be on the bike for twenty minutes. Shortly after filming, I managed half an hour’s worth of cycling because I was distracted by the TV at the gym (the hour-long versions of Monday Night Raw on 9GO!). I looked down at the timer in surprise, and when I got off the bike, I knew I could’ve gone longer if I had wanted to.
I wasn’t getting very far with my knee extension exercises, and after my physiotherapist reviewed it, I began to get frustrated. It seemed I was stuck in the same place again, with my knee refusing to straighten. With her advice, I started using a weight, which was a wrapped up bag of garden sand. It was quite heavy, was definitely painful but made a huge difference. After a few weeks, my leg began to straighten, and it wasn’t long until I began attempting to walk.
Nobody actually told me to start walking – I was just sick and tired of being immobile. I knew at the time what was unsafe for me, and I kept away from pivoting and twisting. I practiced walking at home, and upon graduating from hobbling, I convinced myself to drop a crutch. I was with one crutch for only a week before I ditched that too, and began walking properly for the first time in five months completely unassisted. I started very slow, but would pick up speed in the months ahead.
I was finally beginning to see the light at the end of tunnel, despite how I still had such a way to go. Shortly after I started walking, I no longer needed to do flexion and extension exercises, as all the movement I was going to recover had returned. Instead, I started a full ACL recovery program, which included leg press, squats, deadlifts and weighted curls and extensions. My spirits were significantly lifted, and I’ve since been working on my legs at the gym every second day. I was also cleared to return to my day job (although I had since lost it).
For the first time in such a long time, I actually felt in control. My recovery time would become a result of how hard I could work, and I intended to work incredibly hard. I’ve already lost way too much time in my wrestling career, and I didn’t intend to lose more than I needed to.