One day at a time


June 9, 2016

One day at a time. Everyday. Everytime. No matter what. That’s how I came back from the first two, and that’s how I am coming back from this one.

I get asked basically every day about my knee, how my knee is feeling, how my rehab is going, when I will be able to play again, about the Olympics, if I will be able to play in the Olympics, when can I play with the Reign again, will I be back to play this season? Quite frankly it can be exhausting.  Not to fault anyone who has ever asked me one of those questions, on the contrary I appreciate them greatly, knowing they always come from a place of love, care, concern, and from a desire to see me back on the field doing what I love.  But pile them all up together day after day, questions that I can’t answer with certainty, they become daunting.

So what do I do?  One day at a time.  From the second I heard the snap in Hawaii until this very moment sitting at my computer, one day at time.  Get the MRI, see the Doctor, schedule the surgery, do pre-habilitation work with Ben (Goalkeeper Coach with the Reign, MAT Specialist, and a rock I have leaned on everyday throughout these six months), and meet my PT Brent George of G4 Athlete, who is one of the best I have ever worked with. Get the surgery, complete day one of rehab, complete day two of rehab, and you get the picture.

Every session I have done these last six months has a singular focus of what I CAN do. The greatest temptation of rehabbing from an injury such as an ACL tear, is the recovery takes its sweet ole time healing, and you focus on everything you cannot do. Sure, three days after surgery, you CANNOT run, CANNOT play in the Olympics, and you CANNOT snatch an alley-oop out of the air and windmill it down on a six foot rim.  And speaking from experience, boy will you be miserable if your focus lies in all the things you cannot do.

I try really hard to focus on what I can do today, gains I can make in each rehab session, approach that with positivity, and with a smile, and try to get a little better everyday.  It’s really hard, I can tell you of many days that I failed in that task (so can my fiancé Sera ;-) ) but you have to try, otherwise you will go bonkers!

So I guess this is my advice:

1.) Allow yourself to accept what has happened.  Let yourself feel crappy, be sad, be devastated, wonder why me, why now right before the fricken Olympics, and then let it go. It happened, that old ACL, she gone! But, you have a nice shiny one coming that needs a lot of help!

2.) Today matters, that’s it.  Not tomorrow, not August, not 3 months from now when you think you should start running, today and today only. Just be your best you today. Let every session be the foundation for the next session, because we all know what happens to some crap house, sitting on some crap foundation.  

3.)  Enjoy this opportunity, not only in relation to your sport, but also to your life. Get stronger in areas you didn't have time to before (like my pull ups, I can do three now!) I love this game with every bone in my body, but I love other things too! Like Madrid. My family. The lake. My fiancé. Guitar. Friends. Chichi. Ya dig!?

4.) I don’t want to be cliche, but take a step back, there are worse things that could happen to you, worse things that could happen to me, even in an Olympic year, there are plenty of worse things.

But don't worry, I’ll be back soon enough! My Olympic dream is still alive! This blonde ain’t gone!




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  • I came across this (I know it’s an old post) looking for info regarding your recovery from ACL reconstruction. My 11 year old daughter recently tore her ACL during an indoor soccer match. We are in the process of scheduling surgery. We are very lucky to be driving distance to Boston Children’s so she will be provided with top notch care. As you can imagine, not being able to play for 9-12 months is challenging for an 11 year old to understand. I will be sure to share your advice regarding rehab & patience (which is going to be the biggest challenge) with her. Thanks for sharing

    • Owen
  • This blog post has prepared me for my surgery soon. It’s always the mentality that you have to have stronger than anything. I’m glad you’re back on your feet and back on the pitch. I was just wondering, what ACL graft did you use?

    • Salma Luevano
  • Mahalo for sharing your thoughts on your injury. I am a strong believer that people cross paths for a reason. Although getting a picture with a USWNT player at the hotel they were staying at was not allowed, you graciously took a picture with our daughter when you were in Hawaii, I believe it was in the evening of the day that you got injured at practice. She proudly shares that picture with everyone.
    Fast forward to April 27, 2016; while at keeper training, she too heard a “pop.” When I asked her if she was crying because she was in a lot of pain she said “no, I’m crying because I know what I won’t be able to do for the next few months.” On May 31 she had her ACL surgery and begin rehab two days later. However, the night before her surgery, we were included in a dinner where Coach Laura Harvey was the guest of honor. My daughter also got a picture with her and proudly shares that picture with everyone too.
    On June 12 my daughter complained about a pain in her chest and back; the next day we took her to the ER because it wasn’t getting any better. She was diagnosed with some blood clots in her lungs presumably that developed from her ACL surgery. After 8 days in the hospital she was released.
    Since April 27 her struggle has been how to cope with her injury, not physically, but mentally. Your blog and posts are awesome. Please keep them coming. We believe in you and know that your Olympic dream will be achieved. I MUA!

    • Ric
  • What a great outlook you have had during this challenging time in your life. A day-by-day approach with realistic understanding of the situation and what you needed to do to get back to where you want to be.

    I, too, tore my ACL. I’m quite a bit older than you are. No longer am I able to play Field Hockey (my first love) or lacrosse or soccer due to the abuse I put my body thru when I was your age. BUT I have filled that void with training and competing with my dogs (currently Border Collies). 8 years ago, I had no ACL and my first BC (border collie) was 6 months old, in need of serious training for life and for Competition Agility.

    I got thru my injury, surgery, and rehab with the vision of where I wanted to be with my young dog, competing at the highest level possible in Agility. I used mental practice and visualization to get me thru. Now, 8 years later, I’m training my next BC, feeling so grateful that AT 60 years of age, I’m able to run with, train, and compete at a high level with my dogs. All thanks to ACL Reconstruction and a focused approach to rehab.

    You go girl. I love watching you play and can’t wait to catch you in action, again. I wish you all the best.

    • Sue Bricker
  • The Most important thing is your long term health..( 4 spinals here)
    And you need to be at your best so my favorite
    player can entertain me for years to come….
    thanks for every thing you do…
    P.S. I want the girl that played against Australia in the world cup..AWESOME…

    BTWilson Seattle Wa.

    • BTWilson