Well, its been one year since the knee injury and in the video below, I reflect and re-live. That knee injury has helped to help me become a much better Coach and it has propelled Newell Strength to the next level of physical preparation. Enjoy the video and check out some of the other random stuff below the video!
*Danny Peltack, starting tackle at Immaculata High School, has been training with us at Newell Strength for the past 3 months. He has his high school combine this weekend. When Danny started, he was benching 185 for 2, yesterday he got it for 14! He also took his vertical from 21.5″ to 26.25″! This is for a sophomore that is 6’5″ and now has his weight up to 280 pounds. Weight up, body fat lower=awesome!
*Newell Strength was mentioned in two different newspaper articles this week, kind of ironic since I never go out to seek these things. But people must be noticing what we have going on and when you follow your passion, only good things can happen. There articles are here and here
*One of our members, Casey Ransone, was recently named head football Coach at St. Joseph’s of Metuchen. The article is here
*Just thought I’d give my 2 cents on last week’s Rutgers debacle. I watched the press-conference and was disgusted by president Robert L. Barchi. It was pathetic to watch him squirm and use academic language to do everything but take responsibility. YOU sir, are in charge there, it falls on YOU! If that is who they want as a leader, good luck. I was also disgusted by Chris Christie coming out in support of Barchi while saying it was the right move for Pernetti to resign. Pernetti wanted Rice gone right away! I love Christie as a politician, but that shit made me sick. The world needs some real men to stand up and stop doing everything for the almighty dollar! I will be writing some articles coming up about being a MAN and will certainly cite this. Heck, this instance might even make it into my Manifesto.
*I will be speaking at Kean University this upcoming Monday and Raritan Valley Community College next Friday. I love going to speak to the students and give them some straight talk, no BS. I will be audio-recording it and they will be put into one of the other books I am working on.
Keep making yourself better, good things will happen…and oh yeah, happy anniversary knee:)
I was gonna write about something different today but I am to souped up after last night to not share with you guys what I did. I had set a goal to walk within one month of surgery and I did it last night. Now, I am not walking around all the time without assistance, but I did it, it’s a start. I also got my first leg raise last night! Don’t worry, I captured it all on the video below for you:)
This reinforced the power of the mind to me. I have been visualizing, dreaming about and meditating on these events every day. No one broke the speed of sound until Yeager did it in 1959, people thought you explode and disintegrate if you tried (thanks Rich for sharing this with me). The year that Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, 50 others did the same thing. Because….someone broke through. Impossible is nothing….
I am not a person that believes in coincidence. I believe that things are placed at certain points in our life and it is up to use to connect the dots. I had gotten the above tattoo the week of my injury. I was going to wait to get it, but for some reason, I got it on Monday, April 9th. It means ‘Fear Nothing’.
Connecting the dots with what has happened with me recently, I know what I have to do now. I was telling Devon last night, that if I let the fear from this injury win and I never compete again in bodybuilding or basketball, then I have lost. Once I get to that point, stepping on stage again, I will be the champion. Regardless of what happens in the placings, to come back from this injury and compete at a high level will be the culminating event on an already extraordinary set of circumstances. When I go back to playing basketball, I will be doing so not just for myself, but every person out there that has lived in fear of re-injury.
I am so fortunate to have this opportunity that lays ahead of me. How many times in life or how many people do you know that get the chance to put everything they have ever learned and worked for to the test? All those early morning hours, battling against the weights when there was just the sound of iron and me. All of those late night hours or rode trips spent learning and working on my craft. When other guys were out partying or sleeping in, I was training my body and mind. When I was going through the tough times of my stomach illness for two years back in 2005-07, my spirit was being molded.
This is the moment of truth….will I have what it takes to come back at a high level? In the handful of times this injury has happened at the NFL level, many of those guys never made it back to play again. The few times it has happened in the NBA, it for the most part has been a career ender. I told Devon there are two ways to look at this, the first option would be to say, ‘oh shit, this doesn’t look good’ but instead I choose the second option of ‘This is going to take a monumental effort BUT I will do it’.
I spoke with a PT friend of mine this morning and he said this injury is so rare that the only guy in the area that could confidently do this surgery is Dr. Gecha. Otherwise he said I would have had to go to Alabama or Cincinnati to get the surgery. I tell you this to again show that it is rare and I would have it no other way. I needed something like this to push me to the next level of life. I am not bitter, I am not angry that this happened, instead I will find the opportunity that lies the eye of any disaster. The hotter the heat, the harder the steel. The higher the pressure, the better the diamond. I leave you with a poem my good friend Steve wrote for me a few days after the injury. It brought me to tears and I am not ashamed to say that I cried in front of another grown man…..
By Steven J, Proud Member of Newell Strength
Ignites my fire,
My love, my passion, my desire.
Keeps me apart from Joe,
No Excuses, No Weakness to Show.
Reminds me of the great,
In which the average would escape.
The Human Strength Expert,
And my dream is not asleep.
A torn patella tendon,
Can keep me off my feet!
As promised, I will be shooting a ton of video of this journey to share with you. Here is the morning right after the injury happened, probably 10 hours after it actually took place:
So the surgery was a success today. The surgery was much longer than expected, going on for 2 and a half hours. When Doctor Gecha came out to see Devon after the surgery, he said most people only tear the patella horizontally, I tore it both horizontally and vertically. To put it in his words: “It was completely shredded”. In addition to that, they found that ligaments on both the medial and lateral part of the knee were torn to shreds.
I am not sure of the exact ones, I will know tomorrow when I see Dr. Gecha in the morning. He did suture in a silver dollar size pad of my own platelet matrix to assist in the healing. This was something he and I had talked about, even though it is not standard in this surgery, but you know me, I’m a guinea pig:)
He told Devon he basically had to totally re-construct my knee. But to be honest, I am already quite grateful for this experience. I hope to God it never happens again, but I am grateful for the learning and teaching I will gain from it. I am no longer scared, I am excited. I know there will be ups and downs, but I also know that tomorrow is day one on the road back to being a champion. I will compete one day again, obviously this summer isn’t gonna happen, but I will do it!
So, what have we learned from this ordeal so far? As I always say, a stronger organism is harder to kill. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the high level of strength in my right leg and upper body as far as functioning with this injury. Train the whole body, always! Don’t work on isolating your beach muscles.
Single leg work is superior for developing and activating your gluteus. This is only further confirmed for me by how much time I have spent on my right leg. I can palpate and feel my glute (medius) in particular firing away while I stand on the right side while shaving or washing myself while standing.
I have re-learned the value of visualization. Whether that be before a rep, a foul shot, a rehearsal or whatever. The nervous system and body don’t know the difference between picturing something in your head and actually doing it. This has been confirmed via studies with Olympic Down Hill Skiers. I used to lay there at night when I was competing routinely and picture myself as a champion. I would see it until it would become real, which it did. I used to picture a number of my jump shots (500 per day) before I would shoot them. It got to the point where I could literally make a jump shot from anywhere on the court even if I didn’t have a clear view of the basket. Tonight before I go to sleep, I will watch some of my YouTube videos of me squatting or some other lower body exercise. I will put my headphones on with my meditation music after that and fall asleep picturing my first step this summer, I will picture my knee healing at a super human rate, and it will. I have no doubts.
I will continue to write about what I learn from this ordeal so hopefully you can learn too. We all have our own challenges, lets be champion’s in our approach to how we find the opportunity in those challenges and in how we conquer them.