It has been a few months since we checked in with AddeoFit Owner, Sarah Addeo, since her surgery to repair an ACL tear. For those of you who know Sarah, injury and recovery are no strangers to her life. As a professional dancer, Personal Trainer, fitness guru and studio owner, injuries have played a significant role in her journey and are an inevitable part of her career path. But even knowing this risk, one thing Sarah has never done, is play it safe. It’s not in her bones or her blood. Each and every day she makes the conscious decision to get up and show up, even on days when the physical and mental challenge is overwhelming.
Our latest conversation discusses plans to move forward, to rise with resilience. If it’s anything Sarah has going for her it’s the privilege of perspective and experience.
It’s been four months since your ACL surgery. Update us!
SA: The beginning of my recovery started out really well, and then I hit a bit of a roadblock. I had to deal with frustration, aggravation and try to redefine patience on a daily basis. I do so much on my leg, but where the graph was taken, I healed differently this time around. ACL surgery takes time; this time around I’m learning to be more patient with my progress. I’m working hard to stay healthy in other areas, in regards to what I’m eating, how I’m thinking and I’m learning to accept that a little goes a long way. I’m in a good place right now. These last few weeks have been a game changer in my recovery. I’m still physically weak, but I’m starting to feel the benefits of taking it slowly this time around. If I overdo it, I’m in trouble and I don’t want to go down that path again. I’m thinking long-term goals and the reminding myself about my passion for music and movement and I want to dance for a long time!
How has your definition of healing changed over time? Are there certain behaviors that you put into practice now that you didn’t with past surgeries and rehabs?
SA: Maturity has played a big role this time around. I have had the privilege of being a professional athlete and using that perspective to show compassion for other professional athletes that I work with now. I’ve shifted that compassion for others into self-compassion in order to help myself heal. The physical side of healing will come, but if we don’t take time to take care of ourselves mentally, that’s where you get into trouble. And all it takes is daily reminders and affirmations “I will get there”. I want to enjoy the simple moments and small achievements of overcoming roadblocks, and that is something I hadn’t done in the past that I am learning to embrace now. And it makes all the difference in the world!
Let’s be real. Some days are better than others when it comes to recovering from a surgery or a physical setback. What helps you get through the longer days?
SA: Well, let’s start with the physical setbacks. When you are recovering from an injury or surgery, sometimes you are literally stuck! I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t walk anywhere…but I took advantage of my physical limitations and began reading, and writing! I embraced the downtime kids. Spending quality time and really being in the moment. I had no worries of needing to be anywhere physically and that allowed me to be in the moment mentally.
You talk a lot about resilience and how you incorporate that mentality into your daily practice both on a professional and personal level. How do you use resilience to rise above roadblocks that come along to find balance and maintain your strong will?
SA: I am fortunate in that resilience has always been a key tool in my personality. Resiliency is in my soul. But for me, it works in three ways; physically, mentally and emotionally. This time around, I learned the true meaning of emotional resiliency. I learned that my soul had to be healed and in order for that to happen, I needed to slow down and stop clogging my system. I slept more, I took care of myself and I let go. That can be so hard because there is a guilt that comes with “letting go”. But it’s necessary and it has made all the difference in my recovery this time around. I accepted that it is ok to be selfish at times and I don’t regret it. I’m okay with saying that I’m proud of taking care of myself and not giving up.
How are you using this experience to cultivate your vision for you and for what’s in store for AddeoFit?
SA: I’m tackling the Human side of the AddeoFit mantra. Anyone can work out. But it’s hard to feel uncomfortable. And 90% of the time, the uncomfortable feeling is a mental roadblock. So, how do we get past that uncomfortable roadblock to get to the next level? Professionally, I want people to know that when they walk through these doors, no one is expecting any more than what they are expecting of themselves. When clients come to AddeoFit, I want to give them the opportunity to take the road less traveled, so to speak.
Every day we wake up to a fork in the road, and the only person who can decide which path we are going to take that day is us. It’s a tall task, but sticking to the physical discomfort of a workout, serves as a metaphor for the bigger picture in life. Working through the discomfort to uncover a better version of ourselves!
Writer, marketer and mother of two, Susan Madden has a background working with the Fine Arts in Dallas, TX and Milwaukee, WI. Relatively new to the fitness industry, she enjoys sharing her experiences about this crazy beautiful life, the endless quest to find work-home balance and wellness from a novice perspective. She’s passionate about nature, everything music, seeking out little moments that make a lasting impact, and has a newfound appreciation for the benefits of a well- made green smoothie. Susan is a native of Whitefish Bay, WI and now resides in Mequon, WI with her husband Mike and children, Samantha and Blake.
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