ACL Injury: The Initial Blow

ACL tear blog post featured image

Have you ever had an accident minor enough that your past does not flash before your eyes, but major enough that your future does?

Two weeks ago I decided I was up for a Muay Thai sparring session, and headed to a local MMA gym where they hold sparring classes. I went four rounds with relatively young guys, feeling great, holding my own in the ring.

During round five however, I went for a kick and my bottom knee twisted and I heard a loud “pop.” Down I went in excruciating pain.

There were so many thoughts that went through my mind in that moment.

I am an extremely optimistic person, yet I think I knew intuitively, based on the “pop,” and the amount of pain, that it was a serious injury.

Within 10 minutes I was able to get up and walk, so I put my optimistic hat back on and hoped for the best.

A few days later an MRI proved my intuition right… A full tear of the ACL.

The orthopedic surgeon laid out my options, which included

  1. Opting out of surgery and going through the rest of my life without an intact ACL (which comes with a relatively high risk of damage to other parts of the knee with my activity level)
  2. Getting the more traditional reconstructive surgery (he recommended choosing to use a tendon from a human cadaver rather than a tendon taken from my own quadricep for a number of reasons), or
  3. Getting a new type of surgery. Upon asking him about the new surgery, I learned they use cells that come from a pig, so of course for me, as a vegan fitness pro committed to doing the most good and least harm to all living beings, that was out.

After careful consideration, I decided to go the route of reconstructive surgery, which has been scheduled for July 10th, 2024with a full recovery expected in 9-12 months.

As difficult as this situation is, it has already given me the chance to prove just how powerful all the work I’ve done on myself the last decade has been, building resilience and the ability to coach myself through tough circumstances, and healing my relationship with my body and food.

My thoughts very quickly went to, “Here starts a new chapter in my life!” and “How can I use this opportunity to grow and help others?”

Sure, I’m super bummed that, for quite some time, I won’t get to take Fiona on runs, and that I won’t be able to practice Muay Thai or perform many of the movements I’ve been loving incorporating into my training routine, AND….

The goal is not to feel better, it’s to get better at feeling.


I now get to learn about how to navigate a full ACL tear, including preparing for and recovering from ACL reconstruction surgery.


I get to learn how to use plant-based nutrition, physical therapy, plant medicine, and other modes of healing to help my body recover as efficiently as possible.


I get to experience the tough emotions that come up for anyone who gets injured, and more specifically for anyone who gets injured and has a history of disordered eating, over-exercising, and body image issues, and/or who identifies as an athlete.


I get to share this journey with you!