It has been a while since my latest status quo, so I wanted to spare some time for you guys.
Before I dive in, I want to thank ALL of you guys for your constant messages of encouragement and support. I don’t want to sound repetitive, but it means a lot. Even though I don’t know you guys, I have had the pleasure to have some quality conversations with you via direct message on Instagram. Despite the unrealistic feeling of being encouraged and supported by so many of you, it feels amazing. On the other hand, I DO understand some of your guys’ frustration. A bunch of you started following me because of my golf, and are only interested in my golf life, golf career and golf content. I get it. And lately, because of the injury, I have found myself feeding you guys a bit of my more personal life with lifestyle content and pure vanity. But I am hoping to change that soon.
To put you up to speed I would recommend for your to watch my First Q + A Since My Injury. It was shot in June, and I talk about my injury, the mental side behind it, social media trolls and some of my most asked golf questions.
Status Right Now
After my late August relapse, I embarked in what it looks like my final phase of the recovery. I did suffer two steps back to go one forward, but that’s OK. As long as the final direction is still onwards.
I am currently traveling with Rob to his finals events of the year. While I have had the worst years on tour, specially 2018 because of the injury; Rob has had his best so far. So I wanted to be there for him for the Grand Finale.
After taking the necessary measures for my latest treatment, I decided to travel these couple of weeks in Europe with Rob (Paris & London), bringing my trainer with me to make sure he controls my every day recovery.
At the moment I am pain free — FINALLY. It is the first time being pain free since January. So far, my workouts have been limited to only pain free lineal exercises. The idea when working on lower body right now is to avoid sideways and rotations, so all the movements are linear. For example, seated leg raises in the machine, physio ball against the wall 90 degrees squats, Front lunges, etc… Meanwhile, we haven’t left upper body behind. We are doing a lot of variety of upper body exercises, always on a seated position or on my knees to avoid friction on mu hip.
The most desired answer! And still the one that I am not capable to answer yet. My relapsed in late August happened because I thought I would be able to play the last tournaments on the LET tour this year, and I guess I started too soon. I wanted to get a few rounds in before breaking free back on the LPGA, but it looks like that will have to wait now.
The 2019 LPGA schedule starts with Australia in February followed by two limited fields events in Asia. Limited fields events mean that only top ranked players on tour from previous year qualify to play, which obviously leaves me out of the equation. So I will only qualify to play in the Australia event, however; I am not sure if I will be ready. My idea since the beginning was to go to Australia early, play some of the Australian events before and after the Australian Open. But to be honest, that is right now on my wishlist.
I strongly believe I will be ready to go by March, when the tour starts in US soil on the west coast. So hoping for a good break on my recovery and start hitting soon!
A fast recap of my injury: the WHEN and the WHAT.
I got injured on January 28th during the final day of my first event in Bahamas. I tore my TFL when I was hitting a 30 yard pitch on hole 7. I had to stop the play for 30 minutes and wait for medics and PTs to come and assist me.
After the PTs came to the rescue I asked them if I could exasperate the injury. I really wanted to finish, I was playing very well and in my head all I could think of is REDEMPTION. I wanted to redeem myself after my worst two years on tour, and I was coming from my best finish in NZ…Everything was on point since I changed coach last August and my golf game was just beginning to talk about it. The physio taped me up so that the affected area was kept unmobilized and gave me strong meds to ease the pain. They said I should be fine to continue —they never thought I could have torn anything. In golf, when is windy, they say: ‘when breezy, swing easy’. And thats what I did, to be able to finish.
4 months, 3 MRIS later and 2 misdiagnoses, on May 27 they were able to find the true diagnosis. They were able to find multiple micro tears in my TFL. When the word ‘micro’ came up on the report, I felt relieved. But apparently micro tears in a small muscle and for long periods of time undetected can become more difficult and painful than it sounds. And that is literally what happened.
The injury and the relapse
I was never relived from pain since that January 28th. I felt pain every day of my life but I learned to live with it. I went from having pain to walk, sleep, stand up to being able to slowly working out and weeks after that, hitting golf balls. But the pain was still there. And that is when the relapse happened in August.
In August we decided I was able to start swinging again. I still had pain before and after initiating movement, but I was able to control it during the exercise. The main reason is because the bigger muscles were working together to protect the small and deteriorated one. Besides the affected area, my other muscles were super strong, so they took over. But when the pain got more intense, I had to do another MRI to just confirm that my micro tears weren’t healing and residues were still shown.
That is when I decided to take the full year out and seek specialized help. We made the decision of looking outside the box which led us to homeopathic medicine. The consensus was clear, the micro tears weren’t healing. I needed to increase blood flow in my body and I needed to make sure that that blood was charged with oxygen and regenerative supplements to increase the efficiency of my muscle irrigation.
Most of you guys understand and support my inclination to share the supplements I take, the ideas behind my nutrition and how to maintain a healthy alkaline diet, and overall all the wellness benefits I get when seeking help from specialists. And for those of you that don't get it, you might do at some stage of your life. This injury might be insignificant for someone that doesn't practice a sport or doesn’t life from one. You might endure pain for a longer period of time, but it wouldn’t disable you to life your normal life. However, it did to me. And the fact that those micro tears weren’t healing fast enough or properly, played a detrimental role in my 2018 —fingers crossed it doesn’t affect my 2019 as well.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, having a healthy mind and healthy fitness routine is key to a good life. I write this lines with a bit of frustration. My injury dragged for too long, and I felt frustrated to say the least every time I heard my micro tears should have healed by now. I like being a spokesperson on healthy eating habits and wellness because I strongly believe I represent one. But my body wasn’t reflecting that. I wasn’t recovering. So I became even more conscious about a good hydration, good sleep for recovery, good healthy mindset and healthy eating.
But it seemed like I was struggling in that department. And thats OK because I love the idea that I can always get better. I might be supplementing myself with the right products but for sure I am lacking consistency. I am definitely missing hours of sleep and I can guarantee I use the phone too much before going to bed. I eat healthy but I often binge on gluten and dairy free sweets. And I don't drink enough water. I write blogs to ease the anxiety but I don't exercise yoga or meditation. And I still find it hard to open up to specialists and feel vulnerable in front of others. No one has promised me that if I do these things right, I will get better faster, but my chances are higher. So I committed to remind myself every day. And I love I have a platform to remind you as well with these words.
I might sound ridiculous to you guys, since it sounded to me too. I am not trying to beat perfection, but I understand that if I want to climb high, I need to make the necessary changes. And I am craving instructions and responsibility.
Enduring pain for that long is not easy. My pain and my injury cannot be compared with others. Mine was very silly compared to serious illnesses and injuries. And my injury only disabled me of playing golf, but not of living.
The pain can get irritating, but you learn to live with it. It gets annoying because every time you feel pain, is a daily reminder of your disability to play golf. And anxiety flares up.
I felt anxiety of not knowing, of not having control. Control can be freakishly powerful but it can also limit your growth as a player. In this case I am talking about the control you have for your decision-making. Since I got injured, I never knew what I was doing or where I was going. And lacking that control, was deteriorating me from the inside. A professional golfer, the first week of January books flights and hotels for the end of the years tour stops. We know where we are going to be at every week of the year. This year I couldn’t even make plans to rest at home with my family or tag along Rob to some of his events. I was totally and irrevocably dependent from my body and my lesion, a pain that was pretty much constant for 9 months.
In addition to anxiety, sickness came along. All these flares up of anxiety was making me constable sick. I never get sick and this year I suffered from gastritis, faringitis, bladder infections and migraines, as well as two episodes of the flu and complicated sore throats throughout the year. That says a lot about the power of the mind. The mind is so powerful that I often imagine what we could be if we were capable of transforming all that energy into positiveness.
And with that I let you wander.
Thanks for the support. Keep working hard to be a better person inside and outside.