We’ve all had them, whether it’s a sprain, a torn muscle, or a fracture. Injuries stop the momentum of our training course right in its tracks. And it isn’t any fun.
On top of the pain, you’re dealing with frustration from not being able to practice - keeping you from moving toward your goals, and just not moving as much in general. Athletes are kinesthetic by nature. I don’t know about you, but I can get downright surly when I’m immobile for too long.
Nevertheless, injuries are bound to happen when you’re continually pushing your body and expanding its limits.
As I’ve been sitting on my couch much more than I would have preferred over this past week while nursing my ankle, swollen with tendonitis, there were a few things that surfaced. I had small realizations that made a big difference in helping me to not only deal more positively with this injury than I have with those in the past, but also helping me to embrace it.
Here are 4 things that can help you bring more LOVE to your injuries:
When something is done, it’s done. There’s no undoing it. Focusing on what you can’t do only adds salt to the wound. So what, you can’t go out and drill your loop jump, does that mean that you also have to feel miserable on top of it? – Of course not. When you choose acceptance you’re acknowledging your body’s efforts and the hard work you’ve put in. We are living beings, not robots, which means your body gets the chance to remind you how miraculous it is at repairing and rejuvenating itself, allowing you to return to your work with a fresh vision and determination when the time is right.
Small commitments have big rewards
I have this thing where my kneecaps have been slightly pulled over by the outside, overdeveloped, muscles of my thighs. It’s an injury more common for women. My knees are in a lot of pain when I run or do certain yoga poses, among other things. I was having physiotherapy treatment a little over a year ago and my knees were on the road to recovery. I finished my time with the physiotherapist but still had at home exercises to continue with. Then I became lazy with these little exercises and stopped doing them altogether. They were so boring when I was used to doing much bigger movements and high intensity workouts. I didn’t think that these monotonous exercises made that much of a difference at the time. I was wrong. Very wrong. My kneecaps went right back to their displacement and the months of treatment were now a total waste! Worse, I was in pain all over again. So here I am committing to do these seemingly tiny exercises everyday until my knees are healed. And soon I will be able to go outside for a nice long run again!
More time for other things
Having an injury will usually force you to relax, breath, and allow your mind to wander. You might start to dream up new goals or new ways of accomplishing goals already in existence. You also get the chance to do things like read that book you’ve been wanting to read for a while now, or reconnect and rekindle friendships that have been unintentionally pushed to the sidelines, or simply enjoy a much needed rest. These kinds of deeds allow you to keep balance in your life. And then you come back to your sport when your drive and desire is at its peak; you have a renewed focus and a lets-get-moving attitude!
We’ve all heard that saying, “you don’t know what you have until you don’t have it anymore”. Missing something can give you a renewed appreciation for it. An injury will show you just how awesome your body really is. My injuries remind me of how thankful I am to be able to move my body in its full health. Skating and being physically active keeps me feeling strong, alive, healthy, and alert. Skating also continues to build my confidence when I achieve a new skill and it helps me learn how to stay present when I’m focused on a task. Gratitude has the power to shift your perspective, which can also propel a shift in how you work and train, keeping you grounded, aware, and focused.
I do hope you are injury-free, but if not, I hope you are having a good rest and absolutely loving it!