If there is ANY how-to that I feel a) destined to write, and b) is near and dear to my heart…it’s this one!
Since I was 16, I have been plagued by injuries.
In 2004, after lettering in Varsity soccer my freshman year, I spent the majority of my sophomore season
In 2006, at the tail end of my senior year of high school and on track to making my second all-league team, I re-tore my meniscus in a stupid and kamikaze tackle. Knee surgery #2.
In 2012, in a freak accident where I merely stepped wrong on an opponent foot, I tore my ATFL in my ankle. Ankle surgery #1.
And, lastly in 2016, a month after my grandpa’s funeral and getting in a hit and run, I broke my elbow and injured my wrist in a stupid biking accident.
So, I’ve had my fair share of injuries. And each time I was frustrated. As an athlete, I was frustrated to be sidelined and as a fitness addict who swears by her workouts to stay healthy and sane, I didn’t know what to do with myself. The mental/emotional aspects of injuries are hard, especially for athletes. But, what I realized each and every time is that there are things you can and should be doing!
FOCUS ON YOUR NUTRITION.
In the 2+
Even if you can’t hit a workout as hard as you’d like, or maybe you can’t
Get off the couch and meal prep. Get off the couch and plan some healthy recipes that you can be excited about eating! The nutritional aspect is
STRETCH AND REHABILITATE.
I tell legitimately everyone I know that has ever suffered from an injury one thing. Make sure you do your physical therapy!
Call me a physical therapy Nazi, but
So, whether you have PT appointments, are just stretching or doing
The bottom line is, treat your stretching and recovery as if it was a workout! Don’t skip it like so many of us do with Yoga day. Make it a
ARE YOU MAKING EXCUSES?
I’m not trying to be rude here – I’m trying to be realistic! We ALL get in this mindset when we’re facing an injury that we can’t do so many things. But I’ll tell you right now, often it’s an excuse. Why? Because there are often things that you can do in spite of the injuries.
I want to share this video with you. Going into the 2015 CrossFit Regionals and CrossFit Games, Julie Foucher was one of the
Her injury would put her in a boot for the rest of the Regional competition. And what did she do? She competed. She competed in her boot. Realizing that her CrossFit career was over, she was determined to do everything that she possibly could for the remainder of the competition. And she did. If you watch that video above – from 9:41 to 15:21 – you will see what heart is. You will hear the commentators say – “That is a true competitor.”
So, why am I telling you this story? Why am I showing you this video?
Because Julie Foucher could have thrown in the towel on the rest of the competition. She could’ve said, “Well, I won’t win now so I’m not even going to compete. I’m not even going to try.” But she didn’t do that. Instead, she immediately said, “I can do this, still!” So, she went out on the floor and did a handstand walk. And killed it. She knew that she couldn’t lift as much weight as she usually can, but she can still lift some weight. So, she went out on the floor and did it. She found things that she could still do or ways to modify the workouts and she went out there and competed. And because of that attitude, because of that mindset, she will forever be one of the greats and she will forever be someone to aspire to.
So try. See what you can do. We can all make excuses and give up. Or we can all be like Julie Foucher and find a way to finish the competition.
DO WHAT YOU CAN
When we get injured, we get this idea in our heads that we can’t do anything. That we’re totally and completely sidelined. Well ya – you can’t do what you would’ve been able to do when you are healthy. But guess what!! You can still do something!
There is still so much that we are often physically able to do. And we have no reason not to!
If you’ve injured your upper body, you may not be able to do push-ups or pull-ups, but you can still go for walks and do
If you’ve injured your lower body, you can still work your upper body and do things like
I may not have been able to do push-ups and pull-ups. I may not have been able
Instead of thinking about everything you can do, consider what you can do! And do that!
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, SPEND TIME WORKING ON YOUR MENTAL/EMOTIONAL RECOVERY
I contemplated including
When I injured my knee for the first time in high school, I would cry myself to sleep. I was so afraid of the consequences. Of all the hard work I’d put in and losing that. Of potentially having to give up the only sport I’d ever loved. Of potentially starting to play and hurting myself again.
When I injured my elbow last summer, I felt so worthless! I couldn’t work. Couldn’t write. Hell, I couldn’t put my hair in a
Losing your physical abilities is jarring and frustrating.
That’s why, when you’re injured, there’s no better time to dig into some mental/emotional work.
For athletes, that may mean reading some sports psychology, like “The Mental Edge.”
For recreational athletes, it may mean just digging into how you feel about yourself and learning to depend less on your workouts to make you feel worthwhile. That’s what I had to do! I had to learn to view myself as strong even without the ability to lift weights!
No matter how long your injury will