Being injured sucks! There is no other way to say it. I have gone through dozens of other opening lines for this article, but nothing else is as true and appropriate. Now with that said, I am going to make this as positive as possible while I am in pain icing my ankle.
This is not the first time I have been injured; however, this is my first traumatic injury. My past injuries have all been overuse injuries. Regardless of the type of injuries we sustain, being sidelined is no fun at all. It is weird how running is so hard to do, while doing it. But, when you are told you can’t run, all of a sudden it is the only thing you want to do. I have worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years now, so seeing all types of injuries is a common, albeit, unfortunate reality to training. Even the best athletes get injured! The majority of us are not getting paid to train or race, but it is our passion. It can also be our stress relief and allow us to eat pizza occasionally. When I see an athlete get injured, my stomach just sinks, because I know exactly how they feel. The good news is that I do have some advice to give, and I try to take it as well.
First and foremost is have a team of professionals for evaluation and treatment. I am lucky to have the best sports medicine doctor (Sara Filmalter) and physical therapist (Mark Baughman) in Jacksonville. Next is to actually listen to them and follow their instructions. This is a very difficult step for me. In fact, I may have told my PT I hate him (but we know I don’t). It is also extremely important to figure out what your body can do (I had to start with just swimming). This is what will help you keep your sanity and keep you from feeling sorry for yourself. Staying positive is difficult, especially if you are in pain. But at the end of the day, we should be thankful it isn’t any worse than it is. Lastly, use your extra time wisely. Most people always say, “I don’t have enough time for…”. But you do have time when you’re injured because you’re not training. So, you can now use that time for something that has been put on the back burner, like writing a blog or doing your PT exercises.
It takes effort to stay positive while injured, so surround yourself with happy, supportive people, and read inspiring stories. Make a list of things you are grateful for and make a plan for what you will do next. Once you are healed, you will come back stronger than ever! Yes, being injured does really suck, but moving forward and winning in spite of it might be the best reward you will ever give yourself.