This is a call to action for those with injuries. I know they are testing your resilience. Be patient a while longer. The journey is long and arduous but the destination is worth it. Know that I started writing this blog while sitting in the doctors office waiting to find out if I would need a third surgery on my right shoulder. I feel your frustration.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. Injuries, I have learned, can be a great teacher and I have received my share of instruction over the years. Through it all I’ve become a better, smarter athlete and coach.
You could be the gal with the wrist that was tweaked 4 months ago or the maniac with a strained QL that likes to show itself after heavy deadlifts. Maybe you are the 30-something with a shoulder that gets angry from too many snatches or the soccer mom with an ankle that still suffers from a long past fall. You could even be the competitor whose elbow disagrees with high rep pull-ups. It matters not. If an injury has thrown a wrench into your training plan and has you at wits end, then follow along as I share 5 tips on how to deal with it.
Don’t train through the injury. Absolutely nothing good is going to come from continuing to use a part of your body that is no longer structurly sound. I know that you are tough as nails. I know that you hate the idea of stopping. I get it. It feels like you are quitting. Worse yet is the thought that those around you may think you are quitting. Trust me, I understand from where you are coming. Regardless, you must be disciplined and you must stop using that body part. Whatever damage was done will only be compounded through continued abuse. “Pain is temporary, pride is forever”, right? Tell me how proud you are going to be when you can no longer extend your shoulder or pick up your kid? You aren’t on a battlefield or in the Olympic arena. Don’t push through the injury. Further, for the love of everything that is holy, don’t show up the next day, and the day after that, ignoring the pain hoping things will go back to normal. They wont. Stop using the body part.
OK, you stopped using the battered and bloodied body part. Now what? Don’t wallow in self-pity. Negativity begets negativity. You are not the first person to get injured. You have both your legs in tact. You can walk upright. You have not lost your arm. Keep things in perspective. A positive mental attitude and sober outlook on reality does wonders for the soul and the recovery process. I find two types of people at physical therapy. The negative Nancy’s that always manage to find a reason something is not working, and the stalwarts that manage to find something that is working. A positive attitude tends to keep you focused on the task at hand and doing it to the required standard. Both are needed if you are going to heal up.
Don’t let the injury become an excuse. Few things are more painful than watching someone refuse to make time to exercise or those that say, “I’m inured. I can’t”. You are wrong. You can. You were faithful. You were driven. You established great habits. Those habits will be your champion but you must let them! They must be nurtured or they die. There is zero reason to stay out of the gym because of an injury. Work around it. Don’t be lazy.
Excellent! You want back in the gym. Let your coach modify the WOD for you so you can train. It is one of the reasons you pay us! Let us do our job. We love for this stuff and it’s what we are passionate about: taking care of everyone regardless of their circumstances. Let us work with you and help you work around your injury (not through your injury). Staying in the fight does two things for you. It keeps you strong and it keeps you fit. A strong, well-conditioned body heals more quickly than a flaccid, weak body. Second, remaining strong and fit is going to help you maintain that positive mental attitude that is essential to your speedy, thorough recovery. Please remember that you are not being a pain in the rear by having to modify the WOD. Modifying a WOD doesn’t speak to your worth as a human being or your value as a client. I can promise you that you are the only one passing judgement. Be kind to yourself.
You are back in the gym, you stopped feeling sorry for yourself, your coach is modifying for you, and you’re working around your injury. Regardless, the reality that your recovery may take a while starts to set in. The thought of being condemned to an AirDyne for 3 months is about as alluring as cutting off your own hand with a rusted butter knife. Establish some goals for yourself. Don’t just make it a 3-month death sentence where you are simply marking time. Pick an area in which you would like to see some improvement and work on it. Use your rehabilitation time as an opportunity to address a weakness. Your coaches can help you do this.
There it is. Don’t train through the injury. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Don’t let the injury become an excuse. Let your coach modify the workout so you can train. Establish some goals for yourself. Do those things and I promise you will see the quality of your workouts improve, the quality of your life improve, and your overall performance improve. Heck, the post shoulder surgery sled program I wrote for myself resulted in so much improvement to my 1 mile run time I’m trying to injure the other one. (Joke) Now get back in the fight, find your motivation, work around your injury, and make yourself HARD TO KILL.
LIVE – GET STRONG – WIN