When I get injured it’s easy to get wrapped up in a wave of negative emotions. I feel stupid and I get down on myself. “How did I let this happen? This is going to set back my training! What about my #gainz? Fuck it, I’m eating ice cream!”
Injuries, like any set backs, are an ever-present concern. With hard training comes the inevitable bump, bruise, sprain or worse. We have to learn strategies to deal with injuries. Just like any obstacle we can let them stop us or we can find a way around them.
The first step is to take responsibility. Even if you were struck by lightning, you have to own it. It’s your injury and you have to take 100% responsibility for it. Don’t blame others. Blame will only make you angry and slow down the process that will get you better. Take charge of the injury and figure out what has to be done whether it’s resting or doing rehab or getting the proper medical care.
The second step is to frame the injury as an opportunity. Maybe training has taken away time from another part of your life that needs some attention. Maybe this injury will allow you to train other neglected aspects of your fitness. Maybe this injury can teach you something about your body.
Step three is to manage your pain. Whether that pain is physical or emotional or both, you have to confront it and deal with it. Alcohol and sugar and drugs will numb the pain but won’t make it go away. You have to be brave and do the things that heal the pain. Sometimes it means having hard conversations with people. Sometimes it means doing rehab exercises or meditation. It could mean changing the way you eat or other habits in your life that make the pain worse. Living with pain over time will make you miserable so confront it now.
What you don’t want to do, what will ruin you, is to let the injury stop you dead in your tracks. Don’t let the injury turn you off of the thing that you love. Don’t let it make you bitter. Don’t let it turn you off your path down the road of self-medicating and self-destructive behavior. Don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals or being the best version of your self. You reside in your body but you are not your body. Your body may fail but that doesn’t mean your light has to diminish. Keep finding ways to be and do your best no matter what.