Consider This Before Letting an Injury Stop You
By Amanda Adams-Welligee Coach
Injuries happen. It’s a fact of life. Whether it results from improper form while completing a movement, years of faulty movement patterns or a completely spontaneous accident, everyone will experience an injury and will have to learn to live through the recovery. Nothing profound there.
The differentiating factor between one injured individual and another is the way they choose to go about their recovery time. Of course, different injuries require different protocols. Large scale, debilitating injuries often require their own set of rules. I am speaking of the more common upper or lower body injuries that most of us have come in contact with (sprains, strains, fractures, impingement, etc).
Just over a year ago, I was training for my first half-marathon. I was clocking more miles each week than I ever had before, and the challenge on my own mental toughness to get me though it made me feel on top of the world.
Slowly, I started to notice something felt a little off. Following each run came a significant amount of pressure in my right foot that lasted until my next run, but diminished slightly during the run itself. As a health-fitness professional, I knew better, but I had the date of the race in mind and I pushed through it, successfully completing my race.
Long story short, after convincing myself to get it checked out as the pain began increasing post-race, I found out I had a stress fracture and ended up in a glamorous walking boot through the entire winter. Awesome.
Pause here. Did I say a) “Way to go on your race! Take the next few weeks off to recover and you’ll get back at it later” or b) never miss a planned work out following my injury diagnosis.
B my friends, I chose B.
How is that safe? How is that possible? I couldn’t even put my own body weight on my foot.
The answer lies in the amazing capabilities of the human body. We are often limited to the threshold that our own fears set for us. Trust your body. It is capable of a lot more than we often give it credit for. The approach to training during an injury should be aggressive, yet safe and logical. If it hurts, don’t do it. If makes you move in a compensatory way, don’t do it. But if you can effectively complete the movement pain-free, you are good to go! Simple as that.
This does not mean the workout itself will not change from pre-injury to post-injury. Yes, there will be modifications dependent on the injured area, but there is still plenty of room for a valuable workout. Knees hurt? You have hips to train! Twisted ankle? Time to focus more on everything above it! One side hurts? You still have a good side! Amazingly, our bodies are capable of transferring the benefits attained on one side of the body to the other side, even if it is not being worked to the same extent. Phenomenal, right?
The human body has proved that there is no reason to completely check out on your fitness goals due to an injury. We may need to crank our all or nothing mentality down a bit and complete a series of humbling workouts before truly progressing to where we were before the injury occurred, but the added benefits will only get you back to where you were that much faster and allow you to keep moving full steam ahead.
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Originally published at www.welligee.com on April 22, 2015.