As someone who tends to ignore pain and refuses to hear my body’s cry for help, I struggle with being out-of-commission due to an injury. I am hard-headed. I push too hard. And in the end, I injure myself even further.
This is what I am currently dealing with. And let me tell you… it sucks and it’s hard for me to accept at times.
Let me go back a few months — I was training for the Tobacco Trail Half Marathon with Rev. On the last long practice run, I injured my I.T. band. It started hurting at mile 8, but I refused to stop and ran the full 13 miles that day. I was told numerous times by the team to stop and rest. But in my mind, I went there to run 13 miles, and I was going to finish the 13 miles. I’m hard-headed, have I mentioned that?
The next day I could not walk. And I officially dropped out of the ½ marathon the following weekend. I continued to workout, mostly weights and boxing; but I did not run for the next five weeks leading up to the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon. I was GOING to run in this one. No excuses. No one was going to stop me. It was mine and my husband’s first half marathon, and it was special because we were running it together. I was focused, determined, excited and scared out of my mind – all at the same time. I hadn’t run in five weeks and wasn’t sure how my body was going to respond.
At mile 4 my I.T. band started hurting, which I expected. But what I didn’t expect was that by mile 8 both of my knees and feet were screaming at me. I finished. I accomplished my goal. But my body was DONE.
The next day I could not walk. Again. This time it was my feet. After seeing a doctor, I realized I had severe tendinitis in both feet. The doctor recommended a boot for my right foot, which I refused because I knew it would immobilize me (which is exactly what the doctor wanted and what would heal me the fastest). There’s that hardheadedness coming out again.
For the past few weeks, I have put extra effort into “taking it easy.” I don’t like it. It’s foreign and uncomfortable for me. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It’s frustrating. And it’s discouraging. But in times like this, you have to be strong, take care of your body and push through in the best ways you know how. And making sure you have a strong support system to keep you on track. (I’ve been accused of needing a babysitter to make sure I don’t do anything crazy during workouts.)
So, all that to say… I am finally listening to my body. It needs rest and it needs to heal. That doesn’t mean I have to stop completely. And that’s what keeps me going each day. It’s the reason I get on a stationary bike for 30 minutes every day and stare in the mirror thinking “how much longer do I have to do this??”
One of my favorite quotes:
One day, my body will be better and I can get back to it. But until then, I’m caring for it the best way I know how.
Here are some tips for when you are injured.
1) Listen to your body. Know when to stop.
2) Focus on your body parts that are healthy.
3) Don’t use your injury as an excuse. Are there other exercises/stretches you can work into your daily routine? Swim instead of run? Yoga instead of weight training? Boxing instead of jumping? Try isometric exercises. Mix it up.
4) Stay positive. It is very easy to get in a slump due to an injury. Surround yourself with people that will help you heal, both physically and mentally.
Are you injured? How are you dealing with it?
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