As I write this blog post, it has been confirmed that I have a stress fracture along the posterior tibial tendon on my LEFT ankle. What else can possibly happen now? So here I sit in a boot drinking coffee, pretty much shut down and not allowed to run or pound on my ankle for a while. Which brings me to the purpose of this post- to help athletes deal with the mental and emotional stress of being injured and not being able to do their sport. This is totally my own opinion, not based on any research or anything like that, but on many years of training and racing. Here are my 5 BEST tips for staying positive when injured:
1. Reflect and look back on ALL you have accomplished up to this point. You didn't get injured sitting around watching soaps on TV. Chances are you've trained hard and accomplished something you can be proud of. A new PR, a Podium finish, a faster swim time, faster transition time, etc. Let yourself own those accomplishments..
2. Believe that this is your body telling you you it needs a break. Why else would it break down? That's why these are called OVERUSE injuries. Trust that it will heal if you just LET IT. Chances are you have been injured before and you eventually healed from that so why would now be any different?
3. Think about what you can do to help SOMEONE ELSE. This takes the focus off of you and your situation. Write a handwritten thank you note to somebody you've been meaning to thank. Call a few people you've been meaning to catch up with. Write down everybody's birthdays in your family and go buy cards for the next 6 months. Draw your attention away from you. This is liberating, trust me.
4. Choose the sport you CAN DO and do more of that. If you can't run because of a stress fracture, then spend more time in the pool perfecting your strokes, increasing your yardage, etc. Take a few lessons from the swim coach to brush up on your form. If you have a shoulder injury and can't swim or ride, then focus on your run. You can set up a tripod at the track and video yourself to check your form. There is always STRENGTH TRAINING too-this is necessary for all athletes and there are so many ways to do this- check out my YouTube Channel for some great ideas!
5. Pray. Spend more time with God. This will invigorate you and release some of your stress. (If you don't pray then meditate or something along those lines.) Write down what you are thankful for each day. This teaches you to see the world around you as ABUNDANT and not LACKING and creates a positive energy around you. Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to changing your mindset. It's kinda like seeing the glass as half full more often. There is always something to be thankful for. Someone else has a lot worse situation or injury than you.
I hope this helps you. Nobody likes being injured. It totally sucks I know, but focus on all of the positives and push the negatives out of your mind and you'll feel tons better!
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