Coping with Life on the Injured List

Suffice it to say that 2013 hasn’t quite gone as planned from a workout standpoint. The Blue Ridge Marathon was on my calendar along with the Mountain Junkies RNUTS trail series. Unfortunately my hip wasn’t happy with all of that running and after limping along in a 10-mile race in February I knew it was time to take a break, see a Doctor, and let my body heal. After taking several weeks completely off of running, I was working my way back in to it with short but fast interval training. My goal was to have some fun, slowly add back the miles, and then get in to training over the summer for the Blue Ridge Relay – a 48-hour, 208 mile team running event that starts in Virginia and ends in Asheville, NC. All was going great…

Then, in the middle of May (also known as finals week) while messing around playing some soccer I injure my ankle. Assuming it was just sprained and really not having the time to deal with it, I slapped on a dinky little Aircast and went about my life. Two weeks off of running and I thought, “I am so ready to get moving“. WRONG. Talk about painful. I finally went and got it checked out by people a bit more qualified than myself. X-ray says…fracture.

Plan of attack – 1.5 more weeks in the boot then I go back to the orthopedic for more x-rays and possibly a MRI to check for ligament issues.

broken ankle

So now what? Do I spend the next few weeks/months drowning my sorrows with Ben & Jerry’s? Heck no! (although, that does sound tempting for a day or two). This is how I am coping:

Number 1: Be emotional. I let myself feel upset, sad, angry, scared and so on. No use in pretending all is fine and dandy when it is not. That mixture of emotion wasn’t just going to go away so I let myself feel it. I let myself think all of the “what ifs”. I threw myself a pity party with the mantra, “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!”.

Number 2: Be objective and assess the situation rationally. Approaching this injury with the perspective of an outsider really helped. The truth is, I have been injured before and I have come back from it. While being sidelined and unable to do a lot of workouts I would like is not ideal, it is certainly not the end of the world. Not even close.

Number 3: Do what you can do. Running is out. Most of my lower body lifts are out. Hiking…also not an option. Rock climbing…ha, not happening. As a RD, when working with clients with dietary restrictions it is important to shift the focus away from what they can’t eat and instead put the emphasis on what they CAN include. So that is the approach I am taking with my workouts. Changing up my lifts is an easy fix and while it bores me almost to tears, the stationary bike is available for my cardio fix. Who knows, maybe I will even get brave and swim some laps, too.

It may not be ideal, but being stuck on the injured list isn’t so bad.

Help me out. How do you cope with injuries? What has been your toughest obstacle to overcome when sidelined?

-Tanya

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10 thoughts on “Coping with Life on the Injured List

  1. sklloyd15 says:

    Tanya, I remember having an injured ankle for a year (I kept spraining it) when I was dancing. it sidelined me for much longer than I would have liked and I wasn’t flexible or positive like you are in this. I like that you are looking at this as a way to find new things in exercise! You might like the pool! Have you tried a spin class? Those are pretty intense with the right instructor!

    • Tanya says:

      I do like spin classes. Only issue is, spin bikes and my boot are not all that compatible. the wide pedals on the recumbent/upright stationary biked work better. You’re right though, I should do that. Easier to push hard when surrounded by other folks working their butts off too.

      Thanks Shannon! 🙂

  2. martvic21 says:

    I’m a little late in reading this post, but in case a situation like this ever comes up again I would strongly suggest trying to use an elliptical. I’ve two knee surgeries and getting my cardio on the elliptical was a lifesaver. It’s tough with certain injuries but your boot looks like something that might allow you to totally rock out on that thing

  3. Anonymous says:

    As I’m currently recovering from a knee injury, I think #3 is most important. I’d like to add that, crazy as it sounds, injury and illness are essential. It’s easy for me to take my health and wellness for granted. Being sick and/or injured humbles me. I end up coming back with a newfound respect for being healthy and a greater intensity in my subsequent training sessions. It’s almost like re-booting your computer for updates after it’s been running slow. Can’t wait to get back to the gym and the pavement!

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