A little while ago I decided to write the “discussion point” for our monthly club newsletter based on my own experience as I started on the road to recovery back from injury. As a personal trainer and the owner of our bootcamp I can be very hard on myself when it comes to my own fitness and the capability of my body to train… my wife reminds me that I must practice what I preach and listen to my body (and my trusted medical advisors!) and I thought it might help some of my members to share a bit of my own journey back from injury.
It has been a tough few months I have to say. It is the first time I have suffered any major injury, and I copped two in a row. First my back, then my calf. The physical challenges we face to overcome injuries are tough enough, but I think the mental ones are even harder. My training is a huge part of my emotional wellbeing as well as my physical health, so it has been hard going not being able to train! Ask those around me haha! However, I am well on the road to recovery now and wanted to share a little about my experience with you in the hope it may help if you if find yourself in this position. I have a mountain to climb to get back to my previous fitness level so if any of you are struggling, rest assured I know how you feel and I am in it with you… here are some things that I have learned over the past couple of months that are really helping me.
(1) Have a plan. First and foremost have a recovery plan, and stick to it…! Be open-minded about what that plan might include. For example, Pilates is not my strong point, but it was recommended to me so I have been doing it every week and I am definitely feeling the benefit. I might even be able to touch my toes one of these days!!! Get help to make your plan from those in the know so that you give yourself the best chance of success. Which brings me nicely onto:
(2) Listen to the experts! Ok so I am guilty of not always doing what I’m told… I know, that must shock you, I seem like such an angel 🙂 It is more important than ever though to listen to the experts when it comes to injury recovery. I have a fantastic physio who has been firm in telling me what I can and can’t do, and despite being frustrated at times, I have gritted my teeth and stuck by the advice. And it is paying dividends. I am healing well and can feel my strength returning. Now is when it is really important to stick to that advice though and not rush things as my body is vulnerable and it would be all too easy to take one step forward and two steps back if I push too hard, and I definitely don’t want that! Listening to the experts is equally important for injury prevention too, and that’s where I can help guide you to minimise your chances of suffering.
(3) Shift focus. While I haven’t been able to train I have shifted my attention to other areas of my health. I am always conscious of eating well but I have really decided to make this a priority at the moment. Physically it is great for me while I can’t burn off as many calories… but mentally it gives me something positive to be turning my attention to rather than feeling sorry for myself and comfort eating! Which just creates a vicious cycle that I’m sure many of us have got trapped in at times. I’ve also taken up a few things that I enjoy doing that perhaps I don’t always have time for, like playing the guitar. This may not sound remotely health and fitness related but making this time to do something we enjoy just for the sake of doing it is so important for mental and emotional health. Again, this is about focusing on the positive… on what I can do, not what I can’t. I’m studying again too, taking my nutrition coaching to the next level so I can get more involved in helping people to understand this aspect of their health.
So whilst I may get a bit down in the dumps occasionally because of my injuries, for the most part I am staying positive and embracing the opportunities that have opened up! I am learning a lot as I progress on my own personal journey of recovery! I hope some of it is useful for you too.