As a fitness professional and athlete, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to go through was an injury that required surgery…and a lot more. Injuries can occur from a sudden instance or from something repeated over time. Injuries don’t just hurt you physically; the mental and emotional stress, and even financial burden, can be more painful. Everyone gets injured, but not everyone recovers.
Emotionally Shutting Down from Injuries
The last 12 months have been a little bit of a physical and emotional roller coaster; I injured my shoulder, then later, my knee. Having both my upper and lower body injured, made it much more difficult to train the way I wanted to, so I lost motivation to workout. It became a daily struggle to deal with the physical pain; everything from not being able to do familiar workouts, to how I got dressed in the morning. I had to adjust many aspects my life, and as a result, found myself “shutting down” emotionally to conserve energy and protect myself. I made work my top priority because work was familiar and easier to do…healing my injury was not as familiar, so making myself the top priority, fell to the waste side. I didn’t realize how much I had emotionally withdrawn until I started to see some of the people closest in my life withdraw from me as well. Once I realized these people were fading from my life, it shocked me into an emotional shift and I got off my ass to really address my injuries and make “me” the top priority. Things have completely changed for the better now; my surgery was a success, I’m training again, and I feel like my old self.
Positive Lessons Learned
So even with all the pain, stress and frustration of my injuries, there were positive and irreplaceable lessons I learned. I not only discovered a lot about my physical limits; I also gained a deeper appreciation on how to “listen” to my body, how to have a new trust and respect for my body, and I changed how I workout. The experience has made me a better fitness professional, a more knowledgeable trainer, a more compassionate person, and a great reminder that getting out of pain or helping people get out of “pain”, is a gift.
Should or Should Not
- You should go through pain first to learn how to heal it.
- You should acknowledge that you have an injury instead of denying it.
- You should put your ego aside and seek treatment because that’s what your body needs.
- You should do your treatment with love because that’s what your mind needs.
- And you should do your treatment consistently so your injury will heal and not become irreversible.
You may have to make major adjustments in your life, like changing jobs or going into debt…but your physical, mental and spiritual “health” is more important than anything else.
My last bit of advice when healing…don’t give up. There’s always someone out there going through what you are and can help, but ultimately you are the master of your health. And when you do heal, pay it forward. Share the wisdom from the healing, it will come back to you ten-fold. If you are “injured” or have been injured, here are the 6 steps I believe will help you in your healing.
- Step 1: Recognize you have an injury
- Step 2: Seek help
- Step 3: Start therapy
- Step 4: Stay focused
- Step 5: Apply what you learned to prevent future injuries…turn knowledge into wisdom
- Step 6: Pay it forward