Positivity

Finding Happiness Again

Ah, staying positive.

This idea is a whole lot easier said than done. You can put on a good face for others and talk about the subject lightly…but deep down there is usually a fear and uneasiness.

This is because of uncertainty. There is so much uncertainty surrounding an injury! What is this pain I’m feeling? Maybe it’s nothing…or am I getting injured? What is the injury exactly? If I skip my run today will it feel better tomorrow? How long till it goes away? Why won’t my injury heal?!? There are so many questions that no one knows the answer to. They swirl around your brain, feeding you the worst case scenario.

Staying positive can seem impossible.

So, how does one achieve positivity?
How does someone put the fear and anger and hopelessness aside?

Perspective.

Your perspective of a situation can completely transform it.

Now I’m not saying you have to look at the bright side of every circumstance and be happy all the time! That would be exhausting. But… having a realistic, optimistic view of your situation can make the world of a difference.

Look at the big picture.
Instead of viewing your injury as the worst thing in the world that could have ever happened. Take a deep breath and think about your life as a whole. Think about your running career as a whole. This injury is a very small portion of the pie. So, you recognize that things are going to change for a while. It’s not going to be easy, and in the short term you’ll probably be disappointed to be missing out on whatever you had planned…but…you will learn and grow from this experience. In the long run it will make you mentally stronger than ever before. Looking at the big picture gets us out of our short term obsession and allows us to see the brushed over benefits.

Step 2: Change how you view your body.
Do not perceive your body as failing you. When you were a child and scuffed up your knees, your body healed. You did not have to think about growing new cells over the wound…you did not have to muster up all your energy and brainpower toward healing…instead, your body knew what to do…and within a few days, the cut got smaller and smaller.
Now, it’s time to appreciate this aspect of yourself. Our bones, muscles, tendons, everything…are not stagnant objects. They can be strengthened! They can change, repair, grow and become strong. Time will heal your injury and your body is already starting this healing process. You can aid in the strengthening of your body. Performing the exercises prescribed to help your injury and the muscles surrounding it will certainly pay off. Be diligent and smart during your recovery to make the healing process as easy as possible for your body. It’s time to appreciate your biological human self.

Step 3: Find things to be thankful for
Time to make an internal list of wonderful things in your life…trust me, this helps. Where do you find joy? Who are the people that make you laugh and smile? What is your favorite spot to eat? Did you see any nature today? Did anyone hold the door for you? It’s time to notice all the good and beauty surrounding you. If you can consistently focus on the aspects of  life that create bliss and good around you…it will bring you happiness and appreciation. It will trump the sadness injury causes you. It will rejuvenate your spirit and keep you upbeat during recovery. Just start noticing.

So…do not let your injury defeat you. Rise above. Change your perspective…find your positivity…and you will heal.

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The waiting game

Finding Happiness Again

Being injured is a waiting game.

Waiting for the day you’re allowed to run again…

Waiting for your injury to heal…

Waiting to get back into shape…

Waiting.

It’s easy to go into auto pilot and become complacent as you wait for something to happen…something to make your injury go away…something to make things better…something to bring back the ‘old you’. It’s hard not to let your injury encompass your life and way of thinking.

Very few people will even notice that you’re trapped in this waiting game. Especially the longer your injury persists. Everyone has their own problems. The longer you’re injured, the more distant your situation becomes, and the more likely someone is to assume, “eh…they must be used to it.”

Well…you never get used to it.

So, now what?

You could relish in the past of how good things used to be…or put your happiness on hold until you’re healthy again…..
OR you can live for this moment and stop waiting.

Stop waiting for something to happen.

It is time to change your mindset.
You will get healthy again…everything you’re “waiting for” will come to you…it will take time and work. Accept that.
Make the choices that support your goal of coming back, but do not dwell on the process. You need to find a balance between commitment to recovery and making the most of every day with the cards you’re dealt.

What are you thankful for?

I promise running is not the only thing that generates happiness. Embrace the people around you in your life who make you smile and laugh. Notice the little things. Latch onto positive energy.

In the midst of your recovery, I challenge you to find those other sources of bliss…appreciate the good in your life…and stop waiting.

Time to heal

Healing Advice

“Have fun on the bike!”

Smh…When uninjured folk reference any sort of cross training as “fun”…well, let’s just say they are thisss close to being punched in the face.

For a runner…biking, ellipticalling, swimming, whatever you try…just doesn’t cut it. We are runners. We love to run.

Cross training blows…plain and simple. Maybe if you were healthy and added in some supplemental cross training it wasn’t too bad…but when running is eliminated, and cross training is your only option…that’s when it seems like the worst activity of the day. But hey, keeping your body active is important, and any exercise it’s better than none.

In my experience, aqua jogging and swimming are some of the best forms of cross training I find to be truly beneficial over the long term and semi-close to running. I know, it’s nowhere as good as the real thing, but you can get your heart rate up and put on a sweat without all the impact.

However, during your recovery period, it is time to heal. Do not perform a type of cross training that causes pain or discomfort from your injury…this defeats the point of finding an alternative activity. Sometimes it will take a week or two after the initial point of injury to even start cross training. This is okay. Do not freak out. Often times people will get injured and proceed to rush into cross training full blown, powering through discomfort, desperate to return to their sport. Being determined to stay in shape and cross train your butt off is a good thing! Yet, everything needs to have balance. Give yourself time to find these new muscles you weren’t used to using when running. Be diligent in your cross training, but patient and observant of how your body feels. Once you feel comfortable with the exercise, bump it up and challenge yourself, just don’t overdo it and risk putting yourself two steps back.

Remember, no one knows what your injury feels like, except you. If you are taking direction from a coach or trainer, keep communication open. If they want you to bike, but you feel your injury/pain on the bike…do not bike! They do not know what your injury feels like, only you know that. Keep communication lines open and if one form of cross training hurts, voice your concern and try another.

During this time of healing, it is also important to get a lot of rest. Sleep. Sleep a lot. Your body will thank you as it needs extra rest to repair your injury.

As hard as it is, eat healthy and nourish your body. When you can’t run to burn off the huge pizza and fries you just ate, it can take a toll on your body and make you feel like crap overall. I get it, when you’re sad the idea of stuffing your face to forget about your unhappiness can seem like the answer. Alas, it is not. Protein, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, are all needed to help you heal and keep your metabolism in tip top shape. Having good nutrition can make your self esteem so much better as you will look good and feel good despite your injury and perception of falling out of shape.

Lastly, have patience. Your body is a dynamic masterpiece. It knows how to heal and will do it’s job. Your job is to do everything you can externally to assist it. Listen to your body, treat it right, and give yourself time.

One day at a time

Early Stage Shock

Congratulations, you will now notice every single jogger, walker, or runner bumbling down the street!

…and I guarantee that same repetitive question of “why did this happen to me!?!” will be swirling around your brain…usually accompanied by envy and helplessness.

When something you love is suddenly gone, it can seem impossible to cope or take your mind off of it.

For a runner, a good run is the greatest form of exercise for the mind and body. It is an escape from the world, that leaves you feeling strong and happy. Nothing can replicate it. Having that taken away overnight is simply awful.

It may seem that all happiness is pinned on this one action that you can no longer grasp.

So, take things one day at a time. Your body needs to heal. Stay positive and focus on the other aspects of your daily life that bring you happiness.

Being injured will create a whole new appreciation for the smallest things…and when you do come back, your love and appreciation for running will shine through even the crappiest of runs.

Let’s get one thing straight…

The Truth of Injury

No one is going to care about your injury.

Alright, that was a little harsh. Let me reword that…

No one is going to care about your injury like YOU care about it.

Before you disagree entirely, allow me to explain…

Your parents, coaches, teammates, friends…they will all care, but not like you do. They will care because they probably love you and want you to be happy. Maybe they care because the team needs you. They probably know that being injured is hard for you and they care about your well-being and want to support you.

People will drop you inspirational quotes on the regular…especially in the beginning. “You’ll be back in no time!” “You’ll lick this injury and be ready to compete before you know it!” Oh how easy it is to give an optimistic and easy response! We’ve all done it…because that’s what we’ve been taught…happy endings, the underdog making a comeback, people defying all odds! Oh, so easy to preach…and boy, doesn’t it sound so great?

Now, I’m not here to tell you that these people are insensitive or wrong. Dozens of injured athletes are able to come back to the sport they love. You may be surrounded by support or you may not. But here’s what you need to know: it is just you. You and your body.

No one will care about your injury with the same passion, frustration, and yearning that you feel. No one can replicate that. You are alone.

But…this is your power…your secret weapon. Accept that you are alone. YOU are the only one in control of your outcome. How will you go about reversing your fate. How will you defy the odds stacked against you? No one can decide that except you.

The Painful Truth

Early Stage Shock

When you first find out you are injured, it is a shocking and numbing experience.

Maybe you recognized the precursors of pain, but thought you would overcome it…maybe it was poor decision making over and over that in hindsight was so obvious…or maybe it happened in a split second and there’s nothing you could have done. Regardless of the situation, here you are…feeling cheated and angry at the universe.

Now, I’m not talking about an injury that lasts two days. I’m talking about sitting in that doctors office and hearing them tell you it’s going to be 4-6 weeks…6 months to a year…or even 18 to 24 months of recovery.

It is at this time when you can feel your heart pounding through your chest. When you feel that lump in your throat sit so uncomfortably it is impossible to ignore. This awful fate that fell upon you wasn’t your fault and you did not ask for it.

“Why me?..why did this have to happen to me?!..Why is my body failing me!?” You can ask the heavens all the questions you want. You can cry. You can scream at the top of your lungs. You can throw something across the room. However, it will not change anything. It will not make you happier. It will not make you heal any faster.

So, take a moment to embrace your anger and sadness. Take a few deep breaths. Feel your body taking in the air and letting it out. Now, calm down, pull yourself together..advice is on its way.