From Jenn

Life After an Injury: I’m Baaack…and Better Than Ever

happy girl

Credit: pasotraspaso

Okay, so I may not be fully back from the ironic broken-bottomed running injury, but I’m leaps and bounds better than I was before. And I no longer have my sad pants on because I can run. I can really run! And at my own body weight outside, without the help of this amazing piece of technology!

Yes, through awesome treatments, twice-daily rear-strengthening exercises and the expertise of this man, I can now lunge and squat in moderation, and I’m up to running two to three miles a few times a week with little to no pain. Being “back,” is a huge relief. As I lamented in this “being injured sucks” post, I missed running and regular cardio workouts…BADLY. And while I tried to put a positive spin on the situation, I really did struggle with being on the sidelines for four months. My normal mode of dealing with stress was gone, and I had no runner’s high to lift me up after a hard day at work or after a stressful situation. Without working out, I was without my coping mechanisms.

So I struggled. Weight came on easily. I became more out of touch with my body. Intuitive eating seemed much, much harder. My massage therapist noticed that I wasn’t myself. Overall, I was just off. To remedy all of this I turned inward, somewhat logically and somewhat spiritually (I am a bit hippity-dippity, after all). I decided to take all of the free time I had (because I wasn’t working out or training nearly as much as before) and turn it into pure me time. I made it a point to meditate, not occasionally, but every night before bed. I decided to cut out mindless zone-out TV time and replace it with activities that made me feel good—writing free form in my journal, going on long, slow walks with my dog, reading a book for pleasure, trying out a new recipe. And I gave myself permission to just sit and be, something that I would rarely do pre-injury.

As I spent more time with me being purely myself, I started to ask myself some questions. Do the foods I eat really nourish me and make me feel my best? What is balance anyway (and how the hell do I get it)? Do my ambitions—fitness and career—sometimes get in the way of me really living? Yeah, some heavy stuff. And while I didn’t have the answers then (and still don’t totally have them now), I realized that while most people think I’m a total health-nut who only eats salad and is crazy for getting up early and working out, in many ways I’m still not always completely well. I work A LOT. I don’t always get my sleep. I can get stressed easily. I burn out often. I’m usually drained by the weekend. So while I may be “fit,” I’m not always well. Big difference.

women food godAfter catching an episode of Oprah that really resonated with me, I picked up the book Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything. Holy crap, it changed me. It should be a reading requirement for every woman, as it really helps you understand how past events and feelings in your life can limit you (even from a happy childhood!) and how you can overcome them. After finishing that book, I started treating myself in a whole new loving way, and I felt like I immediately lost 5 pounds of emotional baggage that had been holding me back. (Including the idea that I learned as a teenager that if I’m the people-pleasing, funny, in-shape yet not too buff or skinny girl, who is happy with everyone and everything always, I’ll be liked by everyone and never feel left out or ostracized or have mean, jealous things said about me—I’ll also rarely get a chance to be myself most of the time and look as good and as fit as I can.)

reduce stressSpiritual awakenings aside, I also started to better deal with my stress. A company called Prescription Audio contacted us and asked if we’d like to try one of their many downloads that use sound therapy to help people reduce stress, sleep better, lose weight and more. I happily downloaded their 24-minute “Chill” program, put it on my iPod and zoned the heck out. Actually, I went into such a state of relaxation that I think I fell asleep, but in such a restorative way. It was awesome. I highly recommend it for that long day when you just can’t seem to get yourself to relax. This will do it.

And I’ve been taking more time out to be with friends and family. I’m saying yes to the things I want to do. And no to the things I don’t want to do or just feel obligated to do. I’m going to bed earlier. I’m getting up before the sun rises. I’m enjoying every single sip of wine, but limiting myself to just two glasses on the weekends. I am in the process of being my best self. And I’m enjoying it all.

So, now that I’m on the mend, what has this injury really taught me? That you can’t just focus on one thing (for me: running) to feel good. You have to look at the whole picture. And your total well-being. I cursed my injury for a long time, but now I think it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me. —Jenn

Want to try Prescription Audio’s Chill program yourself? Leave a comment within the next week, and we’ll select one random reader to win the CD. U.S. and Canada (expect the Province of Quebec due to regulations) residents only, please. The winner will be directly notified by email. Click here for official rules. G’luck!

And if you don’t win, don’t despair. Prescription Audio is giving all FBG readers worldwide 50 percent off all downloadable mp3 products on www.prescriptionaudio.com. Just enter the code “FitBottomed” at checkout. The coupon expires August 31, 2010.



Comments

  1. says

    I’d love to try the Prescription Audio! Also, that book has been on my reading list for a little while now. Come on, library, send it to me! :) I’m even more psyched to read it now.

  2. Danielle says

    That CD sounds awesome! And I really want to read “Women Food and God,” too…it’s next on my list right after I (start) and finish “Fit From Within” ;)

  3. says

    I’ve been lurking on this site for a while but had to comment today – much empathy as I’m going through something similar. It is incredible the difference it makes not being able to train or even move like you normally do. And yes been doing a reasessment of how my life balances out. That book on “Women Food and God’ sounds great, off to Amazon! Thanks – and good luck with your recovery!!

  4. says

    Wow, Jenn! You are BACK!! :) As they say in When Harry Met Sally… “I’ll have what she’s having!” *grin*

    I loved Women, Food & God, too and reread it over the weekend. For me, one of the most important lessons is THINKING about whether I’m eating to soothe myself or eating because I’m hungry. That “stop and think” lesson alone has brought about some profound realizations in my life.

  5. nellie says

    Great post! I’ve been injured and not running for just over a year now and your healing process really resonates with me. I’ve been addressing things that I should have fixed years ago. They’ve now just finally manifested themselves as a series of injuries. I haven’t had the money to get much outside therapy/advice, but have realized that I need to balance myself AS A WHOLE PERSON before I can start progressing again. I’m sick of trying to ‘balance’ all these things in my life and not really LIVING!

    Oh, and the prescription audio sounds awesome!

  6. Elliott says

    I too, would love a copy of the “Chill” cd. Sometimes I think we are so used to pleasing other people that we leave ourselves and our happiness by the wayside.

  7. Melissa says

    Would love to try out a Prescription Audio program. Because I have fibromyalgia I’m always looking for ways to reduce my stress levels and increase my relaxation.

  8. janet says

    An “injury” can be much more than just physical…we can heal our physical body but our emotional, spiritual, social selves also need to heal and be back to a better than ever state!! These CDs sound awesome! Thanks for always introducing such amazing products and ideas :-)

  9. brandy says

    I would love to know what you did for rear strengthening exercises. I’m nursing a piriformis syndrome. So annoying. 3 weeks no running so far. Getting very anxious and antsy.

  10. Dorie says

    That prescription audio chill program sounds like just what I need! I have a hard time stopping my brain long enough to rest or even think. I am putting that book on my must-read list! I’m glad you were able to make a positive out of your negative situation!

  11. Amy says

    Thanks for this post! I ruptured my left calf muscle this weekend, so I’m off my foot for at least 6 weeks. I, too, use fitness as a daily coping mechanism and am trying to figure out how to direct my energies. Your insight and wisdom couldn’t have come at a better time!

  12. Jill Dupre says

    I would love to try the chill program. I have fibromyalgia, tmj (severe), anxiety, depression, and bad disks in my back. I also have tons of stress at home having care of my elderly mom and daughter with emotional issues. Would be nice to just tune out for a few minutes to restore my sanity…that is if i have any left in there…LOL I am tired of pills and unhealthy ways of dealing with it all.

  13. says

    Congratulations on finishing your PT and getting back into the swing of things! You’re always trying so hard to motivate and lift up your readers, it makes me sad to think that it was sometimes so hard on you. Glad that you’ve been able to find some balance.

  14. says

    Brandy — I do a number of things, including Monster Walks:
    • Loop a small length of elastic tubing around thighs, just above the knees or use a resistance tubing with handles and stand on it with feet shoulder width apart.
    • Bend knees slightly and start stepping sideways, taking small steps.
    • Avoid excessive motion: shoulders should stay over hips and avoid any see-saw type action
    • Change direction and repeat

    And, Pilates clams:
    http://www.activefitnessworld.com/articles/pilates/clam.php

    Give ‘em a try! :)
    Jenn

  15. Yasuko Jung says

    The CD sounds interesting and I’d like to try one – hope my exhausted mind and soul will chill!!

  16. Courtbey says

    Your injury journey sounds so much like mine! I am missing my cardio terribly these days. I’m so glad to hear that you are finally up and running (literally), it gives me good vibes that I’ll be back at it soon too! Prescription Audio sounds amazing! Anything I can do to relax is a bonus!!!

  17. Kristin says

    I enjoyed this. I too am recovering from extensive hand surgery which has kept me from my kickboxing and upper body workouts for a month now. That was my coping mechanism for stress. I miss it so much, physically and mentally. I have been forced to “turn off” and have had to learn to slow down. I have enjoyed sleeping in, being with my dogs, talking longer with friends. I hope to take these lessons back into my crazy workd as I start work again next week. I would love to read this book and try the audio as balance and stress management has always been a struggle for me.

  18. Runner Girl says

    Sounds great to me! I’m always up for trying something new! I would love to win! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! :)

  19. Nicole says

    great post. sometimes we are given lessons we aren’t always ready to hear, but then the universe literally makes you sit down and listen!