There are many downsides to getting an injury — you may have pain, you may have to take a break from your exercise routine, or you may have some serious damage to your body. All of it sucks! But what if you chose to see your injury as something more than just a setback? What if you could use the experience as a teachable moment, an opportunity to learn so you can move forward in your life with more insight, even wisdom?
As a hip labral tear has made me rethink the way I use my body, I’m reflecting on the good things that this injury has taught me.
What I’ve Learned From Being Injured
1. To listen to my body. My injury didn’t happen overnight; it came from years of overuse. My body gave me the signs along the way that something was wrong, but I chose to ignore it. So as I was running, and my hip started aching, I ran through it. I always pushed through the pain because I was determined to stick to my workout no matter what. Our bodies know best. When something isn’t right, your body will let you know. It’s up to you on how you will respond. Now, as I go through a rehab program, I’m paying close attention to all the signs my body gives as I don’t want to trigger the injury. So if you notice a little pang of pain in your workout, tune in and notice what your body is telling you. The sooner you start to listen, the more in touch you’ll be, and the less likely you will get injured.
2. To slow down. As a yogi, I was always comfortable with the idea of slowing down — on the mat. But on the running path or during a HIIT session the last thing I wanted to do was go slow. The problem with moving too fast is that often our form gets sacrificed. As our alignment gets sloppy, we are more prone to injury. Now that I am actually injured, moving fast feels rushed. It’s harder to notice the signals when my body is rushing around. Going slowly allows me to be more mindful with my movement, which not only helps heal my injury, but also it keeps me more present in the rest of my life.
3. Nothing is permanent. The situation I’m in now, like everything in life, will change. Currently, I’m in PT for my injury, and that will eventually end, bringing me to a new situation. Whether my hip heals completely and I return to the running track, or I end up in surgery, it’s all just a phase, or season of life. If I can listen to my body and slow down along the way, I’m more equipped to enjoy myself as the seasons change.
How do you deal with injury? —Elysha