This morning I woke up to Gratitude by The Beastie Boys playing in my head and the inspiration for this post.
Over the years I have had my fair share of injuries, some for a while and some for a short period of time. I used to disdain my injuries, they kept me from doing things I wanted to do, I was sore, cranky and felt that I was being held back. Now I try to look at them as a blessing, they let me know where the holes in my conditioning and recovery game are.
For recreational athletes (I define recreational as someone who competes or performs, isn’t paid or playing for/under scholarship) I feel the mindset of injuries as a blessing is super important to have. It allows us to accept the limitations we have prepared our bodies to handle and endure, most often times the injury is due to us not having enough information or ignoring the early warning signs our body is giving us.
A week before I began my 5 or so year journey of back spams I mentioned to a friend of mine how fatigued and sore my back was feeling while skateboarding. I should have seen that as a warning and addressed the issues at hand, but I ignored it (oh the wisdom of our 20’s…) and the next week my back went into full spasm by the time I got to my office I could hardly walk or stand up straight. Though it was miserable I don’t begrudge the years I had spasms, professionally it was the best injury training I have gotten. I learned about regression, progression, what modalities worked for me and what didn’t. I learned about pain management and also the emotional impact injuries have on people and athletes.
If you have a nagging injury that is holding you back, I suggest you begin to ask yourself three questions.
“Why did it happen?”
“What can I learn from it?”
“Who can help me recover?”
For athletes who have money or scholarships on the line I believe the same questions can and should be asked, the difference for them is their exploration time is much shorter. They cannot afford to explore an injury for 3, 6, 9 months or a year. It has to be resolved now or their career could possibly be cut short.
Practice Makes Improvement 🙂