Is Injury an Insult?

 In Blog

I have had career ending injuries that actually didn’t end my career, although they DID put a BIG dent in my immediate plans, somehow it all came out OK. In fact, my life was enriched by injuries that I initially thought were insults.

My first injury was a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) along with a tear of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and a lateral meniscus tear. I was racing in a World Cup slalom in Sestriere, Italy. I came around a gate, somewhat in the “back seat” and when I fired my quads to get upright, my knee literally exploded. It hurt! I missed competing in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games because of it, but I survived. Down the road, I experienced more injuries and a total of 8 knee surgeries. To this day, I still get hurt, I still get angry, but in retrospect the injuries may have saved me from experiencing something worse and gave me down time to recover and explore other aspects of my life.

Lindsey Vonn just “blew her knee out”. That is ski racer jargon for the injury I described above: something to the likes of an ACL tear and some “a la carte” side damage like a torn meniscus, a fractured tibia, or a torn MCL. Word on the street is that Lindsey is “finished and she’ll never make it back for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.” I beg to differ. After every one of my surgeries, I came back stronger, refreshed, and motivated to prove that I could still kick ass. I’m sure Lindsey will too.

Let’s explore some of the basic aspects of why an injury is not an insult, and NOT the end of the world!

1) It gives you a chance to open doors to other aspects of your life.  Are you a jock? Maybe it is time to explore your scholarly side? Is it possible you are an artist? How about working on internal silence and mind calmness for when you get back in the game? You may learn how much you were missing something calm, cool, and collected by running yourself thin and working out too much! If you are injured, try to appreciate other avenues of accomplishment.

2) It gives your body a physical rest.  Recovering from injury usually involves pain. Pain limits what and how much you can do in your recovery. But pain also is there to keep you from overdoing it.  After my injuries, when physical therapy and training got too painful and the pain lasted more than 24 hours, I knew that I had done too much and we were going to fast. I would rake it back and, in retrospect, it was the perfect protection from overtraining.  I learned from this, and recovering from injury has taught me that it is important to leave something in the tank for other more important things, like the upcoming competition season!  I often couldn’t deal with competition pressure well if I was worn out from overtraining.  Injuries force your life into slow motion, and that is usually a good way to get perspective.

3) It teaches you about your body. Generally speaking, after an injury we all want to get better faster, so it is important to know about how your injury occurred, where the weakness might have been, and how to engineer your recovery around any possible setbacks. I used to ask the doctor exactly what was injured, what I was allowed to do, and why. I also got out my anatomy book and learned what was really going on inside my body, what was repaired and how it would heal best. In the end, I was well versed in my own anatomy and physiology, and it definitely was an advantage in the long run.

4) You will have the experience to help someone else cope. When you’re injured, there’s nothing like support from someone who’s been there. If you’ve been injured, you’ll have the wisdom and compassion to help another seek the positive side of being hurt, rather than doom. You will just have that much more character!

Let’s face it. Injury sucks. In the beginning, it IS an insult. You can feel anger, regret, pain, and sadness, but you will eventually have to get over that. Once you do, I hope this information helps you find ways to experience some positive outcomes. Hopefully you will be reasonable and learn what you must do to avoid injury. But if it happens, I hope this article will help you find Strength, Health and Happiness!

No Equipment Needed Workout (NEN):

*3 vertical jumps 3 squats 3 long jumps – 5 rounds~GO!
*Please warm up appropriately.


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