Regardless of your sport, an injury is never good news.
Perhaps you heard the crack as your bone snapped before it gave out from under you.
Maybe you pushed your body beyond its limit and it is inflamed and tired.
Conceivably your ego took over, you went beyond your limits only to come crashing down.
After the initial trauma, treatments, and the healing have occurred are you ever ready to go back? Will you be the same athlete you once were?
Do you recognize this “new” body? Can you accept this new version of you?
Doubt clouds your mind, and you begin to question yourself.
If you go back out there will you injure yourself again?
Will your body support you? Will you be able to trust your body?
Are you fully healed enough to play again?
Perhaps the body is healed, but what about the mind? How do you let go of that fear?
Will they see the self doubt in your eyes?
Dozens of questions, and loads of self doubt, run through your mind after sustaining an injury.
Our bodies are strong, amazing machines, and they will heal. Typically, it is our mind that holds us back.
Overcoming the fear and self doubt through mindful meditation is what has helped me heal my body and mind after an injury. Meditation is a powerful tool and is crucial during healing.
Back bending was always ‘my thing’. I took great pride in my insanely deep backbends and heart openers in my yoga practice. I loved the rush of energy and the purge of emotions; and of course my ego loved the attention when a teacher would ask me to demo.
Even though I played a sport every season, (soccer, track, softball, swimming and tennis) I was never a serious athlete. In fact, I only ever won awards in two of those sports. When I discovered yoga it seemed like a natural fit, my body loved it and seemed to handle the challenging postures with ease and grace. I fell in love with yoga so much so, that I became a yoga teacher, an excellent addition to my personal training and sports medicine background.
November 2017 my world came crashing down on me a bit, as I sustained my first serious injury.
I injured my back during a yoga class, after completing one of my beloved backbends. I felt sharp and uncomfortable pain, almost as if there was a knife between my vertebrae.
For the next several days and weeks my back was out… I was barely able to move. I was not able to stand for long periods of time, and sitting was painfully uncomfortable.
I would bend over to pick up my phone charger off a chair, and I would get stuck halfway down with tears running down my face, literally unable to move as sharp stabbing pain radiating through my back. It was scary and traumatizing.
The insane pain would dissipate, and slowly achy dull pain would take its place. I was unable to practice my yoga, I was unable to run, or lift weights. My job became to heal. I struggled to do my work and see clients.
The pain would slowly fade after 3 months, then I would feel this immense sense of freedom in my body. I would slowly begin to take gentle yoga, then vinyasa, then jogging … easing my body back into its routine. I was cautious, I did not want to go backwards. I couldn’t go back there.
The physical pain was one thing, and I was learning how to adapt my business fitness lifestyle. The mental game was another, this proved much tougher for me to move through and overcome. I felt a loss from not being able to connect to my body and my yoga practice the way I was used to.
This freedom period would last about 4 weeks in the beginning, then I would do something unknowingly and my back would go out again. This pattern went on for over a year. I would be fine for a few weeks, then I would take several steps back into pain and being unable to move. The period of freedom would begin to elongate over the next year, and the pain periods would heal quicker. I saw several different therapist, doctors, acupuncturist and healers all of which had different answers and all medical testing was virtually inconclusive. I still have no definite answers as to the problem. Unfortunately, this is something that I still deal with on a regular basis. The difference now is that I am learning how to listen to my body. I am tuning in to what my body needs instead of pushing through another power yoga class, perhaps choosing a gentle or restorative class instead. I am intuitively learning what my body needs, and accepting that.
Everyone’s journey to healing is different. If you are currently moving through an injury, I see you, don’t give up. Your body will heal, and you will still do great things.
Comment below and tell me about how your healed from an injury.