Hello, lovely friends…
Today, I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind…a lot. If you’ve ever found an injury getting in the way of your goals, you know how it feels to be frustrated and probably pretty impatient with yourself. Maybe you’ve been playing a sport for your entire life, and a torn ACL puts you on the sideline for months. Or maybe you’ve always loved gymnastics, but you’ve developed chronic back pain and it’s been getting in your way. Or maybe the exercise you love most- which, for me, is running- just finds every way to wreak havoc on your body.
After a bad case of hip flexor tendonitis and two sprained ankles, I think it’s safe to say that I have a history of overdoing it. Meaning, I finally get healthy enough to start jogging around again, and before I realize I’m going a bit too crazy, something hurts and I’m back to square one.
By now, you can probably see a bit into my negative mindset toward injuries. I’ve learned to associate “something hurts” with “well this sucks because I can’t do anything.” But this time, I’m trying my very best to see opportunities instead of reasons to give up. Instead of focusing on the fact that running is not possible for the next six weeks, I try to remind myself; what a perfect opportunity to work on upper body strength! I’ll practice my headstands and find more core workouts! And it’s been a big change, to be honest. But this process has revealed an even deeper lesson about health: your approach to a healthy lifestyle should not be driven by what you don’t like about yourself. This is the big one, okay! Why?? Well…
Curating your health routine based on something negative will create a problematic relationship with diet and exercise. If you’re always equating “healthy” with making yourself miserable and depriving yourself, then you’re either going to quit and go back to your old routine or become obsessed and burn yourself out. Neither option is good. So using my personal example, if I approached healing my ankle in a negative way- telling myself it’s going to take too long, that there’s nothing left for me to do safely- I’m creating a bad connection with this injury instead of turning my focus to nurturing it. And here’s what the positive side looks like: I have the opportunity to learn more ankle strengthening exercises and find which ones work for me. I will focus on alignment and strength building so that I have tools to avoid future injuries. I have plenty of time to get back to where I was in my physical health.
And avoid comparing yourself to A) healthy people who don’t have the same injury you do or B) yourself before the injury and all you were able to do.
In the health and wellness world, you have to look at everything as a new opportunity. You can never just assume one injury means it’s over. That’s why we have physical therapy and yoga therapy and acupuncture and a million other options. Your body is a mothereffing powerhouse and it will always (ALWAYS) show you who’s boss. Don’t go to war with it. Be on your own side.
So there’s some of my little story and I really, really hope this inspires you.
Thanks for reading <3