Injuries suck – Part 2

Attitude is everything!

by Michael Fitz Patrick

Oh no! That nagging little twinge you thought was no big deal (probably kept it a secret from your coach too…tsk, tsk) has suddenly blown up and halted your training during the peak of a big build block. Yikes! Now your head is spinning as you lament over lost fitness in the coming days or weeks, you’ll miss out on key workouts. Don’t fret just yet.

The truth is you are in control of your injury as long as you approach it with the right mindset. Although sometimes it may feel like the injury is driving the bus, try taking yourself out of the equation. If you can do that, you remove the emotions surrounding the injury, which may be filled with disappointment, self-pity, and even fear. These emotions will only delay your progress, so let’s talk about how to flip the script.  

“STFU, (your name).”

This mindset is usually enough to snap me out of a negative and unproductive headspace. If you’re not familiar with this acronym, try Google, and if you are familiar, try saying it to yourself when you find your thoughts and emotions get in the way of progress. Stay calm and be practical. You got yourself into this pickle, so take the appropriate steps to find your way out. Please do yourself a favor, though, and get the heck out of your way!

Keeping a positive attitude can help in so many ways, even if you have to fake it until you feel it. Think of the last time your lousy attitude towards one thing marred other moments of your day, caused collateral stress, or unnecessarily affected your interactions with others. On the other hand, a positive attitude can help you maintain motivation, keep things in perspective, and speed up the recovery process. This attitude is 100% your choice, but by accepting and owning your injury, you can learn of yourself and grow through the process. 

It’s not always easy to see the end of an injury, so I tell my athletes to take just one positive action towards recovery. Hopefully, that one positive action leads to another, and another, until finally, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Remember how much you’ve invested in yourself already. Remember, you deserve to be happy in sport whether you’re punching through regular workouts like a champion or focusing on balancing movements prescribed by your physical therapist. It is all part of the whole.

My advice to you: 

Whether it takes 2 or 20 days, the injury will pass, and your sport will be waiting for your return. In the meantime, keep your chin up and look ahead to where you’re going. Don’t forget that everything you do is working towards your end goal, and that goal will still be there when it’s your time to reach it. In a society where we live and act at the moment, I think we forget that it’s the future that pulls us along.

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