By Morne Van Greunen.
Let’s just be honest – being injured SUCKS and usually comes at the most inconvenient times ever! You are in great shape, your motivation levels are high and you are having an amazing race….and then out of nowhere BAM your body or fate or the universe just decides it’s time for you to STOP!
It has now been a month since I injured my ligaments and damaged some soft tissue in my right ankle while competing at this year’s Two Oceans trail race. It was around 16kms into the race, lying 3rd overall and that’s when it all happened. No more racing for a while…and then the disappointment sets in…you start question everything and you just feel sorry for yourself! Why must this happen now? I have been training so hard? Why?Why? Why?
But after a few weeks of no training and reassessment you realize it’s time to get real. You start reconnecting mind, body and soul and then the perspective returns followed by the magic moment when the mind goes into COME BACK MODE. You start dreaming of your return to “glory”… stronger, leaner and faster than ever before!
Some thoughts I would like to share:
Use this time to reflect and get the perspective back
A well-rounded and truly happy individual should have many sources of joy in their lives. If you rely on sport and training as your only source of joy it’s time to diversify.
“Think of it as having a mixed portfolio rather than investing in one entity.”
Reconnect with your soul
As athletes we are always aware and in tune with our bodies, (how they move, how we fuel them and how far we can push them), but we pay very little attention to our spiritual development and growth, which ties into the essence of our sport. In my opinion you can’t have one without the other. The human spirit thrives on performance, but without a nurtured soul you won’t be able to get very far.
Spend time with friends & family and here I am not referring to your usual training buddies. Use the time to check in with those who get neglected the most during the hard training months. Build up those much needed credits for when the training kicks off again.
Being “out of action” is also a great time to plan and set new goals. Whether you’re dreaming of your first marathon or a sub 40min 10k you’ll need a plan. Get the plan NOW so that you can start the journey when the injury has passed.
If you ask me, injuries are a blessing and NOT a curse; as long as you have the right mind-set and use the time wisely. See the time as a “gift” and invest in your soul while your body takes the time to heal.