If you have ever done athletics or even been active, you know that sometimes you cannot avoid injury. Injuries happen. It’s just a strict fact of life. Sometimes they occur because you have done something too intense for too long, or sometimes because you haven’t done enough and your body can become a bit too brittle.
Regardless of those facts, injury takes not just a physical toll but a mental one as well. It can humble you and begin a slight process of grief and depression, where you focus becomes on that singular incident and you lose your mind over what has happened.
I want you to know that that is normal. What comes next is entirely up to you and today I want to share with you a quick story about one of our clients who shares an injury filled history but exudes a level of mental toughness that is quite impressive.
I have written about Lucy before and her back injuries and how she has overcome 20 years of sporadic pain using methods she has taken on over the years. Today, I want to share what recently happened and how it has inspired me to try and be better.
Over the last few months, Lucy has been getting shoulder and neck pain. It all started after a spill down the stairs and her reaching out for the railing. Now the typical response to any injury is give it two weeks, rest it, and see if it gets better. Following this protocol Lucy got no relief.
Like any of us, she became nervous about what was going on and sought out a professional to help her get to the bottom of what was going on. After some careful evaluation and MRI imaging, she was diagnosed with a tear in her rotator cuff.
Rotator cuff tears are common and can managed with some good physical therapy, pain medicine and possibly surgery. Her doctor talked with her and they felt that surgery was the best option. Now surgery along with injury can really send your mind into a whirlwind of questions and frenzy. You go back and forth with yourself, trying to claim that its not that bad or that after you get it, you will never be the same.
So, Lucy opted for the surgery. To be honest, I could tell she was nervous, so trying to calm her nerves I talked to her about how I underwent two shoulder surgeries and how that you could get better if you just prioritized the rehab after you did the surgery. I remember her looking at me and saying “ OH, Jim I plan on doing everything I can to get back to my current level of fitness”.
Real quick, Lucy is one of the strongest women I know. I have never seen a person bust out push-ups as easily as her. It’s really quite amazing. I know she wanted to keep that fact alive.
Now, because shoulder surgery is pretty intense you become limited in what you can do and should take the time to rest. Lucy, did just that. After some conversation with Haylin she put her member contract on freeze and took care of what she needed. During her time away she began the rehab process and also asked for our assistance with an at home workout she could do to maintain some level of fitness. Supercoach Pat designed something specifically for her, given what she could do.
Now, as of Monday, Lucy is back and ready to kick some butt. She has been cleared to exercise, but also needs to be a bit cautious given the recent surgery she underwent. She has told us what she is allowed to do with and without her arm. As a place that really wants our members to thrive and achieve a new level of fitness, we have listened to Lucy and put a program together that highlights the things she can do, but also with the conversations and exchange that she can let us know where she wants to go with her now current program.
After any injury, the goal should not be to get back to where you once were but actually get better than where you once were. That comes in a variety of forms. From the physical to the emotional to the mental aspects of training. Lucy has demonstrated to me that just because you are injured, does not mean you are defined by your injury(ies). Rather, it’s how you strive to get better after the fact.
If you have an injury or undergone something like this and want a place where you can feel heard and work on getting better, feel free to email us at Info@coreprinciples-sc.com or hit us up on facebook at Core Principles Strength and Conditioning.
Be well and always get better,