In the first article we covered how an injury takes the ordinary and exaggerates it to the point of paralyzation. Whatever the age, activity level or injury, the effect is as unique as the person experiencing it. Athletes are more prone to the negative effects of injury simply because it takes them away from the activity they love, and therefore drastically change their lifestyle!
We determined that the first step for an injured athlete is Being Where You Are AT NOW. Although it's not easy it is as simple as a paradigm shift. As an athlete you like to look back and see progress. The thought that you may not have control over what is happening to parts of your body right now, is unnerving, but you do have control over how you see things. What appears on the surface as a tragedy can be a life-changing miracle if you embrace it.
To embrace change is to gain efficiency, because you narrow your options. So let's look at 'narrowing' your options, because taking the focus off of your injuries and putting it on your recovery is a way to get stronger, wiser and healthier. I'm not talking about wasting time lounging, reading and catching up on the soaps. I'm talking about getting to know yourself - perhaps for the first time. It's where your strength lays!
For me, focusing on the immediate tasks at hand is what got me through the most trying times. Even if the task was going to the bathroom unassisted...that is where my focus needed to be. Look at where you're at in the moment. If your priority is pain management, it will not help to deny your pain. It will also not help to take on the 'pain is gain' attitude as that will cause setbacks. Pain management is crucial for healing and assists in physical therapy. If you are in great pain, you will not be able to perform the proper form during physical therapy and can actually cause other injuries.
Target Recovery in Bite-Size Pieces
Don't look at the big picture - it's overwhelming. Break it down into bite-size pieces that you can target individually. The pieces will come together naturally. It's not in the thought or intent, it's in the action:) Here are some ideas on how you target:
Here is Where You're At - Broken bones, joints, bleeding, etc. Focus on what needs immediate attention and Target by addressing the the obvious.
If you have pain take the pain meds. You can't rehab properly with pain. If you are having trouble getting around, patience is vital! Focus on one step at a time. Celebrate each improvement & don't let setbacks get in your way. Setbacks are NORMAL & TEMPORARY! It isn't a setback that gets in your way, it's your attitude! When you experience a setback, remember that Attitude is Key. Be where you’re at and realize that what appears to be a setback is a time out to recharge, reassess and heal.