Ever hear the saying, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight?" You've probably seen this quote associated mostly with sports. It means whatever knocks you down, you pick yourself back up. Sure, it may be hard at first, but it'll be worth it in the end, because you'll come out so much wiser and stronger than ever before.
I'm sure somewhere along the way during training or a game an athlete has had to deal with an injury. Whether major or minor, it stinks. But not all injuries are permanent. Like any cuts or scars or bruises, they will fade with time. When we get knocked down, we may feel like staying down, asking ourselves "what's the point in getting up if I'll get hurt again?"
Trust me, I've been there. I've had my fair share of injuries, both major and minor. It was tough to pick myself back up and keep going, but I promise you that it's worth it. Here are 5 tips I can offer to help you if you are going through an injury:
Having this for me personally was extremely crucial, because there would be so many points where I would feel frustrated and upset if I was starting to believe that I wasn't getting anywhere in my recovery. Confiding in my athletic trainer, my coach, friends who have been through injuries themselves gave me the guidance and encouragement that I needed. I also felt like I wasn't alone and thought that if they pulled through that I could too. I would put my trust in them to guide me on the right path to get back to where I want to be, and most likely come back better and stronger.
Take This Time To Rest
I know this is obvious, but I want to stress that your recovery time is just as important as all the training that you do. If you want to get stronger, you need to have your muscles rebuild themselves during this recovery time. Getting more sleep, icing, hydrating, eating the right foods, elevation, whatever it is you need to do to help you feel better and recover, DO IT. It may take time, and yes, you'll get impatient. But remember: you want to be careful and smart so that your transition back to your training is a smooth one.
Again, probably obvious, but doing some less intense training is better than no training, right? Plus, you don't want to lose a lot of the hard work that you've put in, right? I promise, even though certain exercises like biking are not the same as what you may be doing, you will still feel a benefit. Heck, your muscles may even thank you for taking it easier! It's never a good idea to push yourself hard every single day: having a semi-easy or easy day has its benefits too.
Stretching out your muscles, taking the time to meditate, and just focusing on your breathing can really help you mentally. Remember, not only do you have to take care of yourself physically, but also mentally. Being injured is frustrating, upsetting, and can really take a toll on you, making the easiest tasks a challenge. So take time out of your day, even if it can be for only 5 or 10 minutes to just pause, relax, and get in touch with yourself. Focus on how you are feeling, but make no judgments. Just recognize how you are feeling in the present moment, and take the time to breathe and let go of the pain you are feeling.
Reading is another great mental outlet when recovering from an injury. If you are ever in need of inspiration or want to stay updated on what is currently going on in your sport, or maybe you want to learn about others, there are so many different resources you can use from books to articles to magazines to newspapers, and the list goes on. I know that it's hard to stay positive at times when you're trying to get back to your regular training. What always helps me to stay motivated is through finding inspiring stories of athletes who would make a comeback from an injury. I would think to myself, "Wow! I want to be strong like them!" Always having some kind of role model to look up to can help give your mind a positive focus.
The saying, "fall down seven times, stand up eight," can be applied to everyday life, not just sports. Having resiliency is so crucial, and I cannot stress that enough. Life may not get easier, but you will get stronger. Years later, the bad that happened won't matter. It's what you do afterwards that will.