3 Important Lessons from an Injury
I had the weirdest injury happen to me last month. One week, on the Monday, I went indoor rock climbing for the first time. I was definitely on an adrenaline rush as I was facing my fear of heights. I even slipped once, which was scary but I quickly realized that I was well sustained by the gear. Then, on Tuesday, I went for my usual run up and down stairs. Everything went well and I felt like I was getting stronger. I was slowly preparing to run 10km at the end of the month and needed to get back into shape. Next thing I know, on the Wednesday, I wake up with a swollen and painful ankle. What happened? I thought it might be muscular because of the climbing. At first, I did not worry about it so much. After two days, it was better so I decided to go for a run. Although it was not painful during the run, it swelled up much more after. Oops.
A doctor acquaintance took a look and confirmed it was not sprained but recommended I iced it and that I did not move too much for 3 days, which is what I did. And that is exactly when you start to realize just how much you move during a day: walk to open the door of your home, walk to get the laundry going, get a glass of water, pace around while you are on the phone… So, in your day-to-day, staying put can be a little challenging. I bike or walk around everywhere I go, I practice or teach yoga, and I run and work out. In order to really take care of my injury, I realized that there were 3 things that were crucial during the process:
Relax and treat it: As I mentioned, staying put can be difficult. But taking a break and giving your body what it needs at that moment is one of the most important things you can do to recuperate. Natural medicine like CBD oil and creams, lots of ice, hot pads, turmeric capsules for inflammation can also help your body with reducing inflammation and restoring it properly by taking off extra pressure and movements.
Physiotherapy: Getting a professional to help you during your process is another key element. They understand these types of injuries and can help massage the area and release muscle tension. Alongside, strengthening and stretching are complimentary. These two opposites will help you recover and also prevent future injuries. Strengthening exercises with straps, therapeutic balls, and stretches that target the injured area are an important part of the process.
Patience and time might be the biggest challenge of all. A typical thought related to this is: When will this be over? I want to get back to doing everything I do without worrying about my injury. You get this sort of desperation to do things, maybe even more than usual. I think that this is when yoga and meditation play an important role in recuperating from your injury. Not allowing yourself, your mind, or your ego decide whether or not you can do certain things. Listening to your body, and bringing awareness to your body’s signals and sensations can help you gage whether or not you are fully recuperated.
Many times, our body gives us the signals that we are over doing it. Sometimes, accidents happen. In both cases, it is important to give our body what it needs and all the help it can get to recuperate. Although it has been a few weeks already, and deep down I know I am not 100% recuperated… I keep doing all the things I know will help me: I go see my physiotherapist, I strengthen and stretch, and most importantly, I take deep breaths and trust the process.