Bouncing back after injury

Whether painful or irritating, debilitating or just plain annoying, injuries can and do happen to the best of us. Often it’s just the odd cut or bruise, the sign of an exciting day out. Occasionally it’s something more sinister; the muscle tear, the tendon snap, the ankle break. Or worse.

I’ve had friends who have been hurt in the pursuit of an adventurous life. Climbing accidents, mountain bike spills, hard skydiving landings. Knees ripped apart in skiing falls. All unfortunate but, to an extent, the inevitable consequence of living a life away from the sofa. Fortunately, none of these injuries have been too serious and recoveries have been mostly swift and straightforward.

Personally, I find it difficult to be injured. Not the event itself; that is often frighteningly easy. The aftermath; once the dust has settled, the acute treatment is done and it’s time to recover. Recovery takes time and I’m impatient. The inability to do the activities I love infuriates me.

Often the worst thing you can do when injured is rush to get back to it. That road leads at best to a slower recovery and at worst to recurrence of your injury. I find the best way to cope with this itch is to mentally take a step back and reflect on what you’re missing most. Use that emotion to plan your comeback in a smarter way. Set some goals and figure out how you’re going to achieve them once you’re healed enough. 

View the enforced lay off as a gift of the time you need to focus on what’s actually important to you. Once you are ready to begin the return to action, remember how you felt stuck on the couch and use that memory as fuel. Wait until you’re ready and then hit it hard. Come back better, stronger and smarter.

Be careful out there; here’s hoping nobody gets hurt. But if you do, stay positive and look at it as an opportunity.