The Unwelcome Visitor

No, I am not talking about your Grandma Louise or Aunt Mary. I am talking about an unexpected injury. 
It's a risk that everyone takes an active individual or a sport participant. Being active is well worth taking the risk. Expert studies show that it's better to be active than not being active.
For anyone faced with an injury, it brings an emotional blow to your self-esteem when it happens especially when you have a lot of passion in your sport.   To some athletes, their sport is the entire of their lives and don't know of anything else.
Unfortunately, I am one of those athletes who's life has turned around by an injury recently. I am facing a knee injury that has ended my hopes to do the Chicago Marathon this year. It is not my first time going through the emotions and familiar with the process, but it still has hit me hard.
An injury is like any loss. It is important to go through the grief process in better handle the injury. 
The 5 Stages of Grief
1. Denial - You will think that you could still run or bike next week in the race that you signed up for.  You also think that you can just test your knee out when you start feeling better for a short time.
2. Anger - You start feeling angry and frustrated regarding the injury. You are frustrated at your limitations and the lack of training that you once had in your schedule.  
3. Bargaining - You start bargaining with your doctor or Physical Therapist about being able to do a form of cross-training that will filled the training void. You beg and plead until you can't beg and plead not more.
4. Depression - This is the hardest step to go through. You start feeling sad and depressed about the injury. You continue to see stuff regarding events in the area that you know that you can't do for a while. You start to feel jealous of your friends who still can run and wish you could get out there with them. You start to not feel like do anything. You don't want to read or see anything about your sport at all to avoid the pain.
5. Acceptance - This is where you will accept your injury and learn to move on. You don't avoid the pain and accept it as it is. You start to understand this injury is temporary and the sport will be there when you heal.
(Here's my mini legal disclosure: If anytime you feel that your emotions and grief feel too overwhelming, it is very important to seek help immediately from a licensed training therapist or psychologist. They can help you work through your feelings and help you resolve the issues that you have.  If at anytime you have any suicidal thoughts during this process especially in the depression stage, please seek medical attention at your nearest emergency room IMMEDIATELY.....just go there, period!)
Anyways, allow yourself to follow the grief process. You may not follow every one of those steps right in order, but it's important to go through the process.


Leave a comment
  • I'm sorry to read about your injury! Whatever feelings you are having are normal. When I was in college I taught 15+ kickboxing/spin/aerobics classes a week and my life was temporarily turned upside down when I broke my foot. I was so depressed that I binged on carbs and at one point almost plucked out all of my eyebrows! I know that sounds bizarre, but it's amazing what a dark place you can find yourself in when the one thing you identify yourself with is taken away. I hope you have a fast and full recovery. =)

  • In reply to amerry:

    Thank you for your comment!

Leave a comment