If your active, play sport, train hard or have a physical job you are likely at some point to pick up an injury. Our bodies are a well-oiled machine and if well used over time it’s likely to need a few repairs. How we react to these injuries will directly dictate how long they are around for and how much impact they have on our training.
I love the following metaphor for an injury:
You’re driving along at 90mph, the suns shining, the road is clear and your destination in in sight. BAM! A wall appears right across the road. You have choices:
-Fuck it, keep going, hit the wall and crash on through, what’s the worst that can happen?
-Slam on the breaks, lock up and sit and look at the wall waiting for it to go away.
-Hit a massive u-turn and head on back to where you came from.
-Touch the breaks, slow down a little, find another route that still takes you to where you want to go. The route might not be the one you wanted to take, it might not be as fast, as direct or as smooth but it will get you there in the end.
Just like the wall injuries surprise us and appear at the most inconvenient times. Your training can be on point, your nutrition dialled in, the PB’s could be raining down and you could feel unstoppable – your fitness goal is in sight! BAM! Life throws a wall in the way.
Ignoring the injury and carrying on regardless is likely to cause more damage and increase the amount of time and effort it will take to repair. Much like driving straight into the wall.
Stopping completely and waiting for the injury to go away might seem like the smart move but you will inevitably start rolling backwards, away from your goal and end up further away than when you started.
So, what’s the best reaction? Slow down. You can still progress towards your goals just not as fast as you might like. We can adapt training to keep us on the same journey but taking a few detours here and there to avoid the walls. It might be slightly slower progress, it might be a little bumpier and you might have to change routes a few times, but every step towards your goal is ten times better than stopping or going backwards!