Monday, March 5, 2012

Avoiding injury depression

As the mileage starts to increase the aches and pains increase and the chance of injury as well.

Recently I started listening to Podcasts .  One podcast I am enjoying immensely is IM Talk. 

They talk about everything to do with Ironman, triathlon training, racing, nutrition, and so on and so forth.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in triathlon.

One of the topics on their most recent podcast was Injury and how to not become depressed and stressed out while rehabbing.   As soon as they started talking about it I knew I was nodding my head and thinking Bingo. 

We all know what it is like - we start out training and then it becomes part of our life, it defines us and it is what we do. The sense of pride and accomplishment that we get after we finish that 29km run on Sunday morning.   Especially as we decide to get into longer distances - marathon, Ironmans and Ultra's.  Things go great and then all of the sudden boom injured.

 Most of us freak out - go into denial, train a little bit more thinking it is not an injury thus really injuring ourselves....  Finally when it is painfully obvious that we are injured we starting thinking about how we get back in the game.  We are like junkies - come on admit it- you start to obsess.

OMG I am losing all my fitness what am I going to do?!?!
How am I going to keep up when I get back?
What can I do for training - can I sneak in a run/ swim/ bike? Do weights - give me something....

NON-REFUNDABLE entry , I have to get back at it - I paid for the race.

Then when you are told 6 ways from Sunday that you are on the bench you start harassing your physio - can I go out now?  how about Now,  WHAT ABOUT NOW to the point they consider refusing you as a client.

You sit on the couch and mope, you snap at your family and friends and figure you might as well have the bowl of ice cream because it does not matter anyways. Your spouse can't bear to be around you because you are so miserable- you have officially hit rock bottom.

Well the pod cast was great it talked about all of this and said that one of the things as athletes that we can do to help is to have outside interests.  So that when we are injured we have other things to do to take our mind off the training.  They talked about how to find other things to build up your esteem and make you proud of yourself not just the sports.  One of the speakers plays music so he said that even in the heart of training he will make sure that he takes a few hours to just play and perform his music - even if it is just for his family. 

They gave examples of other things:

Playing Golf
Taking Cooking classes
Joining a Book Club
Gardening
Choir/Singing
Volunteering

They talked about making sure that we are well-rounded with other interests so that if and when an injury comes along we have other things that provide us with esteem and a sense of accomplishment.  That way we can ward off the depression that comes from missing the training/races while we continue to rehab and recover. 

All great thoughts and I know for me I am going to take their words to heart and try to focus on mroe than just my training.

peace out

Shaun

1 comment:

Jean Leggett said...

Great blog, Shaun. Yes, I think that when we get so focused in our lives on one thing and that one thing somehow is redefined, it can rock our very core. Look at people who make their jobs their entire identity and when they lose their jobs, they spiral downward.

I think you've not only identified what you've felt while you've been injured, but writing about your experience will be really valuable for other people who experience the same.

Thanks for taking the time to write this and for being vulnerable with us.

Love,
Jean