FINALLY answering one of your most commonly asked questions:
How do you deal with injuries?
I've been wanting to talk about injuries for a while and was suddenly hit with inspiration! If you've been following my recent instagram stories then you know I'm currently injured.
While writing this post I tried to think of a way to word my injury to make it sound a little 'cooler' however, I don't think that's going to be possible...
Here's what happened:
I was at the gym grabbing a 35lb plate, I made a little miscalculation and the weight fell and landed straight across all the toes on my left foot. I went to the ER and I bruised most of the bones in my toes and broke on of them in half. Originally, I didn't want to talk about this on here but I realized it might actually be helpful.
Comment below if you've ever had an embarrassing injury!
Here are the 4 basic stages that athletes go through when they get injured, and tips for dealing with each of them:
Oh boy!! Let me tell you, this is not a fun stage. I'm talking about seconds/minutes after getting injured, you're not at the hospital, pain meds haven't kicked in, you don't have ice yet, all you can think is THIS F***ING HURTS!
Tip: Your mind can be an incredibly powerful pain killer! People all over the world use hypnosis as an alternative to general anesthesia. For the first few minutes after the aforementioned weight dropping on my foot, I went into a hypnotic state and imagined my foot was inside a big rain-boot filled with slushy ice water. I continued this until I made it to the ER and the pain meds kicked in. I was surprised when the doctor told me my heart rate was normal just 30 minutes after breaking a bone. (I only recommend this technique as a way to keep yourself calm until you receive professional medical attention. DO NOT use this to avoid seeking medical help.)
The initial excruciating pain is gone, maybe you've got some ice or those drugs are finally kicking in. Your brain actually has the capacity to think of something other than "OUCH". This is when our conscious brain starts analyzing what just happened and starts making assumptions about the future. "Why did I do that?!"
"If I grabbed it just a little tighter none of this would have happened!"
"I feel so stupid"
"Everything I've been working for is gone"
"This is going to ruin my chances of finding sponsors"
"I hope Target is hiring because my athletic career is OVER"
"Ugh this suck! Why did this happened to me?!"
Tip: Our conscious mind LOVES to ask questions and analyze everything that is happening. Sometimes this isn't very helpful though. Going into a hypnotic state (bringing your subconscious mind to the forefront) and giving it positive suggestions is the most helpful thing you can do.
Recovery is TOUGH. For someone whose life revolves around them being active, resting for weeks or months can feel like an eternity. This is where athletes tend to go one of two ways; either they try to start training too quickly and risk further injuries or they start to lose motivation. Our bodies were so used to all of the amazing chemicals that exercise helps release in our brains, without them we may experience a drop in happiness.
Tip: Stay positive! Remember, our subconscious will give us what it thinks we want. Going back to training too early is a fear based reaction. Our subconscious will see this fear and give you more of it. Same goes for getting caught in a downward spiral. It creates a cycle of negative emotions, we think something negative so our subconscious thinks that's what we wants and gives us more negative results, it can even make you take longer to heal.
The doctor says you're ready to start training again. Maybe you still need a brace or tape, but at least you can start being active again. This is where our subconscious and conscious minds don't always work together. Your subconscious mind just wants to keep you safe so it's going to do everything it can to make sure you don't injure yourself again. Sometimes this means it will try to make you anxious about exercising your newly healed body. If you injured yourself in your sport, it might try to keep you from injuring yourself the same way again.
Tip: This is where we want to use brain re-wiring! Your subconscious has made some negative connections between training and injuries. We need to create new positive associations with training.