Injuries can be one of the most frustrating things that can happen to you. Coming back from an injury is never easy, and sometimes you feel like giving up. When I say that coming back from an injury is difficult, I speak from personal experience. I touched on my injury a little bit in my recent blog, “My Rollercoaster Ride as A Division 1 Athlete.” If you have not read it yet, I suggest that you check it out if you would like to know more about my injury. In this post, I will share my experience with my injury and how I overcame it. In turn, I hope that I can help teach you the subtle art of coming back from your injury.
Having an ankle injury as a swimmer was a pretty hard knock for me. I knew that ankle flexibility is essential to the sport. I knew that I had a long road of recovery ahead of me, but I was willing to follow it through to the end. At the time, I had no idea how much work I would have to put in to get back to where I was. Nevertheless, I knew I had a long road ahead of me.
Below, I share with you the three unique concepts that I used to fast-track my injury:
1.Rehab. Rehab. Rehab.
Rehab was by far the most beneficial for my injury. I was fortunate enough to have access to a fantastic staff at Florida State University. Rehab is one of the most critical phases when it comes to recovering from an injury. It consists of various techniques and processes to promote healing. However, it is imperative to stay disciplined and patient with the process. Nothing happens overnight, especially coming back from an injury. Listen to your physiotherapist or whoever might be assisting you through your rehab process and follow through with it.
2.Know your body
Take it slow. You know your body better than anyone else. You know how far you can push yourself before the breaking point. However, it is vital to start slow. If you get back into things too fast, you worsen or possibly reinjure yourself. The term “damage control” is perfect to use in this situation. You are already “damaged.” The chances are that you will get frustrated with yourself because you think you are not healing at the rate you should. I am here to tell you to take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. If you can be 1% better each day, that is progress. Make it a goal to be a little bit better each day.
3.Trust the Process
Then, the very last step and the only one that kept me sane throughout the long, exhausting road. Trust the process. Recognize that the good things come with time. Focus on what you can control and nothing else. One thing that significantly helped me was focusing on things during training that I usually would not even think about. For example, whenever my ankle would start bugging me during swim practice, I would begin to pull. No kicking, just pulling with my arms. This allowed me to focus more on the little things in my technique that eventually went a long way. Take your injury as an opportunity to try new things and improve yourself in different areas.
Coming back from injury is never easy. It requires hard work, dedication, perseverance, and most important of all, consistency. It is a true art that takes time and has a particular process that you have to follow. My road was not easy by any means, but I sure am glad that I did it properly. There are no shortcuts to come back from an injury. Shortcuts only result in reinjury over time. Stay consistent with what you are doing, and you will be back from your injury better than ever.
Dream. Dare. Succeed.
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Hi there! My name is Rudo Loock. I am a former competitive swimmer from South Africa. I went to school and trained at Florida State University in the United States of America. I have always had a great passion for both writing and sport and now I have found a way to combine the two things I love most. My goal is to help you achieve great things you never thought were possible. I hope you enjoy my posts and dream big!