Last month, I told you I was starting to ramp up my running in order to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. Little did I know, I’d be sidelined with an injury and have to stop running about a week later.
I knew I was going to have to be smart and careful. I knew I would need to stretch regularly and give my body plenty of fuel. What I didn’t know is that a nagging pain in my hip was actually the result of a stress fracture I probably got sometime in the middle of August.
At the beginning of September, my physical therapist expressed concern that my pain wasn’t improving. I saw my sports medicine doctor, he ordered an MRI, and diagnosed the fracture the next day. My doctor then informed me that I needed to stop lifting with my lower body, running, using the elliptical, biking, swimming, and even yoga that put weight on my right leg.
I’ve said it before: movement is my medicine. What do you do without your medicine? Well, first, I cried. How could I seriously be hurt when I hadn’t even started training officially?
How doesn’t matter, though. What matters is healing and staying sane while you do it. Here’s what I figured out.
It’s hard. I get it. I like to move and I have a hard time sitting still through a movie, let alone an entire day. But that’s what you need to do to get better, so do it.
How to do it: If you have a brace, wear it. If you’re on crutches, use them. Sit when you can. Find a good show on Netflix, a book to read, or a crafty hobby you can do on the couch.
Just because you’re not working out, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to eat. Your body needs calories no matter what, and right now it needs a little more than if you were simply sedentary because while you’re sitting around, it’s trying to repair your injury.
How to do it: Keep your nutrition a priority. Eat plenty of whole, nutrient-dense foods that will help you recover optimally.
Do what you can.
Some injuries are localized and won’t totally limit your activity. Use that to your advantage if you want to get moving.
How to do it: Have a hand injury? You can probably still use a stationary bike. Hurt your foot? Seated upper body lifting might not sound like much, but it’s something. And don’t forget to do any physical therapy your doctor suggests.
And remember this:
You are not defined by your workouts. It might feel pretty terrible to be stuck on the couch while your friends are crossing finish lines and setting new PRs, but resting will get you back to doing what you love as fast as possible. In the meantime, Netflix is there for you.
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