5 Things To Remember When You Are “Broken”

This past week has been a huge challenge for me. I am going through one of those “broken” phases of life that will pass but staying positive is tough.

It is a running injury. To be more specific, it’s Tibialis Anterior Tendonitis. I don’t know how I got it or what prompted it to start hurting over a week ago but last week it kept getting gradually worse as the week progressed. What makes it even harder to deal with is that I can run on it just fine, but when that tendon cools off it will start hurting and make even walking uncomfortable until the tendon warms up again.

After last Sunday’s run I determined that unless it was back to normal by Tuesday that I would be looking at a zero mileage week in order to give the injury 100% time to rest. There is hardly a creature more miserable in this world than the runner who is injured and can not run and I am no different. This is my first real injury in years and try as I might I can not figure out how or why it happened but at it is right now I am forced to just go with it.

There are many times in life where we end up “broken” like this. Injured, sick, or debilitated in one way or the other. Things in life happen and we are forced to take the foot off the gas and just stop.

I feel like a kid who is quarantined with the chicken pox or something this week. But I know this too will pass. Here are five things that I keep telling myself this week in order to get through and I hope these five points will help you too if you ever find yourself broken in life.

  1. Focus on the healing, not on the hurt. – This week I have chosen to focus on the process of healing and taking care of myself rather than on the injury or the discomfort itself. Sure, I could sit around all day being angry that this has happened, and or make myself into a victim but I believe that kind of energy will only make it worse and or maybe take more time to heal. I can be bitter or I can get better and I choose to focus on the latter.
  2. Embrace the downtime. – For whatever reason setbacks like this happen and you are forced to sit on the sidelines, so you might as well embrace and make the most of the downtime. Take the opportunity to take care of other things that need to be done. For starters, it will increase your overall productivity, which is always a good thing, but it will also give you something to do instead of focusing on the negative.
  3. Be Patient. Be Patient. Be Patient. – Managing this injury this week has required a lot of patience. Wednesday things felt a lot better than they do today, two days later. It is easy to be discouraged right now but I have to trust and have faith that my body is healing itself the best way it knows how. I also have to do my part, which is to treat the injury and rest the best way I can. Sure, I want to run today and I really hope that I can start again next week but if I can’t, I will have to be patient for a little while longer.
  4. Look for the blessing in disguise. – This has been a challenge this week as not being able to run feels more like a curse than a blessing on the surface. I have faith and believe this period of being broken will allow for other parts that might have been weakening that I was not aware of to heal as well. And with the iffy weather we have been having, it has definitely been a blessing to not have to brave it day after day this week. For every major setback in life I always believe there is good to come of it, and although it might not be evident in the short term, eventually you can look back and see the benefit to the long term. Also, in terms of injuries that I could have… this is really a minor one… yet another blessing.
  5. Keep looking ahead. – I have a race scheduled for June 27th and that has been my focus the past few weeks. This injury has forced me to alter my training plans in a major way. On Monday, I sat down and reworked my training plan in hopes that I can start running again next week. If I can’t run next week, I will alter the plan again if I have to but I will keep looking forward. I am not dwelling on the now past focusing on the healing, and I am excitedly looking forward to being “fixed” and moving forward. I’ve been injured before and many times a lot worse than this and have made it back okay. This won’t be any different.

Take a Step Back

Every so often in life you are going to spin out and hit the wall and it’s not a matter of if but when in most cases. Damage will occur and you are going to come out scathed and broken to some degree. When it happens, take it as sign to take a step back and refocus.

Don’t let it get you down and don’t focus on being broken. Focus on the healing and your return to “the race” instead.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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